A report by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) watchdog group has found a significant rise in anti-Israel activity on US college campuses over the past academic year.
The report also makes projections for the 2015-2016 academic year, which has begun with an upsurge in anti-Israel events, backing from university departments, and a continued Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement to demonize and delegitimize the Jewish state.
“At the same time that these events have been taking place, anti-Israel groups have hurled accusations suggesting that the pro-Israel community is engaged in a collective effort to stifle their speech,” the report reads.
As a first step to respond to these challenges, ADL announced a new social media initiative, @CampusADL, intended to support students facing anti-Israel activity and anti-Semitism on campus.
The report highlights a significant increase in BDS campaigns and other explicitly hostile programs against Israel during the 2015 academic year:
- In Fall 2015, over 150 explicitly anti-Israel events have taken place, up from 105 events that occurred during the same period in 2014;
- 15 anti-Israel events have been sponsored or co-sponsored by university departments, including at the University of California-Berkley, Drew University and John Jay College of Criminal Justice;
- At least 10 percent of events have been co-sponsored by student groups whose primary missions do not focus on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, effectively sending a message to the general campus community that their missions are aligned.
“Student groups at a number of campuses are sponsoring a range of programs and initiatives designed with one goal: to isolate, defame and delegitimize Israel,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO. “Many of these efforts have resulted in increased tension between students and have fostered a hostile atmosphere for pro-Israel and Jewish students. We are particularly concerned by the support these initiatives have received from faculty members.”
Read the full ADL report here