We’ve all seen the headlines: Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapters continue to set up encampments and lead disruptive anti-Israel protests at commencement ceremonies, in lecture halls, and at other events.

SJP chapters and their counterparts, including those in the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) umbrella, remain committed to their unified post-October 7th message to eliminate Israel, incite violence against all who oppose them, and to whitewash Hamas’ terrorism.

This isn’t a secret. As early as October 8th, SJP chapters across the country praised the Hamas attacks, and five days later, many participated in a “Global Day of Resistance.”

Now, in the face of the belligerent and hateful protests organized by these same bad actors, the presidents of a few academic institutions have chosen to give in to an ignorant and illiberal mob, seeking to placate the bigoted demands of the Hamas terror supporters and their useful idiots.

What’s Happening

As part of an April 30th agreement with encampment organizers, Brown University President Paxon promised to invite a delegation of students to meet with members of the Brown Corporation to discuss “divestment”.

On May 1st, negotiations between encampment organizers and President Schill at Northwestern University, resulted in a pledge to “provide a forum for ethical and social issues that may be raised by members of the Northwestern University.”

On May 2nd, Rutgers University also agreed to “discuss the divestment request” with five student representatives.

On May 8th, Occidental College’s President Stritkus and the Board of Trustees agreed to “hold a vote on pro-Palestinian protesters’ calls to divest from companies with ties to Israel.”

In reality, these type of boycott and divestment initiatives have been prohibited by 37 state legislatures.

Why? Because if these BDS policies were enacted, their intended target’s livelihoods would be put in jeopardy on the basis of who they are, not because of any Israeli policy that someone might oppose. Calls to divestment are really calls to divest from and destroy the Jewish State.

Furthermore, the anti-Israel protesters aren’t just calling for the destruction of Israel; they are essentially advocating for a monopoly on the truth.

These radical antisemites would turn their schools into brainwashing diploma mills akin to the Soviet era universities that produced pseudo-scholarshipthat gave credence to antisemitic conspiracies like the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. At the end of the day, do we want our future leaders to be responsible critical thinkers, or do we want them to be loud mindless drones working to promote a foreign, illiberal cause?

If Presidents Schill, Holloway, Paxson, and Stritkus believe that by feeding morsels to the proverbial crocodile they will be satisfied, those presidents are sorely mistaken. They are encouraging lawlessness and abetting radical antisemites in their attacks on Israel — but also on Jewish students and faculty. The “channels of communication” are already being abused. One must wonder what tomorrow’s demands might be once today’s have been met.

Since 2021, for example, the SJP chapter at U Chicago has insisted on the boycott of classes taught by Israeli professors with dozens of Instagram postsattempting to associate courses and faculty members with baseless claims of racism, genocide, and the spread of “Zionist propaganda.”

One positive step is US Congressional hearings to hold administrators accountable and responsible. This is a step in the right direction, given that funding for these public and private universities should be challenged if they are not complying with Federal anti-discrimination laws.

Donors to private institutions also have a responsibility to insist that their funds are not being used to instill what is clearly antisemitism in the next generation of leaders.

We must also examine the role of faculty in the alarming and deep-seated hate-mongering that currently holds American higher education captive. There is precedent for revoking tenured status due to “moral turpitude,” such as when a professor was fired in 2020 after using a racial slur. Among other strategies, we must pressure university stakeholders to apply this same standard to the radicalized tenured faculty members who have been inciting Jew-hatred unabated for decades.

If anything is crystal clear, it is that Jewish students very often cannot count on their university administrations to stand up for their right to live without fear. Students must continue to press that leadership to take strong action. At the same time, the spectacle of recent months has exposed many across America — of all backgrounds — to how flawed, unethical, and in need of redress much of higher education really is.

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