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Antisemitic incidents have ‘skyrocketed’ in the United States post-Oct. 7, ADL reports

(JTA) — Antisemitism in the United States has “skyrocketed” in the three months since Hamas’ Oct. 7 invasion of Israel, according to data tallied by the Anti-Defamation League. 

There were 3,283 antisemitic incidents in the United States between Oct. 7 and Jan. 7, according to the ADL’s report — including 60 physical assaults. It also counted 553 incidents of vandalism and 1,353 incidents of harassment. 

The total number of incidents during the past three months is more than four times the number that occurred during the same period last year. The figure is higher than the total the group has recorded over the course of any full calendar year aside from 2022. By comparison, the ADL counted 2,717 antisemitic incidents during the entirety of 2021. In the whole of 2014, the year of Israel’s last ground invasion of Gaza, the ADL recorded just 912 antisemitic incidents. 

The main driver of antisemitism over the past three months, according to the group, is the Israel-Hamas war that began with the Oct. 7 invasion: The ADL said two-thirds of the incidents “included verbal, written, or contextual references to Israel or Zionism.” Forty percent of the incidents tallied in Wednesday’s report — a total of 1,317 — were pro-Palestinian rallies that included “expressions of support for terrorism against the state of Israel and/or anti-Zionism.” 

ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt has repeatedly stressed, both before and after Oct. 7, that the group views anti-Zionism as tantamount to antisemitism. Surveys have shown that majorities of American Jews feel attached to Israel and say that opposition to its right to exist is antisemitic. Greenblatt said in a statement Wednesday that “In this difficult moment, antisemitism is spreading and mutating in alarming ways.”

The ADL’s equation of anti-Zionism and antisemitism, however, has put the organization at odds with groups like Jewish Voice for Peace and IfNotNow, which are anti- or non-Zionist and which have focused their criticism on Israel since Oct. 7. Greenblatt has referred to those organizations as “hate groups.” The ADL’s stances have also reportedly led to dissent and resignations, as Jewish Currents reported that four staffers quit the group in protest of the group’s policies following Oct. 7. 

Hundreds more of the incidents involved fake bomb threats mailed or called into synagogues or other Jewish institutions — a practice known as “swatting” that had occurred prior to Oct. 7, aiming to prompt a law enforcement response, and has continued at a large scale since. During one December weekend, hundreds of synagogues across the country received false bomb threats

Wednesday’s report also said that since Oct. 7, there have been 505 antisemitic incidents at college campuses — an arena that has been a major focus of antisemitism watchdogs as well as elected officials during the Israel-Gaza war. Another 246 incidents occurred at K-12 schools, the report said. A string of universities and school districts have been subject to federal civil rights investigations over their handling of antisemitism post-Oct 7.

The 60 assaults – 20 per month – are more than double the monthly average of around 11 the ADL recorded in 2022. In the most severe incident since Oct. 7, a Jewish man died after being struck on the head at dueling pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian rallies in southern California. At Columbia University, an Israeli student was allegedly assaulted during a dispute over hanging posters with pictures of hostages held by Hamas. A man has also been arrested for an alleged hate crime assault of an Israeli in Times Square. 

The ADL could not say what portion of the assaults, nor how many of the campus incidents, took place during demonstrations related to the war. 

The ADL’s surveys compile data from law enforcement, media reports and incidents reported directly to the organization. 

The report did not break incidents down by location or date, though a previous ADL report, released last month, suggests that the pace of antisemitism has remained steady since Oct. 7. In December, the ADL reported that it had tallied 2,031 antisemitic incidents including 40 assaults over the first two months of the war. Taken together with this report, that means there have been a little over 1,000 incidents, and 20 assaults, per month.


The post Antisemitic incidents have ‘skyrocketed’ in the United States post-Oct. 7, ADL reports appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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Texas University Plans to Close Qatar Campus Amid Scrutiny of Hamas Ties

A Qatar 2022 logo is seen in front of the skyline of the West Bay in Doha. Photo: REUTERS/John Sibley/File Photo

On Thursday, the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents voted 7-1 to end its contract with the Qatar Foundation, which will result in the college’s Qatar campus shutting down over the next four years.

Texas A&M said it decided to reassess its relationship with Qatar after Hamas’s October 7 attack on Israel, in which the terrorist group murdered 1,200 Israelis and took more than 240 more hostage. It cites regional instability as one of the reasons for its decision. The Qatari government also has extensive ties with Hamas’ political and military leadership.

The Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development is funded by the Qatari government and is the institution that funds Texas A&M’s Qatar campus.

The Chair of the university’s Board of Regents said it “has decided that the core mission of Texas A&M should be advanced primarily within Texas and the United States.” He continued, explaining that “By the middle of the 21st century, the university will not necessarily need a campus infrastructure 8,000 miles away to support education and research collaborations.”

The decision also comes amid heightened scrutiny of Qatar’s role in American higher education — as it spent almost $5 billion on American universities between 2001 and 2021 — as well as its role in funding terrorist groups such as Hamas. 

In an article for The Free Press in October, Eli Lake outlined what he saw as the significant influence Qatar is having on American higher education. He lists the universities that have gotten significant donations from Qatar, such as Cornell, Carnegie Mellon, Georgetown, and Northwestern. He also notes that Qatar’s influence goes beyond money, affecting policies and programs within specific academic departments as well. For example, the Qatar campus of Northwestern, which is home to the U.S.’s best journalism program, had an agreement with the terrorist-sympathetic Al-Jazeera that it would help train its students.

The significant attention paid to these relationships is likely driven by the steep increase in anti-Israel and pro-terrorist sentiment in the U.S., particularly on college campuses. 

A 2023 report from the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy also concluded that concealed donations from foreign governments to U.S. educational institutions are associated with an increase in antisemitic incidents on campus and the erosion of liberal norms. 

However, the Qatar Foundation believes the decision was made for political reasons. In a statement, it wrote: “It is deeply disappointing that a globally respected academic institution like Texas A&M University has fallen victim to such a campaign and allowed politics to infiltrate its decision-making processes. At no point did the Board attempt to seek out the truth from Qatar Foundation before making this misguided decision.”

There have been no indications thus far that other universities that receive a significant amount of Qatari funding, or operate campuses in Qatar, are reconsidering their relationship.

The post Texas University Plans to Close Qatar Campus Amid Scrutiny of Hamas Ties first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Antisemitic Vandals Strike Hillel Building at University of Leeds in UK

Antisemitic message graffitied on Hillel House of University of Leeds. Photo: Union of Jewish Students/X

The Hillel House of University of Leeds was vandalized on Thursday night, raising further concerns about a hateful campus climate and rising antisemitism across the United Kingdom, particularly since Hamas’ October 7 attacks.

The vandals, according to pictures shared online, graffitied “FREE PALESTINE” on the building and additional scribble on two window panes.

“We are heartbroken and angry that after an uplifting and inspiring Challah Bake, our JSoc Hillel House was defaced with antisemitic graffiti,” Leeds JSoc, which uses the building for club meetings, said in a statement also signed by the Union of Jewish Students, an advocacy group. “It is shocking and outrageous that those who hate us would stoop to this level.”

The groups noted that a University of Leeds professor may be responsible for leading anti-Zionist to the building, alleging that he shared its address “for the sole purpose of intimidating Jewish students on campus.”

“We are working with CST and the police to ensure that those who committed this crime get the consequences they deserve,” the group added.

Anti-Zionists extremists struck elsewhere on Thursday, storming University of Birmingham with socialists and other far-left groups while holding signs that said, “Zionists off our campus” and “75 years of illegal occupation!” Many concealed their faces, covering them with keffiyeh.

“Jewish students are feeling less and less safe at university because of these vile antisemitic acts,” National Jewish Assembly (NJA), a Jewish civil rights nonprofit, said in a statement about the incidents. “It’s time we say enough. Jewish students deserve and must feel safe on campus.”

Thursday’s incidents followed a set-back for the academic Jewish community. Earlier this week, it was announced that a UK government agency which arbitrates disputes over employment law ruled that University of Bristol lacked standing to fire sociologist David Miller, an extreme anti-Zionist who was accused of harassing Jewish students and promoting antisemitic tropes, and said his “anti-Zionist beliefs qualified as a philosophical belief and as a protected characteristic.”

Pervasive antisemitism and anti-Zionism at UK universities is forcing members of the Jewish academic community to conceal their identities on campus, according to a June 2023 report issued by the Parliamentary Task Force on Antisemitism in Higher Education, a committee of lawmakers and established by former Prime Minister Boris Johnson in 2022 in response to complaints of anti-Jewish racism and discrimination.

“We were told it was commonplace for Jewish students to choose not to wear certain clothing or jewelry around campus because it would make them visibly identifiable as Jewish,” the Task Force wrote in the report, titled Understanding Jewish Experience in Higher Education, noting that academic staff “also raised important comparable concerns about negativity surrounding their Jewish identity.”

The Task Force recommended that all universities adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, which, it said, has not, contrary to the claims of its many opponents, diminished free speech and academic freedom.

Dion J. Pierre @DionJPierre.

The post Antisemitic Vandals Strike Hillel Building at University of Leeds in UK first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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US House Committee Threatens Harvard University With Subpoena for Antisemitism Documents

Illustrative Harvard University students displaying a pro-Palestinian sign at their May 2022 graduation ceremony. Photo: Reuters/Brian Snyder

Harvard University on Wednesday was given a “final warning” to fully cooperate with the US House Committee on Education and the Workforce’s investigation of antisemitism on its campus.

In January, Chairwoman Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) gave the school, which spent the fall semester under fire for allegedly ignoring rampant antisemitic harassment and intimidation, two weeks to deliver documents relevant to the committee’s investigation. Harvard never did, and now Rep. Foxx is threatening to subpoena the material she requested.

“The committee has sought to obtain information regarding Harvard’s response to the numerous incidents of antisemitism on its campus and steps taken to protect Jewish students, faculty and staff,” Foxx wrote in a letter to Harvard University interim president Alan Garber and Harvard Corporation senior fellow Penny Pritzker.

“Harvard’s responses have been grossly insufficient,” she continued. “If Harvard continues to fail to comply with the committee’s requests in a timely manner, the committee will proceed with compulsory process.”

Foxx has requested a trove of documents, including “all reports of antisemitic acts or incidents” and “related communications” going back to 2021 that were sent to Harvard’s offices of the president, general counsel, dean of students, police department, human resources, and diversity, equity, and inclusion, among others. She also requested documentation on Harvard Kennedy School professor Marshall Ganz, who, the school determined during an investigation, “denigrated” several students for being “Israeli Jews.” Originally, Foxx gave Harvard a deadline of Jan. 23 by which to comply.

The House Committee on Education and the Workforce is also investigating other top universities, including the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), to determine whether administrators at those schools ignored antisemitic discrimination. The probes were announced after the committee grilled the presidents of Harvard, Penn, and MIT about their plans to respond to rising anti-Jewish hate in their communities. During the hearing, Gay of Harvard and Elizabeth Magill of Penn — both of whom have since resigned from their positions — as well as Sally Kornbluth of MIT largely evaded lawmakers’ questions, infamously equivocating on whether calling for the genocide of Jews contravenes school rules.

For Harvard, America’s oldest institution of higher education and arguably its most prestigious, the presence of radical anti-Zionists on  campus has been a persistent issue. At the start of this academic year, a student and anti-Israel activist interrupted a convocation ceremony held by the school, shouting at Harvard College Dean Rakesh Khurana, “Here’s the real truth — Harvard supports, upholds, and invests in Israeli apartheid, and the oppression of Palestinians!”

However, the broader public largely did not take notice until Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre in Israel. As scenes of Hamas terrorists abducting children and desecrating dead bodies circulated worldwide, 31 student groups at Harvard issued a statement blaming Israel for the attack and accusing the Jewish state of operating an “open air prison” in Gaza, despite that the Israeli military withdrew from the territory in 2005.

For her part, Gay waited several days to condemn the Hamas atrocities, and when she did, her statement said nothing about antisemitism. When she resigned at the beginning of the new year, she accused her critics of racism.

Follow Dion J. Pierre @DionJPierre.

The post US House Committee Threatens Harvard University With Subpoena for Antisemitism Documents first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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