First Publish: 10/1/2014, 11:00 PM
By Cynthia Blank
A group of fourteen diverse organizations have banded together to deliver a letter to more than 2,500 US colleges and universities urging such institutions to protect Jewish students on campus in lieu of rising anti-Semitism across the globe.
The organizations include: Alpha Epsilon Pi, AMCHA Initiative, American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists, Americans for Peace and Tolerance, Christians United for Israel, Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), David Horowitz Freedom Center, Hasbara Fellowships, Institute for Black Solidarity with Israel, Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, Simon Wiesenthal Center Campus Outreach, StandWithUs, and the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA).
In the letter, the groups advance the idea that, “none of us should tolerate a campus climate of fear or disrespect, which can seriously impair the physical and psychological health of students and create conditions that negatively affect their learning and their ability to achieve their full potential.”
The letter particularly raises concern over the actions of the anti-Israel campus group Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), which has a history of “harassing and intimidating Jewish students.”
The letter mentions several incriminating incidents including a pro-Israel student being physically and verbally assaulted at Temple University, as well as SJP’s slipping mock eviction notices under the doors of students’ dorm rooms in universities such as the University of Michigan, the University of North Carolina, and New York University, just to name a few.
In their letter, the organizations stress that colleges and universities are responsible for protecting Jewish students from anti-Semitism under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act.
“Jews around the world are being held collectively responsible for Israel’s actions, which are defensive and undertaken to protect its people,” the letterstates. “This is anti-Semitism, according to U.S. government standards.”