Unfortunately, we have another example of anti-Semitism on an American college campus. This past Wednesday at University of California-Irvine, a Jewish sophomore named Eliana Kopley was on her way to an event to watch a documentary about the Israeli Defense Forces, but an angry anti-Israel mob had other plans.
As she arrived at the event hosted by Students Supporting Israel, Ms. Kopley was met by an angry crowd pounding on the doors and windows—engaged in violent chants targeting the Jewish state.
They weren’t done. Soon, the group started chanting anti-Semitic messages.
With the crowd physically forbidding Ms. Kopley from attending the event and chants inciting violence against Jews and Israel such as “Intifada, Intifada—Long live the Intifada!” and “F**k Israel!” Ms. Kopley walked away from the scene.
Kopley was “terrified” during the episode, she said.
Kopley is just one of many pro-Israel students who have had to fear for their safety on their respective campuses. A group called Students for Justice in Palestine is often the common denominator for these incidents of threats and intimidation. At Northeastern University in 2011, they interrupted a Holocaust remembrance event. At Temple University, one SJP member punched a Jewish student in the face. At Loyola University, they verbally assaulted their Jewish peers.
Other students have been joining the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, an effort to place economic pressure on Israel, at an alarming rate.
Where is this anti-Israel hatred coming from? Some would argue the media is to blame for stoking the fire. For far too long, the press has defined Israel as an aggressor who has treated her Palestinian neighbors unfairly. The Obama administration has helped to bolster this narrative. In October, the White House accused Israel of using “excessive force” in its response to Palestinian violence.
The more we hear rhetoric like this from our national leaders, the more ammunition anti-Israel groups will have to try to justify their intimidating acts on campus.
College campuses are supposed to be “safe spaces?” Tell that to the Jewish students who are routinely bullied and ostracized.