We are currently witnessing a troubling rise in antisemitism that can be compared to the 1930s, the time of Hitler’s reign. This is a shocking and disturbing reality, especially in the civilized world. The recent massacre in southern Israel, where people of all ages were barbarically attacked in their beds, has sparked an increase in vile hatred towards Israel and the Jews globally. This has caused deep fear among the Jewish community, both in Israel and in the Diaspora.
One of the most distressing aspects of this surge in antisemitism is the discrimination and hostility faced by Jewish students on university campuses around the world. In the United Kingdom and Ireland, the Union of Jewish Students (UJS) has received over 100 calls from Jewish students reporting verbal abuse, intimidation, and even death threats. Campus environments have become hostile and threatening for Jewish students, with some student union officers openly condoning and celebrating terrorist actions against Israel.
In addition to the alarming rise in antisemitism, there have been motions passed at universities, including University College London and Cambridge University, that express support for actions like “intifada until victory.” Lecturers have also been known to contribute to the promotion of hatred against Jews, further worsening the situation for Jewish students.
Despite these challenges, efforts are being made to support Jewish students on campuses. The UK’s Union of Jewish Students is working tirelessly to address the concerns and anxieties of Jewish students. In Israel, educational leaders like Prof. Chaim Hames are speaking out against the discrimination and calling for a distinction between truth and falsehoods, urging academics to prioritize the safety and well-being of all students.
As the world grapples with this resurgence of antisemitism, it is crucial to remember the significance of having a Jewish state that provides security for Jews worldwide, serving as a beacon of hope and resilience.
The author is chairperson of Israel, Britain and the Commonwealth Association.