By Evelyn Markus
Last weekend the University
of Minnesota hosted the yearly conference of Students for Justice in Palestine
(SJP). SJP has about 200 branches on university campuses throughout the United
States and is affiliated with the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions
(BDS) movement against Israel. SJP is known for its defamation of Israel and
its intimidation and harassment of Israeli and Jewish students and speakers on
campus. The Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee and the
Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy have condemned SJP’s
behavior as antisemitic. Yet, SJP received the NYU’s President’s Service Award
last April for "its positive impact on the New York University community."
Why is an organization with this track record tolerated and even awarded by American
universities? The answer lies in the fact that far left thinking is now dominating
at American universities. In the Marxist way of thinking, the world consists of
only two categories: the oppressed and their oppressors. The Palestinians are
seen as the oppressed and Israel as the colonial oppressor. On top of this, Palestinians
are seen as non-white and therefore as underprivileged, while Jews are
categorized as white and privileged.
Many people on the far left underestimate how vulnerable the Jews have been throughout
history. Even though Jews came to thrive in many civilizations, there always
came the moment of persecution. Jewish people need a safe space, which is
Israel. Denying Israel’s right to exist, demonizing it and singling it out for
punishment is antisemitic.
Universities in America
should acknowledge that Jewish students on campuses suffer from anti-Zionist
intimidation and aggression and have to hide a part of their identity - their
positive relationship with Israel. It is time American universities stop
ignoring the hate coming from Students for Justice in Palestine.