‘Open Hillel’ Legitimizes Anti-Semitism
October 27, 2014

Published October 14, 2014

Some Jews fought with the Greeks and Romans against their fellow Jews. Some sympathized with the crusades and the pogroms. Some Jews even supported the Nazis leading up to World War II.

The story is no different today. There is still a very small – but vocal – minority of Jews who sympathize with those who want to kill us. There is still a fringe sect of Jewish society that finds it necessary to love those who seek to kill us and blame us for our enemies’ baseless hatred.

These views include comparing the Jewish state to the Nazis, calling for the isolation of the only Jewish state and holding it to an impossible standard, and calling for the annihilation of Jewish self-determination. 

Enter ‘Open Hillel’, a fringe group of Jewish students and young professionals who seek to legitimize the world’s worst anti-Semites and invite anti-Semitism into the Jewish community. From welcoming supporters of genocidal terrorist organizations (BDS advocates and other ‘Open Hillel’ conference speakers – see below) to partnering with those who seek to wipe Israel off the map (for example, Students for Justice in Palestine), ‘Open Hillel’ is the newest version of Jewish legitimization of anti-Semitism.

‘Open Hillel’ seeks to change the Hillel guidelines regarding Israel programming on campuses to include those who seek the boycott and demonization of Israel and the destruction of the Jewish people and Jewish state. Hillel, according to its guidelines, is already open to all views on Israel, unless those views include a) the boycott of Israel, b) the demonization of Israel, or c) the destruction of Israel. So, by default, all ‘Open Hillel’ advocates for is the inclusion of Israel-hating views in mainstream Jewish society.

These views include comparing the Jewish state to the Nazis, calling for the isolation of the only Jewish state and holding it to an impossible standard, and calling for the annihilation of Jewish self-determination. The US State Department considers these views anti-Semitic, and most Jews also consider these views hateful and anti-Jewish.

‘Open Hillel’ seeks to invite those who support Hamas (an internationally-recognized terrorist group that openly calls for the genocide of the Jewish people) into Hillels on college campuses. It seeks to invite with open arms those who call for intifadas (terrorism against Jewish civilians). These views should be included and imposed upon college students as legitimate ideas, according to ‘Open Hillel’.

‘Open Hillel’ recently held its first conference, where it invited guests such as Rashid Khalidi, who gave a keynote address, and Judith Butler, who spoke about anti-Semitism. Khalidi acted as a spokesperson for the PLO while the PLO was an internationally-recognized terrorist organization. He also still calls for the extermination of the Jewish state. Butler refers to Hamas and Hezbollah (both of which call for the killing of Jewish civilians worldwide) as “social movements that are progressive“; she refers to the genocide of the Jewish people as a social and progressive movement. Again, she spoke about anti-Semitism.

By advocating for the inclusion of this baseless hatred, ‘Open Hillel’ is legitimizing anti-Semitism and inviting this age-old disease onto college campuses.

‘Open Hillel’ members continuously claim that they are simply trying to allow criticism of Israel under the Hillel tent. But they fail to realize that criticism of Israel is already welcome under Hillel’s tent. What they do not realize is that a line exists between legitimate criticism of Israel and calling for its demonization, isolation, or annihilation, all of which are anti-Semitic, even according to the US government.

Would the NAACP invite the KKK to campus to preach racism? Should the Jewish community invite anti-Semites to campus to spread hate speech and call for an end to Jewish self-determination?

This article was originally printed by Times of Israel and may be found here.


  • Center for Law & Justice
    We work to educate the American public and Congress about legal issues in order to advance the interests of Israel and the Jewish people.
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