OpinionSchools & Higher Education

The anti-American, antisemitic and anti-Israel conquest of academia

The seeds of the campus horrors we witness today were sown many years ago.

A pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel student tent encampment at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif., on April 25, 2024. Credit: Suiren2022 via Wikimedia Commons.
A pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel student tent encampment at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif., on April 25, 2024. Credit: Suiren2022 via Wikimedia Commons.
Sandra Alfonsi. Credit: Courtesy.
Sandra Alfonsi
Dr. Sandra Alfonsi was born and educated in Washington, D.C. She is a Senior Academic Advisor to Laurie Cardoza-Moore and PJTN and a Permanent Member of the National Board of Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America. She currently lives in Jerusalem.

The current situation on college campuses and in K-12 schools across the United States did not emerge in a vacuum. I believe it is the result of years of preparation. It grew from seeds planted some time ago in the soil of American academia. These seeds were planted by foreign actors determined to infiltrate and indoctrinate the nation. They hoped this would destroy our republic and all it represents.

First and foremost, they desired the destruction of America’s Judeo-Christian foundation. Islamism and globalism are organizing and funding this attack. They are doing so because their ideologies are anti-Western, anti-Judaism and anti-Christianity.

Let me, an American academic and former university professor, be perfectly clear: The once sacred “Halls of Ivy”—as American institutions of higher education were referred to by many—no longer exist and, in my opinion, will never exist again.

An overt anti-America ideology permeates academia from the top echelon (the professors and the administration} down to the lowest (the student body). This ideology is anti-America, anti-West, anti-Israel and antisemitic, which is pure Jew-hatred wrapped in a more acceptable name.

This ideology is not new. In the past, it was more skillfully hidden and cloaked in acceptable terms. Now, the façade has been removed. New words have been created; a new language is being spoken; there are new “oppressors” and a new “oppressed.” There are new policies like Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). There are entirely new areas of study—such as Critical Race Theory, Critical Ethnic Studies and Critical Zionist Studies—each debased by Marxism, Islamism, anti-Americanism, antisemitism and anti-Zionism.

Antisemitism is nothing new in academia. It has been part of the American educational system since I was in elementary school. It never went away; it merely changed its form.

I grew up in Washington, D.C., at a time when Jews were not permitted to live in certain neighborhoods. As a result, certain schools were not open to us. This was overt anti-Semitism. Tests were given on Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and other Jewish holidays. This was covert antisemitism. 

When I started college, there were unofficial “quotas” imposed to limit the number of Jewish students. There was “quiet” antisemitism against students and professors. Over 10 years of study, I acquired a B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. I began teaching at the university level while studying for my M.A. Thus, I can bear witness to the vile academic antisemitism I faced as a student and a professor.

But this antisemitism appeared to be a more “civilized” antisemitism; until I was blacklisted by the head of the Middle Eastern Studies Department. My crime was supposedly being an extremist because I am a Jew.

What had I done to earn this indictment? I was a faculty advisor to the Middle Eastern Studies Club. I was chosen by my students, who believed that I could get along with Arab, Christian and Jewish students and speakers. The word “extremist” used against me and blamed on my Judaism is proof that, even then, academia had been infiltrated and indoctrinated by Islamism.

It was then that I understood where this infiltration and indoctrination was leading. I knew that I, as a Jewish professor, had no recourse against this antisemitism, neither in the university nor in the Jewish community. Only the academic consul at the Israeli consulate in New York stood by me.

By 1995, this indoctrination had become my field of research. I often gave speeches on the subject. I am both proud and saddened that the Israeli consulate remained my only ally. It also helped ensure that my research was brought to the attention of both the American and Israeli governments.

But the leftist U.S. State Department and leftist Israeli leaders refused to acknowledge my research into anti-Israelism, antisemitism and anti-Americanism in doctoral dissertations and K-12 curricula. The same is true of most Jewish organizations and their leaders. Only National Hadassah gave me an important venue to discuss curriculum and textbook issues. 

Now, as academic advisor to Proclaiming Justice to the Nations, which is led by Laurie Cardoza-Moore, I finally have an all-encompassing platform from which to create white papers on these issues. The topics include the physical, emotional and intellectual impact of the indoctrination-fueled campus riots on American Jewish students, professors and teachers; the Arab and globalist funding of American education; the reappearance of Holocaust denial and/or revisionism; the pervasive attack on our Constitution; the use of offensive anti-Israel slogans and propaganda; and many others.

Unless we eliminate the ancient, potent curse of Jew-hatred, however, my work will be to no avail. There are parties in America who want to lead the country down a dark path: To hold Israel and the world hostage to their genocidal Marxist, Islamist, antisemitic and anti-Israel ideology.

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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