Jews on campuses worldwide, including the US, hide their identity and pro-Israel stances as the result of rampant anti-Semitism, a Knesset committee revealed.
Jewish students refrain from openly expressing support for Israel on campuses in the US and Europe due to fears of anti-Semitism, students told the Knesset’s Committee for Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs on Tuesday.
According to a survey presented by the Minister of Diaspora Affairs, in 2015 some 9,000 verbal anti-Semitic attacks were reported on Facebook, 11,354 on Twitter and 4,468 on Instagram. In addition, 4,465 anti-Semitic video clips were posted on YouTube.
It was also found that 40 percent of Europe`s citizens are anti-Semitic and 75 percent of Jewish students in the US were attacked for anti-Semitic reasons.
Jewish students living abroad told the committee that anti-Semitism and the anti-Israel BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanction) movement are causing them to conceal their Jewish identity and their pro-Israel stances.
”Today, anti-Semitism is disguised as excoriating and arsenic criticism towards the Jewish State, mainly on academic campuses, which are dominated by an extreme liberal spirit. Hatred towards the State of Israel is its fuel and engine,” stated Committee Chairman MK Avraham Neguise.
”When it is no longer polite and fashionable to hate Jews as they are,” said Neguise, ”the hatred is disguised as criticism towards the Jewish State.”
Prof. Irwin Cotler, former Justice Minister and Attorney General of Canada, said the current level of anti-Semitism ”is the highest in 40 years, and includes the rejection of Israel`s right to exist at all and the portrayal of Israel as a monster and enemy of mankind.”
Israel is condemned more than any other country, Cotler added. ”And the amazing thing is that the countries which lead the condemnations under the claim of `damage to human rights` are Iran, China, and Saudi Arabia.”
Ido Daniel, program director at Israeli Students Combating Anti-Semitism, spoke of the increasing anti-Semitic incitement on the web. The program`s activists fight anti-Semitism on the web using 16 languages, and have combated more than 30,000 anti-Semitic incidents on social media over the last year.
”People in the world understand that boycott or criticism of Israel`s policy means denial of the Holocaust, the demonization of Jews, and a permit to murder Jews”, he said. ”The outcome is that Jews are afraid to openly express their Judaism”.
MK Aliza Lavie noted that a Jewish friend of hers in Atlanta said that this year she refrained from placing a Chanukah menorah at her window.
Juda Stone of the Jewish Agency warned of the phenomenon of Jewish students afraid of anti-Semitism, which ”leads them to escape their identity”.