Don’t Be Fooled by Kosher Accommodations: At Columbia, It’s Hard To Be A Pro-Israel Jew

I was not surprised when seeing Columbia University ranked #1 in the Algemeiner’s latest study of The 40 Worst Colleges for Jewish Students. It has been over a year since I co-founded Students Supporting Israel on campus, and everyday our team wakes up ready to fight for Israel.

It is important to mention that Columbia University as a school and administration is neither anti-Semitic nor anti-Israel. The problem stems from the number of professors and student groups on campus who have pledged themselves to destroying Israel’s image and right to exist. This powerful union has hijacked the campus narrative, harassed Pro-Israel students, and done everything in its power to create a hostile environment for anyone who supports Israel.

Today, it is relatively comfortable to be a Jew on a U.S. or Canadian campus if you are a Jew who does not openly show their support for Israel. There are about 4 student groups at Columbia University who’s sole purpose is to pursue an agenda in delegitimizing Israel’s very right to exist. After years of denial and neglect by those in charge of fighting for Israel on campus, these 4 groups have made alliances with over 30 other student groups and convinced countless professors to support their cause. This has created an overwhelming amount of support for the anti-Israel movement, which uses legitimate Palestinian suffering as a tool in demonizing Israel.

These groups collectively host events, almost on a daily basis, that target Israel from different angles. These events are marketed to all Columbia students and I have heard things like “terrorists are freedom fighters,” “Hamas is a liberation movement,” and even “Jews dying by the hands of Palestinians is only normal.”

Many of the schools on this list have beautiful Jewish community centers that give Jewish students many benefits. Nonetheless, accessibility to a variety of amenities on an off campus building does not mask the reality on the ground. The Algemeiner clearly factored on anti-Israel activity as something that directly affects Jewish life on campus. To be honest, I don’t know how one can consider Jewish life as “good” when supporting Israel outside of these “safe spaces” has become so unsafe.

The reason the anti-Israel movement has been so successful is because we have allowed it to get to this point. If the Jews/Pro-Israel students united to protect Israel, regardless of their political right or left wing views and regardless of their opinions on what state solutions should look like, then the anti-Israel movement would be weak.

Unfortunately, most Jews do not care about Israel and if they do they do not really want to get involved with what is going on. We should not fall victim to a repeated history. Pretending it’s all good because of Jewish resources, is blinding oneself for the sake of comfort, at the price of their survival.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Forward.

Don’t Be Fooled by Kosher Accommodations: At Columbia, It’s Hard To Be A Pro-Israel Jew

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Don’t Be Fooled by Kosher Accommodations: At Columbia, It’s Hard To Be A Pro-Israel Jew

Thank you!

This article has been sent!