American university campus
American university campusiStock

A new survey by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA) found that left wing groups were a “significant” source of campus anti-Semitism and anti-Israel actions at American universities.

The report, “The Antisemitism/Anti-Israel Phenomenon: What Do Israeli Campus Professionals Think?,” by Dr. Irwin J. Mansdorf, studied the results of several focus groups made up of Jewish campus professionals from around the United States.

It found that while anecdotal reports of rising anti-Semitism against American Jews might have caused many in the community to point at hate from the far right, rising campus anti-Semitism – consisting of a “pervasive presence of such activity on most university campuses in the United States” – points to the fact that a great deal of today’s anti-Semitism is coming from groups on the left.

A majority of those taking the survey – emissaries who work at Hillel chapters – found that anti-Semitism and anti-Israel activity on their campus was at minimum a “moderate” problem, with most agreeing that it came from only a “minority” of students.

The study “sought to understand how these professionals view the anti-Semitism and anti-Israel issue and how it applies to their campus.”

Findings also documented that many “politically liberal or progressive organizations” on campus were not seen as friendly to Jewish students while their conservative counterparts were.

The most commonly cited reason for feeling “intimidated or unsafe” on campus was statements made by a faculty member.

Over 40 percent of the sample felt that “national Jewish organizations ‘exaggerate’ the level of anti-Semitism or anti-Israel sentiment on campus” while 25 percent felt it was “underestimated.”

“We also may need to confront the notion, common among liberal Jewish Americans, that right-wing sources are mostly responsible for anti-Semitism, leaving more liberal and progressive organizations immune from criticism. In fact, our data showed that it is some of these very liberal and progressive groups (and apparently faculty sympathetic with them) that are felt to be less supportive of the Jewish student and thus more responsible for the atmosphere of antisemitic and anti-Israel sentiment (which much of our campus professionals see as synonymous) that exists on certain campuses,” the survey concluded.