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campus culture wars
Reports of Anti-Semitism at Oberlin

Militant anti-Israel ideology seems to be a central part of some of the leftwing activism that has engulfed college campuses over the past year, and Jewish students at a growing number of universities are reporting that they are being disparaged for their identities. The latest example comes out of Oberlin, a small liberal arts college that, in the last few months, seems to have taken on an outsized role in the campus identity wars. The Washington Post reports:

Alumni and students from a prominent college in Ohio are concerned that pro-Palestinian student activists have taken their political views too far — creating an anti-Semitic culture on campus with comments that Israel is a “violent apartheid state” and “Ohio is infested with Zionism.”

As a result, they say, pro-Israel advocates on campus are being harassed for their allegiance to Israel.

More than 200 alumni and students of Oberlin College have written an open letter to the school’s president and board of trustees, asserting that the Boycott, Divest and Sanction movement on campus has become a platform for anti-Semitism. The letter urged Oberlin officials to open a forum where students and alumni who have felt victimized can share their experiences, and to create a task force to address the issue.

Oberlin’s Palestinian activists told the Post that they “see these accusations as a way to limit the free speech of students, silence political activism and intimidate pro-Palestinian activists.” Campus BDS activists frequently make this argument when confronted with charges that their anti-Israel invective has strongly anti-Jewish undertones, and it’s at least somewhat ironic to see the same sort of campus leftists who pioneered speech codes, trigger warnings, and “safe spaces” suddenly become free speech crusaders when it comes to Israel-bashing.

At the same time, it is important that defenders of the campus Jewish community don’t make the same mistake as the campus left and try to silence their opposition through methods like speech codes. Resurgent anti-Semitism is too important a problem to be ignored and suppressed; it must be confronted, exposed, and repudiated—but with argument, not with formal speech prohibitions.

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  • Fat_Man

    “Ohio is infested with Zionism.”

    Damn right. And we are proud of it.

  • Beauceron

    Anti-white sentiment seems to be a far more pervasive, deeper and more venomous problem on campuses these days than anti-Semitism.
    It’s just that anti-white racism is broadly approved of by the Left. I am not sure what to say to Jews about the obviously growing anti-Semitism, except, “Welcome!”

    • Andrew Allison

      You may be right, but the racist anti-white sentiments fostered by the present (mal)adminisrtation have not resulted (unless you are a policeman) in the violence typically visited upon he victims of antisemitism.

  • Dale Fayda

    “За что боролись, на то и напоролись.”

    • Andrew Allison

      You need to put this in context. Who’s the they, and what did they fight for that undid them?

      • Dale Fayda

        This applies to 1. College liberals of all stripes (students, faculty, administrators) who are now having to “embrace the suck” of the anti-white racist progressive mobs turning on them and realizing (maybe) that there is no appeasing the diversity pimps, ever. 2. Liberal Jews, who for decades have cast their lot with the Progressives. Hopefully, now they will start to realize that no matter how much non-white heinie they kiss, they will always be “whitey”, “kikes” and “Zionists”.

    • Anthony

      What Slavic Language does this represent?

      • Dale Fayda


        • Anthony


  • Douglas Levene

    According to this report, the leftists at Oberlin dismiss the Holocaust as “white on white” violence. Further deponent sayeth not.

  • rheddles

    But can you still get authentic, non-appropriated Kosher food there?

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