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Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
Strategic Alliances for a Secure, Connected, and Prosperous Region

Hatred of Israel Invades Universities in Europe and America

Filed under: Europe, Israel, Operation Swords of Iron

Hatred of Israel Invades Universities in Europe and America
French Students, inspired by Gaza solidarity encampments at campuses around the United States, barricaded the Sciences-Po University in Paris on April 26, 2024. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

Universities in Europe and America are changing hands and faces. Politicization reigns, and knowledge is monopolized and held hostage by ultra-leftists and extremely liberal NGOs. Students demand to cut off all contact with Israel, while money invested by Arab emirs and dubious philanthropists dictates the academic agenda to the faculty.

In the 1930s, Jews were forbidden to study in colleges, universities were “cleansed of Jews,” and the infamous Judenrein policy sowed blind and black terror. Today, Jews are pushed to the outskirts of society, threatened and intimidated by antisemitic incidents and waves of pro-Palestinian protests. Hatred is invading prestigious universities, including Colombia and Sciences Po in Paris. The war in the Gaza Strip has led to increased mobilization and violent clashes on campuses with the security forces.

In 1968, it was the Vietnam War that mobilized young Americans. A revolt quickly turned into a global protest movement across all continents: against capitalism, against racism, against the establishment. Bob Dylan’s and Joan Baez’s guitars at festivals replaced the assault rifles of the Marines against the Viet Cong. Naïve and hollow slogans were spread. “All You Need Is Love” by the Beatles became the anthem of youth. Mao Zedong and Che Guevara were the new idols. 

In France, we witnessed violent demonstrations and a general and wildcat strike. A huge mess, a real hustle and bustle.

The Gaza Solidarity encampment at Columbia University in New York City on April 21, 2024
The Gaza Solidarity encampment at Columbia University in New York City on April 21, 2024. (CC0)

Six decades later, the students revolt for another cause far beyond their borders. Then, as now, everything is confused, and public opinion is deceived. They ignore the bloodthirsty totalitarians who ruled Soviet and Chinese communism. The idols of the time were only illusionary props. History and geography are systematically shunned. In universities, ignorance of the Arab-Israeli conflict triumphs. Worse, the barbaric leaders of Hamas are exemplary fighters and heroes for the new generation. The loudspeakers scream: “Palestine will win… apartheid… genocide… occupation…” Wearing their black and white checkered keffiyehs, the demonstrators chant: “From the river to the sea!” without understanding the meaning of this despicable slogan, without knowing that it would lead to the “total destruction of the State of Israel.”

The October 7, 2023 invasion, massacres, rapes, and Israeli hostages are entirely forgotten. The hateful and bloodthirsty rhetoric of Hamas leaders is glorified. The media report and disseminate the “facts,” but as usual, the “intellectuals” and the “privileged observers” justify the anger without strongly condemning the clearly antisemitic and anti-Israel slogans.

What Should Be the Rule on Campus?

The discussion or debate of a subject on campus is wholly natural and legitimate. We should listen to different opinions and organize events and demonstrations, but do so respectfully through sincere dialogue led by honest teachers. Faculty in schools and universities should teach students to think creatively, always with enthusiasm but without violence or hatred.

Universities are centers of knowledge and learning. Today’s students will be tomorrow’s leaders, business leaders, intellectuals, and opinion leaders. Their duty will be to move societies forward, change the world, eradicate terrorism, and act for the peace and prosperity of humanity.

Unfortunately, misinformation about the reality in Israel and the Arab-Israeli conflict dominates the debates. In some schools and universities, a dissertation or thesis that does not correspond to the line of thought of the professors or an academic jury may not pass the test. Students are forced to align themselves with their teachers’ beliefs to get a good grade.

During the Jordanian occupation of the West Bank and Egypt’s occupation of Gaza (1949-1967), universities hardly existed. Democratic values were achieved thanks to Israel. The Jewish State allowed Arab students to study on their own campuses. Since then, the Israeli administration has permitted opening eight universities in the territories. However, the knowledge students gained was manipulated and truncated. They did not use it to achieve peace and coexistence but for military and terrorist purposes, simply to take revenge. 

A Scourge Exists in Europe and, Particularly, in France.

Those responsible for the hatred against Israel are the educators and imams, but above all, the governments in Europe and America that negligently and recklessly allowed the activities of BDS and the unfettered religious extremism of Islamists. They refused to act decisively against the waves of violence under the pretext of free expression.

In reality, fear of the terrorist threat hangs over all the chancelleries. Purely political reasons and electoral interests remain a priority for all campaign leaders.

Tomorrow – if not already – the “madmen of Allah” will threaten and boycott big business, sports, and culture, and then they will invade the classrooms of primary and secondary schools.