New Jewish advocacy org launches initiative to combat campus anti-Semitism

The Abraham Global Peace Initiative has launched “Campus Declaration Against Antisemitism” to empower students to speak up for their rights.

Dan Verbin ,

University campus
University campus
ISTOCK

A new Canadian Jewish advocacy organization has created an initiative to combat the growing threat of anti-Semitism on university campuses.

The Abraham Global Peace Initiative (AGPI) – a “global human rights organization that promotes peace and defends freedom” by countering “anti-Semitism, racist and discrimination,” focusing on Holocaust remembrance, and standing up for “Canada and Israel in the court of public opinion” by defending religious freedom and promoting universal human rights – has launched a campaign titled “Campus Declaration Against Antisemitism” that aims to teach Jewish and pro-Israel students how to understand their rights in order to give them the ability to advocate for themselves.

“This fall, we are predicting a storm of anti-Semitism on college and university campuses. It began this past May during Israel’s war with Gaza and is anticipated to accelerate as students return to school. This increasing hostile climate is mounting with attempts to boycott and delegitimize the State of Israel. This hostility victimizes Jewish students and faculty on campus,” said AGPI chair Avi Benlolo.

To that end, AGPI released a “Campus Declaration Against Antisemitism” letter that urged signatories to “stand with Jewish and pro-Israel students on university and college campuses” and to declare that Jewish and pro-Israel students are “not alone and that they have every right to self-expression under the protection of universal and national legal conventions.”

It also asked supporters of the campaign to “neither tolerate nor… accept the rising tide of anti-Semitism nor… stay silent in this regard.”

With anti-Semitism manifesting on many campuses and acting as a “detriment to the welfare of and wellbeing of Jewish and non-Jewish students who believe in the existence of the State of Israel and advocate for such,” the letter called on university, colleges and public institutions to “act accordingly” and “with haste” to protect students against anti-Semitism.

“The onus and responsibility is on these institutions to act accordingly to stop events and functions that promote discrimination against the Jewish people and their friends and advocates. We hereby hold these institutions accountable for any and all acts that go against national and international conventions that are set forth to protect and defend students,” the letter said

It further mentioned that “universities, colleges and public institutions have an obligation under their own mandate to preserve, protect and defend the rights of students and faculty to function freely and without intimidation or feeling of victimization. The onus is on these institutions to prove that they are acting according to international and national human rights conventions.”

The letter continued: “Historically, anti-Semitism has resulted in extreme violence and genocide. Disregard and contempt for historical degradation and violence against the Jewish people, such as antisemitism, boycotts and genocide is harmful to the well-being of humanity."

AGPI added: “All human beings have a right under international convention to enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want and this has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of humanity, as dictated by the international community."



top