Just 4 Percent of American Universities Condemned Hamas Terror Attack on Israel as Anti-Semitic

Study finds vastly different university response to Hamas slaughter compared with crimes perpetrated against African Americans and Asians

A pro-Palestinian protest at UC Berkeley, Oct. 25, 2023 (Kevin Fagan/Twitter)
December 5, 2023

Just 4 percent of America's universities condemned Hamas's October 7 terror attack on Israel as an anti-Semitic crime, and only 2 percent committed to addressing persistent Jew-hatred on campus, according to a study published Tuesday.

The study, conducted by the AMCHA Initiative, a nonprofit that combats anti-Semitism, found that America's universities had a vastly different response to Hamas's slaughter than they did to crimes perpetrated against African Americans and Asians.

"School leaders who respond appropriately to group trauma affecting Black and Asian students, but who are unwilling to do the same for Jewish students—despite the legitimacy of their fears and anxieties about the current situation in Israel and Gaza and the unbridled bigotry they face on campus—cannot be trusted to keep Jewish students safe," the study concludes.

The findings, which document a tepid response to Hamas's crimes by college and university presidents and chancellors on nearly 100 campuses, come as Congress held a Tuesday hearing examining a massive rise in campus anti-Semitism at three of America's most elite colleges: Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The campuses, like many others across the country, have seen pro-Hamas demonstrations that take aim at Jewish students and promote violence against Israel's supporters.

The AMCHA study is certain to bolster the case that America's college campuses have not adequately addressed a rising tide of anti-Semitism that has forced Jewish students to hide their identities and generated federal investigations into Jew-hatred on campus.

The study examined university responses to Hamas's terror attack and juxtaposed them with statements issued in the wake of the 2020 murder of George Floyd and the 2021 murder of six Asian women in Atlanta.

"While 100% of statements named racism and anti-Asian hate as the motivator of their respective incidents, and more than 90% committed to addressing bigotry directed against Blacks and Asians/Asian Americans, only 4% of statements identified the antisemitic motivation of the Hamas attack (despite Hamas' public expressions of genocidal intent) and a mere 2% committed to addressing antisemitism," according to AMCHA's summary of its findings.

Additionally, "while nearly 100% of statements unequivocally condemned the traumatizing incidents affecting Blacks and Asians/Asian Americans," according to the summary, "only 65% of the post-October 7th statements condemned the attack, and 60% of those statements accused Israel of perpetrating violence that harmed Palestinians or violated their civil rights."

Campuses reviewed in the study offered Jewish students support resources in just 5 percent of the statements analyzed, while these services were touted in 90 to 100 percent of the statements issued after attacks on the black and Asian communities.

The findings indicate that crimes against Jews are treated differently from those perpetrated against other minority groups. That suggests that anti-Israel hate among America's academic elite is forcing university leaders to calibrate their reaction to the horrors of Oct. 7, which included the rape, torture, and dismemberment of women and children, according to AMCHA Initiative director Tammi Rossman-Benjamin.

"School officials responded to Oct. 7 with a blatantly discriminatory double standard in comparison to their responses in the aftermath of similarly traumatizing events," Rossman-Benjamin said in a statement.

"For Jewish students," she said, "this devastating event triggered a dual crisis: Coping with the immediate shock and trauma of the deadliest attack on Jews in their lifetime, and confronting fears of a surge in antisemitism on their own campuses—fears that have become a frightening reality as antisemitic incidents on campus, already at an all-time high, spiked 700% since the Hamas attacks."