Here we go again. Israel faces growing international criticism over its behaviour towards Palestinians. And what happens? Jewish lobby groups cry “anti-Semitism”. If anybody faces hatred simply because they are Jewish, that’s utterly unacceptable. But legitimate arguments against Zionist occupation, West Bank settlements, the siege on Gaza and racism inside Israel isn’t anti-Semitism and no amount of whinging from Jews will change that. Get over the victimhood:
Most Jewish students at universities in Victoria have experienced or witnessed antisemitism, a study by the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC) has found.
Fifty Jewish students filled in a questionnaire about their on-campus experiences. More than two thirds (68 per cent) said they had experienced or witnessed antisemitism. Written material, such as posters and signs, were the most common form of antisemitism, followed by verbal attack and prejudice.
Most of the antisemitism was linked to attacks on Israel with cases of Jewish students being abused as “terrorists” or “racists”, Jewish symbols being distorted into swastikas and lectures being interrupted by activists screaming “Jews are murderers”.
There were also cases of students being told not to vote for a student candidate because he was Jewish, of a religious Jew abused for wearing a skullcap and of a student who said she was marked down after a lecturer found out she was Jewish.
Students reported more widespread antisemitism at La Trobe University than at Deakin, Melbourne or Monash. All of the La Trobe Jewish students who responded to the survey said they had experienced or witnessed antisemitism and 85 per cent considered antisemitism a problem at the university. Most of the La Trobe students said either they or their friends sometimes hide the fact that they are Jewish to avoid abuse.
Few students at other universities said they hid their Jewishness to avoid attack or abuse but most said they knew Jewish students who did.
The questionnaire also uncovered cases of faculty members using their positions to launch polemics against Israel or make antisemitic statements in ways which intimidated Jewish students.
ADC Chairman Mr Anton Block said the research showed antisemitism on campus was more widespread than previously thought.
“Campus has become an uncomfortable, even intimidating environment for many Jewish students. If students mention they have been to Israel or even just say that they are Jewish they face abuse. Eighteen year olds get called murderers when they wear a souvenir t-shirt from Israel.
“University administrations have a responsibility to clamp down on the kind of political activity that is just an excuse for vilification. Jewish students have a right to feel safe and comfortable on campus.”