Harvard University Discovers Jews are a Minority and Target of Hate
Harvard University has recently discovered that Jews are a minority and have been targeted by hate. With the help of billionaire hedge fund manager Bill Ackman and several alumni, Jewish students were intimidated and harassed, and anti-Israel demonstrators chanted eliminationist slogans. As a result, Harvard University President Claudine Gay has added antisemitism to its diversity program.
The academy has a history of turning a blind eye to acts of antisemitism, particularly in the form of anti-Zionism. Corinne Blackmer, an openly gay, Jewish professor, experienced this firsthand when her university failed to register antisemitism and anti-Zionism on its official radar, despite her office door being defaced with hateful slogans and receiving death threats on her voicemail.
These experiences led Blackmer to examine anti-Israel bias in her field, which she documents in her 2022 book, Queering Anti-Zionism: Academic Freedom, LGBTQ Intellectuals and Israel/Palestine Campus Activism.
The history of campus antisemitism is not new, with examples such as the University of Heidelberg’s support of Nazi policies in the 1930s. Similarly, American universities in the 1930s demonstrated passive support for Nazism by refusing to take a principled stand against the Hitler’s regime. Today, there is still a tendency to accept antisemitism and anti-Zionism on college campuses, similar to the passivity seen in the 1930s.
Overall, the acceptance of antisemitism and anti-Zionism in academic settings reflects a wider cultural wish to believe that intellectual pursuits are pristine, despite evidence pointing to the contrary. The author concludes that there is a need for greater awareness and action to address antisemitism and anti-Zionism in higher education.