web analytics
August 29, 2014 / 3 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

The Real Danger To Israel On Campus


There is a serious threat facing Israel’s long-term standing in this country resulting from a prolonged campaign to delegitimize the Jewish state on campus. But it’s probably not what you think.

What commonly incurs Jewish indignation are the more blatant anti-Israel spectacles. They range from “apartheid walls” – barriers erected by anti-Israel students to signify the Israeli security fence – to mock security checkpoints, from boycotts and divestment initiatives aimed at impeding university investments in Israel to hostile anti-Israel protests such as last year’s disruption orchestrated by students at the University of California, Irvine, of Israeli U.S. Ambassador Michael Oren’s speech.

While these hostile activities unquestionably are meant to portray Israel as an oppressive and illegitimate state, such inflammatory acts do not resonate with the vast majority on campus. In recent focus groups conducted by The Israel Project, a diverse set of students was nearly unified in its opposition to boycotts and other such tactics, regardless of the students’ feelings about the Jewish state.

The use of these tactics is certainly growing, but support for them is not.

In the fall semester of 2010, a watered-down resolution calling on Princeton University to sell non-Israeli hummus alongside the Sabra brand was defeated overwhelmingly because it smacked of a boycott. At Columbia, a mock checkpoint, where volunteers were blindfolded and forced to kneel at “gunpoint” in front of students dressed as barking Israeli soldiers, failed to resonate with more than the radical fringe of the student body.

The real danger is that the present campus environment in the United States may adversely affect the future of U.S. support for Israel. Americans may never become Israel haters, as we see in parts of Europe – hostility has been mainstreamed there, potentially affecting diplomatic and economic ties with Israel, and London has been dubbed the “Mecca of delegitimization” by the Israeli think tank Re’ut – but they may cease to be Israel lovers.

Last fall, the student Democrats at a prominent university wrote to the pro-Israel student leadership of the university that they had adopted “a policy of non-endorsement on Israel-Palestine issues.” The student Democrats explained that there was too much division in their own ranks to continue to co-sponsor pro-Israel student activities.

Such a letter may not make your blood boil like an apartheid wall, but it is far more ominous.

For decades the pro-Israel community has enjoyed bipartisan support for Israel in the United States. Congress members from both parties typically vote overwhelmingly in Israel’s favor. This support influences the actions of the White House, which in turn acts to protect Israel from the scourge of hostility it faces elsewhere in the international community.

While young people and particularly mainstream Democrats exposed to hostility on campus may not now or ever join the movement to boycott Israel, over time they may feel less sympathetic toward the Jewish state and more ambivalent about the special relationship between the U.S. and Israel. When these young leaders become the next generation of Democratic Party representatives, it may become much tougher to garner those large bipartisan majorities.

While it is important to oppose walls and boycotts, it is far more critical that we create the kind of environment on campus that will sustain two-party support into the future.

(JTA)


David Bernstein is executive director of The David Project.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “The Real Danger To Israel On Campus”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
ISIS in Quneitra
Updates from Kuneitra, Syria [video]
Latest Indepth Stories
IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz reviewing maps on the Golan Heights.

The bad news is that ISIS and Al Qaeda are on the Syrian Golan. The good news is that every terrorist in Syria is killing each other.

TorahScroll AoT17

The congregants, Ethiopians spanning generations, were beaming with joy and pride.

Troodler-082914

The withdrawal from the Gaza Strip nine years ago did not enhance Israel’s security.

Eisenstock-082914

How does a soldier from a religious home fall in love with a soldier from a non- religious kibbutz?

In 19th century entire ancient Jewish communities fled Palestine to escape brutal Muslim authorities

Responsibility lies with both the UN and Hamas, and better commitments should have been demanded from both parties in the ceasefire.

But the world is forever challenging our Jewish principle and our practices.

If this is how we play the game, we will lose. By that I mean we will lose everything.

Reportedly, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates have formed a bloc that seeks to counter Islamist influence in the Middle East.

One wonders how the IDF could be expected to so quickly determine the facts.

While there is no formula that will work for everyone, there are some strategies that if followed carefully and consistently can help our children – and us – gain the most from the upcoming school year.

We risk our lives to help those who do what they can to kill to our people .

Twain grasped amazingly well the pulse of the Jewish people.

The entertainment industry appears divided about the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

More Articles from David Bernstein

There is a serious threat facing Israel’s long-term standing in this country resulting from a prolonged campaign to delegitimize the Jewish state on campus. But it’s probably not what you think.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/the-real-danger-to-israel-on-campus/2011/01/12/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: