update deskIsrael at War

Israeli university presidents urge ban on campus rallies advocating violence

The appeal follows a wave of anti-Israel protests at campuses across the United States featuring both overt and covert praise for Hamas.

A rally at Tulane University in New Orleans got violent after a pro-Palestinian supporter hit a Jewish student in the face on Oct. 26, 2023. Photo by Bali Levine.
A rally at Tulane University in New Orleans got violent after a pro-Palestinian supporter hit a Jewish student in the face on Oct. 26, 2023. Photo by Bali Levine.

The presidents of Israel’s nine leading universities are urging their colleagues around the world to ban campus demonstrations that call for violence against Jews or that advocate Israel’s destruction.

The extraordinary appeal follows a wave of anti-Israel protests at campuses across the United States, some of which have adopted jihadist terminology along with both overt and covert praise for Hamas in the aftermath of the terror group’s Oct. 7 assault on Israel, the deadliest single attack on Jews since the Holocaust.

“Just as it would be unthinkable for an academic institution to extend free speech protections to groups targeting other protected classes, so too should demonstrations that call for our destruction and glorify violence against Jews be explicitly prohibited and condemned,” reads the Nov. 1 letter.

The Israeli university presidents called on academic leaders to accord Jewish and Israeli students and faculty members “the same respect and protections as any other minority,” and urged a “sea change” in academia on Hamas terrorism.

“It’s unsettling to note that many college campuses have become breeding grounds for anti-Israel and antisemitic sentiments, largely fueled by a naïve and biased understanding of the conflict,” they stated. “It is ironic that the very halls of enlightenment in America and Europe, ostensibly the bastions of intellectual and progressive thought that are your campuses, have adopted Hamas as the cause célèbre while Israel is demonized.”

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