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(September 7, 2023 / JNS)

As we head back into a new school year, we know that our American Jewish students will be on the front lines of the battle against rising antisemitism. Many of our students, whom we have taught to cherish and protect their Jewish identity, their Zionism and their deeply nurtured connections to the state of Israel, may face much hostility from both their anti-Zionist peers as well as from their professors.

As they head back to their campuses, over the course of the year, many will be confronted with chants of “From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be free.” They may have to endure mock “apartheid walls” or “die-in’s.” Many professors, particularly in Middle East Studies, will libel Israel as “an apartheid state,” “a colonial state” or “a racist state.” Jewish students may see swastikas drawn somewhere on the campus and might have their mezuzahs ripped down from their doorposts. They might well be excluded from certain clubs or extracurricular activities if their peers find out they are Zionists or even Jewish. Their professors might single them out for ridicule if and when they find out that they are Zionists. One recent graduate had told me his professor said: “Had I realized you were a Zionist when grading your paper, I would have given you a lower grade.”

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About the Author

Sarah Stern
Sarah Stern is founder and president of the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET).

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