After 359 incidents reported in 2021-22, ADL expands campus resource for Jewish students
New York, NY, October 13, 2022 … Anti-Israel activity remains a serious concern on U.S. college and university campuses, with more than 350 incidents reported nationwide during the 2021-22 academic year, according to a new report from ADL (the Anti-Defamation League). In response to these and other, more recent troubling incidents and their outsized impact on Jewish students, ADL is broadening its educational and programmatic investment on campus, including the launch today of an expanded online resource to support students and combat antisemitism on campus.
The annual Campus Report from the ADL Center on Extremism identified a range of disturbing anti-Zionist and anti-Israel expressions on college campuses during the 2021-2022 school year, from accusations of Israel committing “genocide” or “ethnic cleansing” to the ostracizing of Jewish students from campus organizations because of their assumed support for Israel or Zionism. The report also provides a snapshot of the growing radical movement to place opposition to Israel and Zionism as core elements of collegiate life or as a requirement for full acceptance in the campus community.
“The antisemitic vitriol directed at pro-Israel students is deeply unsettling and makes our colleges and universities feel less safe and secure for Jewish students,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL CEO. “University leaders must learn how to recognize and adequately respond to antisemitism whenever it arises, including when anti-Israel activities cross the line into antisemitic hatred.”
ADL’s report counted a total of 359 anti-Israel incidents across the United States during the 2021-2022 academic year. These included one physical assault, 11 instances of vandalism, 19 instances of targeted verbal and/or written harassment, 143 anti-Israel events, 165 protests and actions, and 20 BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) resolutions and referenda. The report also identifies the major sources of funding for official student clubs and groups responsible for many of the incidents, such as Students for Justice and Palestine, the most prominent and active anti-Israel and anti-Zionist student group, with 206 chapters across the country, as well as Jewish Voice for Peace.
The report points to three major themes and trends characterizing much of anti-Israel activism during the academic year: Demeaning and ostracizing Zionists and Zionism, including expelling and excluding students from campus groups for expressing any affinity with Zionism or Israel; voicing support for anti-Israel terror and violence; and invoking classic antisemitic tropes and conspiracies in lectures and social media posts.
To address the rising tide of anti-Israel activities on campus, ADL has updated and dramatically expanded Think. Plan. Act., a comprehensive online resource to help students identify and respond to anti-Israel bias and antisemitism. Using real-life situations that have occurred on U.S. campuses in recent years – ranging from the exclusion of “Zionists” from a student group to a swastika on a fraternity house – Think. Plan. Act. provides tools for how Jewish students can be prepared, and best practices in developing a response. The resource also includes definitions on commonly misunderstood terms for antisemitism, anti-Zionism, and anti-Israel bias, an FAQ on free speech on campus, as well as tips for having conscientious conversations on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and for engaging on social media.
“ADL is deeply invested in working with stakeholders and using our expertise to help mitigate antisemitism on campus,” said Greenblatt. “It’s important for Jewish students and their families to know that they aren’t alone.”
ADL, in partnership with Hillel International, also plans to roll out a digital training module teaching about antisemitism for students and student leaders later this year. These resources and programs add to ADL’s already robust work on campus, including in its partnership with Hillel International for data collection, its Words to Action trainings and Hate Uncycled. ADL’s 25 regional offices across the country provide on-the-ground support and expertise for campus stakeholders – including administrators, students and more.
ADL tracks anti-Israel activity on U.S. campuses by monitoring social media, tracking anti-Israel student groups, college newspapers and other media sources, and regularly working with its network of partner organizations, including Hillel International. Additionally, ADL continues its advocacy efforts to protect students on campus, including gathering signatures on a petition encouraging full funding of the Nonprofit Security Grant program, which can be used to protect religious spaces on college campuses.
ADL is the leading anti-hate organization in the world. Founded in 1913, its timeless mission is “to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all.” Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of antisemitism and bias, using innovation and partnerships to drive impact. A global leader in combating antisemitism, countering extremism and battling bigotry wherever and whenever it happens, ADL works to protect democracy and ensure a just and inclusive society for all.