Top 10 ADL #2016Highlights – #9: Fighting Anti-Semitism and Anti-Israel Bias on Campus

  • December 15, 2016
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As 2016 draws to a close, the Anti-Defamation League is counting down the major milestones we accomplished this year in the fight against hate.

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ADL continues to respond to anti-Semitism and anti-Israel bias on college campuses across the U.S. Here are some examples from this past year:

  • More than 100 Words to Action workshops with 2,648 participants, educating college and pre-college students about ways to identify and respond to anti-Semitism and anti-Israel activity took place;
  • As a respected and nuanced voice, ADL is being called upon as consultants to campus administrators, staff and students, fostering greater understanding of anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism and anti-Israel sentiments. ADL is responding nationally to incidents, as well as proactively influencing university policies and practices. Some examples include plans for Jewish studies programs, interfaith centers and anti-bias initiatives;
  • Partnering with other Jewish organizations, ADL drafted and guided implementation strategies for the Regents of the University of California’s March 2016 approval of The Statement of Principles Against Intolerance. This landmark policy set a standard for Universities committing to proactively and reactively fight anti-Semitism in all its forms and bigotry of all types;
  • With an eye toward innovative strategies to counter anti-Israel bias, ADL piloted programs on college campuses for law enforcement on hate crimes and bias reduction, with administrators on campus climate and free speech, and with students on coalition building and navigating campus as engaged Jewish students;
  • ADL continues its research on anti-Israel speakers and activists who have made statements that engender incitement and hatred in 2016. Its valuable findings regarding anti-Israel trends, organizations and individuals have been synchronized with educational programs and response efforts to offer the most up to date resources and support to high school students, college students, school administrators, and law enforcement agencies.
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College campuses are a place where free speech and academic freedom are paramount to the educational process in and out of the classroom. Students are definitely using their voices to speak out for, and against Israel, sometimes creating intergroup strife. Anti-Israel events have taken many forms, from mock check points to rallies, sensational speakers and academic boycott proposals, sometimes crossing the line to anti-Semitism.

BDS resolutions in student government have not resulted in campuses divesting from Israel, but they have created divisive environments on campuses, and, as the landscape shifts toward disruption of events and antagonistic rhetoric, ADL’s work is positioned in a unique way.

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