Rabbis: College Diversity Officers Promoting 'Irrational Hatred of Jews'

Jewish clergy want DEI programs to be suspended pending review of rampant anti-Semitism

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December 17, 2021

A group of more than 2,000 rabbis is calling on all American universities to suspend their "diversity, equity, and inclusion" (DEI) programs due to their overwhelming anti-Israel and anti-Semitic bias.

The Coalition for Jewish Values, an umbrella organization representing Orthodox rabbis, wants all DEI programs put on ice in light of a recent study that exposed how university staffers in these positions use their social media accounts to bash Israel and incite hatred of Jews. That study, conducted by the Heritage Foundation think tank, concluded that "rather than promoting diversity and inclusion, universities may be contributing to an increase in anti-Jewish hatred by expanding DEI staff and power," the Washington Free Beacon reported last week.

"Repeatedly accusing the Jewish state of Israel of 'genocide,' 'apartheid,' and other fictitious crimes while praising China, a country that is putting Muslims in internment camps, indicates an irrational hatred of Jews and not a concern for human rights," Coalition for Jewish Values managing director Rabbi Yaakov Menken said in a statement provided to the Free Beacon.

The Heritage Foundation researchers reviewed the Twitter feeds of 741 DEI officials at 65 different U.S. universities to determine their attitudes on Israel and China. They found that DEI staff "tweeted, retweeted, or liked almost three times as many tweets about Israel as tweets about China." Of the tweets in question, 96 percent were critical of Israel, and 62 percent of the China-centered tweets were favorable. In many cases, Jews were criticized for their support of Israel and referred to as "Nazis" and "colonizers."

While DEI staff are primarily tasked with creating a welcoming space on campus and protecting the student population, their obsession with Israel and Jews indicates they put liberal politics first. The study was released amid a soaring number of anti-Semitic attacks on college campuses that have put the Jewish community on high alert.

"So-called diversity leads have responded to a dramatic spike in anti-Semitism by engaging in openly hateful rhetoric against Jews themselves, often using Israel as a convenient foil." said Rabbi Steven Pruzansky, Coalition for Jewish Value's Israel regional vice president.

Menken said the study's findings should serve as a warning for Jewish students that they will not be seen kindly by DEI staffers on campus.

"With regards to Jews, diversity heads seem to share much in common with grand wizards of the Ku Klux Klan, and it is clear that the entire field needs to be reevaluated before more Jewish students are placed at unnecessary risk," Menken said.