'If we don’t stand up to anti-Semitism, no one else will'

Dalia Zahger, President of Students Supporting Israel at Columbia University, discusses the anti-Semitism on campus.

Yoni Kempinski, Miami,

Dalia Zahger
Dalia Zahger
Arutz Sheva

Dalia Zahger, President of Students Supporting Israel (SSI) at Columbia University, spoke to Arutz Sheva at the the Israeli-American Council (IAC) conference in Miami.

The interview with Zahger took place just after the incident in which the office of a Jewish professor at Columbia was vandalized with anti-Semitic graffiti.

She acknowledged that the anti-Semitism on campus is “definitely getting worse and worse. I think that we are here to fight it and hopefully manage to either decrease or completely eradicate it.”

Dealing with the vandals is one thing, noted Zahger, but there is also the phenomenon of professors and lecturers who make anti-Semitic and controversial statements.

“The border between controversial, anti-Israel and anti-Semitic has been completely blurred at the universities. You deal with it by, first of all, trying to push the university to do something about it and if that is not possible, then just be there, stand up and say something against it,” she said.

“Some universities take the right side and go against it. Unfortunately, when we formed a complaint, as SSI, against other groups who harass us, the university decided that it’s not sufficient and that it’s all part of freedom of speech. So it really depends on the university and unfortunately ours isn’t doing enough at this point.”

The motivation to keep going forward comes from the fact that “I can’t sit quietly when people say such horrible things about my home, about my friends from the army, about me since I served. It burns within me to do something about it and because no one else will do it for us. If we don’t stand up and say something, the other 80% of people who have no idea about Israel will just believe what others say.”


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