The anti-Israel movement on U.S. campuses today unfairly targets Israel and its supporters, and often isolates and ostracizes Jewish students because, for many, a connection to the Jewish state is a component of their Jewish identity.
These Jewish students are urgently seeking support and tools to effectively respond, and ADL is committed to helping them. We empower Jewish college students and allies, both among the student body and college administrations, to speak out against hate and educate the broader campus community to create an inclusive climate without antisemitism and other forms of hate.
The Radical Anti-Israel Movement on Campus
The campus anti-Israel movement frequently denigrates Zionism as inherently racist and disparages pro-Israel students, at times invoking antisemitic tropes. One of the most common strategies of anti-Israel activists is to allege that any expression of support for or affiliation with Israel is racist, implicating many Jewish students in the alleged misdeeds of the Israeli government. Some of the most strident activists attack Israel’s right to exist and demand that students who feel connected to Israel be excluded from campus life. The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which spreads blatant disinformation about Israel, continues to be a cornerstone of anti-Israel campus activity.
ADL’s Campus Work
We have developed resources and strategies to help students and administrators navigate challenging situations they might face on campus.
- We create resources to prepare students, as well as the campus professionals who work with them, to identify and respond to antisemitic activity.
- We provide students with tools to have substantive and compelling conversations about the complexities of Israel with campus opinion leaders, members of student groups that may be potential allies, and the general campus population.
- We offer resources tailored for the needs of campus administrators and concerned family members and caretakers.
- We partner with Hillel International to assess the climate for Jewish students on campuses across the U.S.
- We are collaborating with Hillel International and the Secure Community Network, the official safety and security organization of the Jewish community in North America, to create a single reporting mechanism to track antisemitic incidents and to ensure that students receive the support they need.
- We work directly with local colleges and universities through our regional offices, responding to anti-Israel activism and developing programs to foster respect and inclusiveness.
- We offer pro bono legal support to protect Jewish students from unlawful acts targeting them.
Like discussions about any country, criticism of Israel and opposition to its government and policies has a place in campus discourse. But when demonizing rhetoric is utilized, classic antisemitic tropes are espoused and Jewish students are harassed, that’s antisemitism. Being silent in the face of antisemitism enables it to flourish, creating an environment of fear and intimidation that affects Jewish students and the broader campus community.