Report: Anti-Semitism Spikes at Top U.S. Colleges

Jewish students face wave of hate


Top colleges throughout the United States are experiencing an unprecedented rise in anti-Semitic incidents and anti-Jewish behavior, according to a study that determined the behavior is being fueled by a rise in the number of campus organizations promoting inflammatory anti-Israel propaganda.

The survey, which focused on 113 U.S. campuses with large Jewish populations, concluded that at least 70 percent of those schools surveyed experienced "one or more kinds of anti-Semitic activity" in the past year.

There were more than 300 anti-Semitic incidents in total at these schools in 2015 alone, according to the report, which was compiled and released Monday by the AMCHA Initiative, a non-profit organization that monitors anti-Semitism on campus.

The rise in the number and severity of these incidents is directly related to anti-Israel activities coordinated by a pro-Palestinian organizations that support the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, or BDS, which seeks to delegitimize the Jewish state.

The study marks the first time that a statistical analysis has empirically tied these anti-Israel organizations to the sharp rise in anti-Semitic behavior on campus.

At least "99 percent" of schools with one or more active anti-Zionist groups had one or more incidents of anti-Semitic activity, whereas only 16 percent of schools with no active anti-Zionist student group had incidents of overall anti-Semitic activity," the study found.

Additionally, "57 percent" of the schools with one or more active anti-Zionist student groups had one or more incidents that targeted Jewish students for harm, 91 percent of the schools with one or more active anti-Zionist groups showed evidence of anti-Semitic expression, and 80 percent of schools with one or more active anti-Zionist groups showed evidence of BDS activity," according to the study.

The largest amount of anti-Semitism by incident occurred at Northwestern University, the University of California at Santa Cruz, the University of California at Berkeley, and the University of California at Davis.

The highest incidence of "targeting" Jewish students on campus occurred at Santa Cruz, Northwestern University, Berkeley, and Northeastern University.

The highest level of anti-Semitic expression occurred at Northwestern University, U.C. Santa Cruz, U.C. Berkeley, and UCLA, according to the report.

Anti-Semitic activity was reported at Brooklyn College, the University of Michigan, Vassar College, Columbia University, and Stanford University, among many others.


The study also found a "strong correlation between the presence of faculty who have expressed public support for an academic boycott of Israel and anti-Semitism."

The presence of an active BDS movement on campus "strongly correlates" with anti-Semitic activity on campus, the study determined.

This includes the presence of campus organizations such as the Students for Justice in Palestine, which has been suspended at several college campuses for, among other things, disseminating Nazi propaganda.

At least 56 percent of schools permitting an active BDS movement "had one or more incidents that targeted Jewish students for harm, whereas of the schools with no evidence of BDS activity, only 23 percent had incidents targeting Jewish students," according to the study.

Additionally, "95 percent of the schools with BDS activities had one or more incidents of anti-Semitic expression, whereas of the schools with no evidence of BDS activity, only 33 percent had anti-Semitic expression," according to the study.

Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, director of AMCHA, told the Washington Free Beacon that the study confirms anecdotal observations by many pro-Israel organizations on campus.

"These findings confirm what those of us monitoring campus anti-Semitism closely have long known and what students have been reporting to us for years—it is widespread, it is rising at a frightening rate, and it is fueled by anti-Zionism, particularly BDS, SJP, and faculty boycotters," Rossman-Benjamin said.

"This study must serve as a wake-up call to university leaders that there is a distinction between scholarly debate and criticism of Israel’s policies—all welcomed on a university campus—and anti-Zionism which is anti-Semitism and fuels anti-Semitic activity," she added. "It’s time university leaders acknowledge the elephant in the room."

Adam Kredo   Email Adam | Full Bio | RSS
Adam Kredo is senior writer reporting on national security and foreign policy matters for the Washington Free Beacon. An award-winning political reporter who has broken news from across the globe, Kredo’s work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, the Weekly Standard, Commentary Magazine, the Drudge Report, and the Jerusalem Post, among many others. His Twitter handle is @Kredo0. His email address is

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