“How has it happened that people are trying to turn Hillel into a place that is more accommodating to those who want to bash Israel, rather than those who just want to learn more about, and to support, Israel?”
Fils explained that part of what is happening is that the majority of students are being silenced by the activists. He also said there are places where the Hillel leadership respond to, and sometimes identify with the bullies, rather than trying to discern what the majority wants.
Safe Hillel will not only have a website and a Facebook page, but it will also have an anonymous tipline which will be set up so that students can report incidents that make them uncomfortable at their own campus Hillels, where a minority of students are pushing to provide platforms for speakers or partnerships which are anti-Israel. All of these tools will be active by mid-March.
The information from the tipline would be provided to Hillel professionals, and the professionals would decide whether action needs to be taken or not, and if so, what kind.
“Right now there are students on campuses who are afraid to speak and who are not feeling supported,” Fils explained. “We want to keep Hillel safe, it is the last safe place on campus for pro-Israel students, and we don’t want that taken away.”