OpinionSchools & Higher Education

How to fight the ‘hate revolution’ on America’s campuses

If schools themselves cannot keep order and ensure justice, state or federal authorities must be called in.

A pro-Hamas protest encampment on the campus of Columbia University in New York City, April 22, 2024. Credit: Lev Radin/Shutterstock.
A pro-Hamas protest encampment on the campus of Columbia University in New York City, April 22, 2024. Credit: Lev Radin/Shutterstock.
James Sinkinson
James Sinkinson
James Sinkinson is president of Facts and Logic About the Middle East (FLAME), which publishes educational messages to correct lies and misperceptions about Israel and its relationship to the United States.

Last week at Columbia University, a rioting mob broke into an administration building, barricaded themselves inside and briefly took a university employee hostage. Columbia is one of more than 50 colleges and universities throughout the United States where pro-Hamas, pro-Iran students (and some faculty) have terrorized Jewish and other students by seizing campus property with anarchic, hate-filled demonstrations.

While the demonstrators represent themselves as pro-Palestinian, they are in fact pro-terrorist, antisemitic and anti-American. They are engaged in a “hate revolution” that spineless college administrators have failed to control.

Such disruptive demonstrations were spawned by decades of neo-Marxist ideology that infested and now dominates American academia. This legitimizes violence and intimidation against groups like Jews and institutions like the United States that are demonized as “oppressors.” As a result, Jewish students are often afraid to go to class and prevented from moving freely about campus for fear of harassment by antisemitic thugs.

The uprisings are not just a threat to Jewish students. They’re a threat to America itself. These violent “protestors” openly condemn America and support America’s enemies—including global jihadi sponsor Iran and its terrorist proxies like Hamas.

In short, it’s unconscionable that administrators at American colleges and universities are incapable of stopping this hate revolution. They should be terminated by their trustees. To fortify our commitment to the rule of law, student safety and academic freedom, Congress should withhold funding from institutions that fail to uphold state and federal laws. Schools should expel students—and fire faculty—who use violence, engage in illegal activities and promote Jew-hatred. Finally, it means responding immediately to any group that deprives students of their civil rights because of ethnicity, religion or political expression.

Jewish students face an explosion of hate and violence on college campuses. According to Hillel International, since Oct. 7 the number of antisemitic incidents on U.S. campuses has surged 700% over the same period a year ago. Indeed, between Oct. 7 and the end of 2023, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) recorded 732 campus-based antisemitic incidents, compared to just 63 in the same period in 2022.

Hateful rhetoric against Jews and Israel includes outright support for Hamas’s brutal Oct. 7 massacre. At Columbia University, for example, demonstrators chanted at Jews, “The 7th of October will be every day for you.” Protesters on multiple campuses have also displayed the symbols of US-designated terror groups, including the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and Hezbollah.

In addition to hateful rhetoric, Jews on campus also experience intimidation and violence. At the University of California at Berkeley, for instance, “pro-Palestinian” protesters broke into a building where an Israeli lawyer was to speak, screaming “Jew! Jew! Jew!” and causing attendees to flee.

Shai Davidai, an Israeli professor at Columbia University, was put under investigation after condemning campus antisemitism. Later, his ID card was deactivated, preventing him from accessing the main campus. Antisemitism at Columbia is so threatening that a rabbi at the school sent a letter to Jewish students advising them not to show up on campus.

This violent revolutionary movement is rooted in neo-Marxism, which divides the world into oppressors and oppressed. Oppressors must be defeated “by any means necessary”—a slogan seen at many anti-Israel protests, along with the genocidal demand to conquer Israel “from the river to the sea.” This ideology has inspired Critical Race Theory (CRT) and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) policies. It classifies people, organizations and nations into categories of good and evil according to their hierarchy on the oppressor-oppressed scale.

Campus revolutionaries consider Jews, Israel and the the United States to be “white” oppressors and therefore subject to violent “resistance.” No wonder pro-Hamas protestors scream, “Death to America! Death to Israel!”

College administrators have scandalously failed to do their jobs: Their foremost responsibilities are to protect students’ safety and academic freedom. That means honoring the open search for truth and free expression of diverse opinions—forbidding “cancel culture”—as well as preventing antisemitism and genocidal calls for the destruction of Israel.

How do we shut down the “hate revolution”? First, university administrators who fail to punish violence and hate speech—and fail to protect academic freedom—should be removed. Protests expressing Jew-hatred or disrupting students’ movements must be shut down and those who violate school policies must be suspended or expelled.

Second, Congress should increase penalties related to antisemitic and unlawful behavior, as well as violence of any kind. These should include harsh financial sanctions on schools and the revocation of visas for foreign students who participate in unlawful activities.

Third, colleges should face dire legal consequences for failing to stamp out antisemitism. Columbia University, for example, now faces a lawsuit that alleges “round-the-clock” harassment of Jewish students; who have been punched, shoved, spat on and blocked from attending classes. Other schools, including Harvard University, New York University, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of California, Berkeley, face similar lawsuits.

Fourth, donors should withhold gifts from colleges that refuse to act against antisemitism. Many donors have already ceased their giving, including Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots football team, who pulled his support from Columbia University due to unchecked Jew-hatred.

Fifth, restrict financial influence on U.S. campuses by America’s enemies. The authors of a 2022 study conducted by the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy (ISGAP) suggested a correlation between schools that receive foreign funding and antisemitic or anti-Israel rhetoric, as well as antisemitic activity. For example, sources from Qatar, which supports Hamas financially, gave more than $2.7 billion in gifts to American post-secondary institutions between 2014 and 2019.

The current behavior of the “pro-Palestinian” protesters at colleges and universities across the U.S. is hateful, harmful and too often unlawful—it’s terrorism on campus. If recent outrages suffered by Jewish college students were directed against any other ethnic or “marginalized” groups on campus, it would not be tolerated for a minute, let alone seven months.

School administrators have a moral and legal duty to protect students from violence and hate, as well as impartially enforce their own policies and those of the state. Those who hesitate to act definitively must be fired. If schools themselves cannot keep order and ensure justice, state or federal authorities must be called in.

Originally published by Facts & Logic About the Middle East (FLAME).

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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