Spike in campus anti-Semitism worrisome
The report from the AMCHA Initiative shows that anti-Semitic activity skyrocketed by 40 percent last year at the college and university campuses with the largest number of Jewish students. Tammi Rossman Benjamin with the AMCHA Initiative wasn’t surprised by the finding.
“I guess [it’s] not surprising because of the current climate in the country in general – but surprising to find it on campus and not necessarily from the traditional, classic anti-Semitic sources,” she shares.
According to the report, while the number of anti-Semitic incidents increased, the total number of schools affected did not – “indicating that a select number of schools are experiencing surges” in such activity.
The findings also suggest what the report describes as “a troubling increase in universally intolerant, hateful behavior” directed at various other campus groups – including immigrants, LGBTQ students, and those with differing political opinions or ideologies. The AMCHA spokesperson says that reveals a misunderstanding of the First Amendment.
“You can express yourself to your heart’s content until such time as your expression stops my expression – and then it’s no longer free expression,” says Benjamin, who supports the right to free speech. “… What you’re doing is actually harmful and needs to be stopped.”
The report identifies seven schools having the largest increase in anti-Semitic activity over the last year: Columbia University (35 incidents), Vassar College (23), New York University (16), University of Chicago (18), University of Wisconsin Madison (13), University of Minnesota (15), and Ohio State University (13).