BDS activists (file)
BDS activists (file)Wikimedia Commons

A new report put out by the campus monitoring group AMCHA Initiative has just released a new study which finds a correlation between university-mandated anti-Israel policy and the number of anti-Semitic incidents perpetrated against Jews on US college campuses.

The study concluded that anti-Semitic incidents were twice as likely to occur on campuses where BDS was part of university policy, eight times as likely to occur on campuses with at least one anti-Zionist student group on campus, and six times as likely to occur on campuses with at least one faculty member who publicly supported boycotting Israel.

In addition, the study noted that mere policy discussion of BDS was correlated with antisemitic incidents against Jewish students. Universities which had proposed BDS legislation in student government saw higher rates of anti-Semitic activity on campuses. Conversely, universities which did not host discussions and votes on divestment, but had in the past, saw marked decreases is antisemitic activity.

Leila Beckwith, co-founder of AMCHA, commented on how the lines between legitimate criticism of Israeli policy and anti-Semitism are being blurred on US campuses:

“Instead of just boycotting Israel, the anti-Zionists are now boycotting Jewish students,” stated Beckwith.

“Sadly, all too often it is not debate but hate. The lines between political discussions on Israeli policy and discrimination toward Jewish students are being blurred. Anti-Zionists are attempting to harm, alienate, and ostracize Jewish students; it is Jewish students’ civil rights that are being trampled."

Beckwith concluded with a call for proper university policy to address the issue: "To properly address this rise in anti-Jewish bigotry, universities must adopt a proper definition of contemporary anti-Semitism and use it to educate the campus community about the distinct line between criticism of Israeli policies and discrimination against Jewish people.”