Dani Dayan, chairman of Yad Vashem, visited the Arutz Sheva - Israel National News studio to speak about the rising antisemitism in the USA's academic institutions.
"It's appalling but not surprising," he said. "I visited these institutions, spoke with presidents, provosts, and deans, as well as with the incredible Jewish leaders who are the silver lining there. These Jewish leaders feel ostracized. In a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion class, they put all the Jews in a separate room to 'protect' them. I spoke with the presidents and provosts, and they have no idea what is going on."
"The problem is in the faculty, which is developing, article by article, a policy that calls for the elimination of the Jewish state. Such a protocol is not logical, but it is doubtless driven by other things, such as the Qatari investments some of these institutions are receiving," he explained.
"The presidents of these universities respond by citing the First Amendment about freedom of speech. I say to them - if such a doctrine were to be developed calling for the ostracization of the LGBTQ+ community or targeting people of color, that too would be protected by the First Amendment, but that professor would be fired the following day. The same professor calling for the elimination of the state of Israel has a good chance of being promoted."
He added: "This is a cancerous process. I saw it starting five to ten years ago when there were reasonably easy steps that could have been taken against the BDS referendums. We are now in stage two cancer, and more aggressive treatments are needed - treatments I am not optimistic to see from the current administration. At stage three and four, it will be terminal - but for the universities, not for the Jews."
Dayan says that he believes that claims of history repeating itself are more than hyperbole. "For the first time, I see the similarities between what happened then and what is happening now. The people who burned books in Berlin in the 1930s were not the ignorant masses but the professors and students of the most prestigious universities in Germany. Virtually, the Zionist books in the university libraries are already being burned."
He sees distinct similarities between Hamas and the Nazis: "The cruelty displayed by Hamas is the same cruelty displayed by the Nazis, and the intentions are the same genocidal intentions. Whether to call them Nazis can be debated, but there can be no doubt about their intentions."
Dayan maintains his objections to the decision by the Israeli delegation to the UN to wear yellow stars: "What happened on Oct. 7th was not the Shoah because today we have a state and an army. The IDF arrived late, but it did not arrive at Auschwitz at all. Then, we were at the mercy of the Allies whether they would or wouldn't bomb the railways. Wearing a yellow star is a symbol of helplessness, and we are not helpless."
Dayan believes that the denial of the massacre mandates action by his institution. "Denial of the Holocaust started in the 40s. Denial of Oct. 7th started on Oct. 8th. Denial of antisemitism and the state of Israel is growing as well and costing Jewish lives. Yad Vashem traditionally doesn't deal with modern antisemitism because six million Jews murdered in the Shoah are entitled to an institution that is exclusively for them. The situation now, though, calls for exceptional actions, and so now we will be active in combating modern antisemitism too."