Anti-Israeli protests and sentiments at American colleges

October 15, 2023 • 12:00 pm

Among American politics, nothing pains me more right now than college students supporting the Palestinian desire to erase Israel. Further, this week those sentiments often came with approval of Hamas’s butchery a week ago. (After all, didn’t Israel bring it on itself?)  Yet, as Bill Maher notes in the short video below, Palestine (and Hamas) support everything that American liberals despise: the oppression of women and gays, the banning of free speech, the demonization of atheists, apostates, and those of other faiths, a spurning of democracy and elections, and so on. If there is an apartheid state, it’s clearly Palestine, not Israel. Bill Maher points this out below (like me, Maher opposes Israel’s siege).  And yet, much of the American Left is on the illiberal side!

I’m not going to summarize all the Jew hatred recently manifested at American colleges and universities, but I’ll give you some links if you want to read about it. There are many posts and many demonstrations; click on the links to see them.

I am not, of course, calling for colleges to ban anti-Israel or pro-Hamas demonstrations as long as they comport with the First Amendment; I’m simply showing you the depth of Jew hatred (aka “anti-Zionism”) on college campuses.

This one is from the Free Press; the “day of global jihad” was two days ago.

From Pamela Paul at the NYT:

From Abigail Shrier at her Substack site, “The Truth Fairy”:

From the Wall Street Journal:

From The Chronicle of Higher Education:

Another from the Free Press, by Bari Weiss:

Finally from the Anti-Defamation League, a survey and a graph showing a big increase in anti-Israel events and protests between 2021-2022 and 2022-2023

Finally, when I was thinking about this yesterday, I decided to look up the latest hate crime statistics for Jews and Muslims from the Department of Justice, which come from 2021. Here are the data for religious hate crimes:

A total of 1,590 incidents related to religion were reported; the largest categories of religion included:

  • Anti-Jewish incidents: 51.4% of religion-related incidents
  • Anti-Sikh incidents: 11.6%
  • Anti-Islamic incidents: 9.6%
  • Anti-Catholic incidents: 6.1%
  • Anti-Eastern Orthodox (Russian, Greek, Other): 3.1%

I hope I’m doing the math right! There appear to be 5.8 million religious and secular Jews in America: 2.4% of the population.

A 2017 study estimated that 3.45 million Muslims were living in the United States, about 1.1 percent of the total U.S. population,

Let’s assume that, to account for population growth, there are now 3.8 million Muslims in the U.S.

With these data, the per capita rate of Jewish hate crimes is 817/5,800,000, or .014%

The capita rate of Muslim hate crimes comes out to be 153/3,800,000, or .004%

The ratio of Jewish hate crimes to Muslim hate crimes is roughly 3.5 to 1. 

Clearly, “Judeophobia” is more prevalent than “Islamophobia”.


41 thoughts on “Anti-Israeli protests and sentiments at American colleges

  1. I’m simply showing you the depth of Jew hatred (aka “anti-Zionism”) on college campuses.

    So you think anti-Semitism is unequivocally at the root of this?
    The Left has long been more sympathetic with the Palestinian side than the Right, and less supportive of Israel. Why this is, I don’t know.
    It’s odd because Jewish people themselves are much more often Democratic.

    1. It would take some deep study of the psychiatry of the masses to figure out, and I don’t know if the effort would teach us much. There is the instinctual compassion for the perceived victim, but I think that only scratches the surface. Then there is the instinct to side with members of your own group. So if you see fellow lefties agitating for Cause A, you might also start calling for Cause A.

      1. Especially if your fellow lefty is comely and you hope to score with her/him/them/zem/phlom. It is college, after all….

      2. The leftist sympathy for the Palestinians vs Israel probably has a long and complicated history. Like the left being sympathetic with Ukraine, and the right with Russia (!) – that might be the result of trumpie. And the left being more sympathetic with transwomen, and the right more on the side of women, in those conflicts – I don’t know how that happened either.
        Jewish people were horrendously victimized in the Holocaust, and a lot of them were denied refuge in other countries – so you’d think their created refuge would arouse sympathy.

        1. Nope. Jews are not people of color (though their genes are largely the same as those of Arabs), they have become white adjacent and thus are oppressors while Palestinians, seen as people of color, are oppressed. This dichotomous view also comes from postmodernism.

          1. The Ashkenazim are actually a minority in Israel, so it would be wrong to think of it as a white vs people of color conflict.

            Mizrahi Jews are the largest of the Jewish sub-groups constituting 44.9% of the sample compared to Ashkenazi Jews who constitute 31.8% of our sample. The difference between these two groups is especially evident in the second and third generations. Immigrants from the former Soviet Union comprise 12.4% of the sample. Ethiopian Jews are the smallest origin group constituting only 3% our sample. Only 7.9% all respondents (12.3% of all Isareli-born) have a mixed origin based on their parents or grandparents place of birth.

          2. No, the Jews are taklen to be whjite, and Palestinians taken to be people of color. It doesn’t matter who the Jews are; their “race” is derived from their perceived power and success.

          3. Yes, I understood what you were saying, just providing some factual info.
            The Ashkenazi Jews in Israel tend to be more affluent and privileged than Mizrahi Jews, and perhaps that influences people’s perceptions. The prime ministers have all been Ashkenazi (?) and it might be mostly Ashkenazi Jews that people abroad are seeing in the news about Israel.

          4. Also, the Jewish people in the USA are mostly Ashkenazi. It’s very likely that when people in the USA think of what Jews look like, they are thinking of the many Ashkenazi Jews they have seen in the USA. Not the demographics of Israeli Jews.

        2. Yes “Jews were horrendously victimized in the holocaust…created refuge would arouse sympathy”. I grew up in the 1950’s with american soldiers who were veterans of WWII European fighting and knew first or second hand of the concentration camps and holocaust. We also had holocaust survivors with their ever-present tatooed numbers on their forearms who had emigrated to our community for the freedom of the US. The horror was and, 70 years later still is, very real to me. Maybe today’s students are too far removed from the harsh reality of this history. That along with the long history of antisemitism left us elated that a Jewish homeland was created, a place that welcomed Jews from throughout the world…not for only religious Jews but for the Jewish people. We watched as this new state grew, defended itself, employed technology to make a desert bloom, and created an educational system to support the creation of new technologies and industries. Yet I watched (but not for long!) this afternoon as jen psaki on nbc provided an incredibly sympathetic platform for Palestinian victimization.

    2. Israelis have been the more successful over decades of conflict. Therefore they are “white” and the woke-left are against them. The Palestinians have been unsuccessful, therefore they are “of colour” and are the darlings of the woke left. This is despite the fact that they are all Semitic peoples with little (other than religion) to distinguish them.

      1. Agreed. A slightly more “critical theory” way to say this is that the powerful oppress the powerless. The left see everything in terms of power & oppression, so they valorize those who are weak including powerless people who murder, rape, and kidnap a thousand civilians in one day. The left doesn’t support Gaza because the Palestinians are good (or oppose Israel because Jews are bad). It’s just about who is seen to be powerful (rich, successful, happy, productive) and who is not.

        1. Mike, I do wonder why the woke-left celebrates well-off, Ivy League-educated, men and women of color in positions of power yet sneers at and despises the poor, uneducated, white men and women living in Appalachia and the Deep South—almost none of whom are descended from a life of privilege. (In that regard, the woke are not too different from many on the non-woke left.)

          If it were “just about who is seen to be powerful (rich, successful, happy, productive),” then this wouldn’t make much sense. Not that I would try to make much sense of our illiberal leftist darlings. I understand what you are saying within the context of Israel, but here’s a guess: if the Jews of Israel were living in poverty, much like many Jews of the diaspora did throughout history, the woke would still despise them.

          1. Yes you could be right. Guessing here…

            The American white-Black context is special. Poor white trash are rolled up with wealthy white people in a sort of bûche de Caucasian and assumed to have power wrt all Black people. Some poor white trash assume this too (remember LBJ’s famous quote about the lowest white man, “Give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you”). Somehow intersectionality doesn’t apply to them. The Black Falashas are considered oppressed (in spite of being Jewish). It helps too that wokisme arose after 1948 so that leftists don’t have to think too much about life in the shtetl and can just compare the sparkle of Tel Aviv to the appalling poverty of Gaza.

            Rupert @6 touches on all this as well. I could be wrong.

        2. In the woke-left paradigm, power and powerlessness are immutable group characteristics rather than situation-dependent. Whites always have power; POC are always powerless. When evidence clearly shows otherwise, the woke adjust the white-POC classifications. Wealthy Asians become “white adjacent.” I believe the shift from POC to BIPOC is intended to reclassify Asians as power-havers. This isn’t a new development. I recall hearing on NPR at the time of the Rodney King riots a discussion of why the assault on Reginald Denny (a white truck driver who was pulled from his truck and mercilessly beaten) wasn’t racist. It was because Denny was a white man and therefore the possessor of power, even when he was on the ground and getting viciously pummeled.

        3. What you say is true, but don’t forget their cobbled-together “critical theory” is riddled with contradictions.

          I’ve seen these people try and defend Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and defend China’s increasingly aggressive imperialist and militaristic behaviour, including putting forth justifications for China’s possible future invasion of Taiwan. But they will describe themselves as “anti-imperialist” and “anti-war”.

          Further, in terms of race, we see these same people defend racist “affirmative action” practices that directly discriminate against certain races, i.e. Asian-Americans. But they will describe themselves as “anti-racist”.

      2. From a paper about the ethnicity of Jews in Israel,

        Mizrahi Jews are the largest of the Jewish sub-groups constituting 44.9% of the sample compared to Ashkenazi Jews who constitute 31.8% of our sample. The difference between these two groups is especially evident in the second and third generations. Immigrants from the former Soviet Union comprise 12.4% of the sample. Ethiopian Jews are the smallest origin group constituting only 3% our sample. Only 7.9% all respondents (12.3% of all Israeli-born) have a mixed origin based on their parents or grandparents place of birth.

        so the light-skinned Jews in Israel are outnumbered by the Jews of color.

  2. The hard Left has put its hypocrisy, hatefulness and moral psychosis on full display in Canada too. I have hopes that many people will reject their ideology now that they can see their true colours.

  3. “nothing pains me more right now than college students supporting the Palestinian desire to erase Israel” Seems to me that’s an assumption slanted toward “confirmation bias.”
    Moreover this conflict seems to validate Trump’s statement: “There are good people on both sides … ; which was distorted to mean he supported Black (African American) erasure, or White supremacy.
    In this current war, there are “good people”, meaning Jews and Palestinians on both sides.
    Young people, esp. college students, are so vulnerable.
    This flair up was/is inevitable. Because of the human condition – which is not “fixable”. We (humans) are all vulnerable to erasure/oblivion. And we fight against that. Both/all sides.

    1. Weird wandering word salad. Your comment is the de facto definition: Bravo~

      There was/is nothing inevitable in the “flair up”. (It’s “flare up” btw). And your last paragraph is gibberish, sorry. We humans aren’t vulnerable to death, that means some aren’t. Both/all sides is meaningless. I really have no idea what you’re trying to say, but I imagine a sweaty professor…

  4. The converse is “there are bad people on both sides.” Yes. And but so, we (humans) focus on the threat. And so Trump comes along with a “novel” concept – the art of deal. And yet, Jerry, you hate him?

    1. More word salad, with Jabbour desperately trying to make me say that I like Trump because I share his sentiments. I’m not sure what the comment is even trying to say!

      Yes, I despise Trump and his policies. Now go away.

  5. tRump’s “art” of the deal is to cheat and whine and suck up to belligerent bullies. tRump admires the warmongering Putin and sociopathic, hatemongering, fanatically religious Hamas for being oh so clever and devious.

  6. The reaction of the Left to the Hamas massacre is not surprising if you realize that Leftist morality is always founded on Who/Whom.
    Just like it was laudable when a Proletarian killed a Kulak or when a Red Guard attacked a “capitalist roader”, in the current reigning iteration of Leftism (“Social Justice”), morality means whatever aids a member of a “marginalized group” and/or injures a member of a “privileged group”. Everything flows from who codes as Oppressor and who codes as Oppressed.
    “Everything that allows the triumph of the revolution is moral. Everything that stands in its way is immoral.” Sergey Nechayev
    I’m not sure modern Leftists are necessarily anti-Semitic as much as they are deeply anti-White (European), are dedicated to undoing all of European culture, history and political principles, painting them as illegitimate fruits of oppression, and thus Israel must be vilified (and ideailly eradicated) as it is an outpost of European colonialism.

    1. People’s ideology and religion have a remarkable ability to make them dehumanize other people and make violence possible. Non-religious ideologies as well.
      There were people arguing that we shouldn’t try to do anything about the genital mutilation of girls, because it’s inappropriate for privileged people to try to influence other cultures.

  7. I am deeply disappointed at what has overtaken our universities. Post-modernists who deny the existence of reality, XYZ “Studies” departments that are thinly veiled political action committees, and students so frail that they collapse in a heap over the most trivial “harms.” What disappoints me most, and even scares me, is how university students can stand tall and at the same time defend the murder of children by terrorists. They should hang their heads in shame. Books should—and probably will—be written about how the left drove itself into such moral bankruptcy. The Hamas terror attack against Israel will be a case study for the ages.

  8. The despicable behavior of some students and faculty on campuses, along with the cowardly (also despicable?) behavior of some prominent university administrators, has made our 2024 choices much more clear: you either vote with the Jew haters and the apologists for terrorism, or you vote with the Trump lovers.

    I’m waiting for Biden to tell the above university types and other illiberal “progressives” that he doesn’t want their votes, and for the Trump lovers to give Trump his gaudy gold retirement watch and send him on his way. One can hope.

    1. The despicable behavior of some students and faculty on campuses, along with the cowardly (also despicable?) behavior of some prominent university administrators, has made our 2024 choices much more clear: you either vote with the Jew haters and the apologists for terrorism, or you vote with the Trump lovers.

      *Some*. Conservatives love to highlight outrageous behavior by people on the Left in order to make the Left look bad. But it shouldn’t be taken as characterizing the Left in general, or Democrats.
      Jewish people themselves vote overwhelmingly Democratic, and Biden made it clear the federal government doesn’t support this attack on Israel.

  9. What is called “islamo-gauchisme” in French, i.e. the political alliance of islamists and certain leftists, is a bizarre phenomenon.

  10. Jerry.
    I affirm my general support for Israel and note that the New Zealand media has tended strongly towards the Palestinian cause. Though I believe that Israel is not blameless in this long-standing conflict, I believe that media around the world has presented an unfairly negative picture of Israel and has downplayed the nastiness of particular elements of Palestinian society and the genuine fear that Israeli citizens have held, for decades, of the surrounding nations.

    The behavior of Hamas has been appalling beyond belief. However, how can we justify Israel’s response, clearly punishing and killing non-combatant Palestinian civilians (though this may not be Israel’s intention)? Can the deaths and mutilation of innocent children be considered acceptable collateral damage?

    Here in New Zealand, most of us cannot presume to know what it is like to live as an Israeli citizen, fearful at all times of latent terrorism – and nor can we know what it is like to live as a Palestinian. I cannot know either. However, I do know and talk frequently to Muslim immigrants and Israeli immigrants alike, and try to distill as clear a picture as possible from a very complex and chaotic history.

    But, as a supporter (in general) of Israel, while recognizing injustices to Palestinians, I am greatly disappointed by Israel’s response. For a day or two, the world began to view the Israeli perspective a little more positively, but now we are back to where we were before. Our personal disappointment is that Israel could have led by example and shown restraint, even in the face of the butchery of Hamas. Or – maybe this is a naive reaction, as either inaction or a weak response will encourage further butchery on the part of Hamas?! How can we know?

    We can only hope for all parties to see common sense and behave with greater kindness and humanitarianism – a fatuous statement, perhaps, but sadly the situation is out of the control of New Zealanders and almost everyone else
    David Lillis

    1. Goodwill “for a day or two.” My.

      David, you probably have still a handful of RNZAF aircrew surviving who flew with RAF Bomber Command during the Second World War, as do we in Canada. You do know they dropped 9000 lb of incendiaries out of each bomber onto German cities night after grim night in a deliberate campaign against what was euphemistically called “enemy morale.” Nazi Germany was no threat to New Zealand, not even to your sea trade with North America and the Orient. But still you signed up to incinerate their cities when the King called on the Empire as the only way then to hit back at Hitler. If nothing else it kept thousands of anti-aircraft guns, radars, and night-fighters away from the Russian Front.

      That type of combat, controversial even at the time, is now illegal under international convention. Israel is not a signatory to that convention but it shows restraint in not fighting the way our fathers’ generation did against what is, to Israel, an existential threat.

      You have the luxury of living in a mostly pleasant country that is just about as far away from anyone who wants to harm you as it is humanly possible to get. You no longer have any capability to inflict the type of hurt now that your immediate ancestors did against Germany. (Nor do we. Afghanistan pretty much finished us.) Frankly, Israel doesn’t care whether you support them or not. You, and Canada, are that irrelevant to the world now.

      1. Hi Leslie.
        Fair enough! In fact, I was born in Dublin, Ireland, of mainly English ancestry, and I remember that my grandparents experienced German bombers dropping bombs on Dublin, killing several people. In fact, Germany launched several bombing sorties on Dublin and other cities during 1940 and 1941.

        Yes! I agree that New Zealand is largely irrelevant in this fight and my own opinions of no importance whatsoever. But then we remember John Stuart Mill, in his 1867 address at the University of St. Andrews:

        “Let not any one pacify his conscience by the delusion that he can do no harm if he takes no part, and forms no opinion. Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing. He is not a good man who, without a protest, allows wrong to be committed in his name, and with the means which he helps to supply, because he will not trouble himself to use his mind on the subject.”

        OK. New Zealand is completely inconsequential here, as am I. But slaughter and maiming of innocent children should not be answered by more of the same.

        1. Somehow you don’t seem to realize that “slaughter and maiming of innocent children” is Hamas’s AIM, and that Israel is retaliating for this behavior. As always, Israel is not trying to slaughter innocent children. They may die in the greater war to stop terrorism, and that’s a damn shame, but your accusation of moral equivalance is repugnant.

          What do you want Israel to do. Sit there quietly, try a futile negotiation for two states, and allow its citizens to be killed? Even now Hamas is firing rockets at civilians–deliberately trying to kill them.

          Somehow I think your moral compass has gone askew.

    2. I’ve posted about that. You want israel (but not Hamas) to “show restraint”, i.e. business and usual and leave Hamas in control of Gaza. What are you suggesting? Whatever it is, “kindness” towards butchers determined to destroy Israel is not on the agenda–not until Hamas is gone.

      Your solution is fatuous: “Let’s love each other”. You want Hamas to love Israel and behave with “greater kindness and humanitarianism?” That’s a delusion. Israel and Hamas are not morally equivalent here, but your both side-ism won’t fly.

  11. At this point, Hamas is the authorized government of Gaza. The people of Gaza have voted for, or enabled, or tolerated them for 17 years. Israel is at war with Gaza because they were attacked. Exactly how is this different from Nazi Germany? Israel owes the civilian population of Gaza no more than the Allies owed the civilians of Germany in 1940-1945. Many are innocent, but that cannot mean that Israel should not do what it needs to do to defend itself.

    1. ChrisH51.
      I understand, but surely more restraint on the part of Israel would reduce Palestinian civilian casualties and engender greater support for the Israeli cause?!

  12. It’s absolutely bonkers. I just can’t get my head around the response from “the left” (scare quotes because I accept it’s not all of the left and the term itself is somewhat nebulous).

    Antisemitism is odd and I can’t explain it. If anybody here can I’m genuinely all ears. But Jews seem to have been persecuted since time began by all comers, Arabs and The West, and for seemingly no good reason.

    The left’s response is so incredibly hypocritical it’s infuriating; excusing the most abhorrent terrorism imaginable whilst lamenting misgendering and celebrating Snow White being played by a non-white. The Babylon Bee, as usual, nailed it.

    I like James’ take…if Hamas put down their weapons, there would be peace. If Israel did there would be no Israel. Echoes Sam Harris’ “imagine what would happen if Israel used Israeli human shields” point. No more should need to be said.

    Anyway, sorry that the above doesn’t particularly flow, just a few different points I thought I’d make.

  13. I’m simply showing you the depth of Jew hatred (aka “anti-Zionism”) on college campuses.

    Probably a lot of it isn’t directly anti-Semitism. The Palestinian students probably bring anti-Semitism from their culture, then some people on the Left go along with it and support Palestinian terrorism and murder, because of the tendency on the Left to support the Palestinian side generally. They have ideological blinkers and the atrocity isn’t visible to them.
    Similarly, right after 9/11 there were people in the USA who approved of the attack, as a justified strike by the powerless.

  14. The left needs to deal with its contradictions, once for all.

    It is not acceptable the leftists accuse the right wing of being homophobic and at then support islam, which is perhaps the most homophobic culture in the world. It’s not acceptable the leftists support islam and at the same time claim to support women rights, freedom of speech and secularism.
    Even more unacceptable is that the leftists call themselves anti-Nazis and then side with Palestine, a country where Hitler is considered a hero and Mein Kampf is a best-seller (I heard the second best-selling book after Quran).

    It’s time for the left to make a choice: who do you want to support? homosexuals or islam? women or islam? freedom or islam? Israele or Hamas? Jews or pro-Nazis? you can support both.
    Stop trying to reconcile something that is irreconcilable. Do you like islam, Hamas and Palestine? OK then, side with them, but stop pretending to be anti-Nazi, stop pretending to be a good person: you are just an evil person siding with the devil.

    Meanwhile, waiting for the left to make its choice, I side with the centre-right wing. Strongly. Once the left has made its choice – a clear and firm choice – then perhaps I will go back to the left.

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