CAMERA reported last week that Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapters at colleges and universities expressed their support on social media for the monstrous actions of Hamas following the terrorists’ attack on Israel on Oct. 7. In this hideous crime against humanity, 1,400 people were killed, thousands assaulted and injured, some 200 taken hostage into the Gaza Strip and entire communities in Israel displaced.
On the one-week anniversary of the war crimes, campus groups including SJP and their sympathizers held vigils for the terrorists involved in what they termed “resistance.” They made public displays of support on numerous campuses and issued statements framing Hamas’s sadism and brutality as part of a “decolonization” effort and a “battle for freedom.”
However, SJP’s attempt to celebrate racist mass murder did not go uncontested.
Across the United States, the United Kingdom and Israel, Jewish and pro-Israel communities took a stand. They organized rallies in support of Israel, displaying the faces of the victims, the missing and those held hostage. They published moving statements and reflections in campus publications and organized fundraisers and supply drives to aid those affected.
Now more than ever, it is evident that campus activism in support of Israel is crucial for ensuring the safety and social acceptance of Jewish and pro-Israel students. If you’re a pro-Israel college student who contributed to the display of pro-Israel strength on campus last week and are unsure about what to do next, or if you’ve been on the fence about getting involved, I’d like to suggest some practical steps you can take:
- Join a Strong and Proud Pro-Israel Community: Strength lies in numbers. Belonging to a community committed to truth, cooperation and the open expression of Jewish and Zionist identity is essential to your success as a pro-Israel advocate. Don’t go it alone. Reach out to local organizations like Chabad and Hillel on your campus. Seek out off-campus organizations like CAMERA on Campus to connect with activists across the U.S. dedicated to defending Israel.
- Host Vigils for Hostages and Rallies in Support of Israel: Create spaces for public expressions of support for the State of Israel. It’s equally important to shed light on the impact of Hamas’s actions while respecting the Israeli victims and their families.
- Hold the Liars Accountable: Misinformation campaigns against Israel and the Jewish people are mounting. When you encounter false narratives, it’s the responsibility of each one of us to counter them with facts. Connect with like-minded individuals through chat and social media groups to develop strategic responses to combat campus antisemitism. CAMERA can offer assistance through their dedicated email tip line at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Write: We can help students and community members with strategic responses, including editing and publishing letters to the editor, op-eds and educational materials to inform and mobilize members of the Jewish and pro-Israel community. Learn more about our initiatives at cameraoncampus.org. Publishing articles can play a significant role in countering anti-Israel propaganda that would otherwise go unchallenged.
- Contribute: Israel’s struggle against Hamas is ongoing. If you have the means to help those on the frontlines or those affected by the attacks, there are various charities and nonprofit organizations raising funds. Look for vetted and trustworthy organizations that actively document their impact on the ground. Every bit of support from Jewish communities around the world can aid in efforts to combat Hamas.
Be assured that Israel will emerge triumphant in its fight against the monsters of Hamas. But we must play our part. Wherever we are located, it falls upon the Jewish and pro-Israel communities to stand firm on campus and not waver in the face of anti-Zionist propaganda or violence. We must dare to stand up to verbal and physical aggression, speak the truth and harness our powerful fervor and resolve to garner wider public support for our just cause, demonstrating to detractors that we will not be cowed or intimidated into silence. Make no mistake: History is calling us—calling you—to act today.