Imagine being a Jewish college student on campus today. You wake up on Saturday, October 7, and learn of the most violent and murderous attack against the Jewish people since the Holocaust. In those first few hours during which the extent of Hamas’s atrocities are still becoming known, you log on to social media and see fellow students posting a laudatory graphic of a Hamas terrorist on a paraglider — the same paragliders that were used in an attack to gun down Jews your age at a music festival.
In the days that follow, you leave your dorm to attend a vigil for the 1,400 Jews who were slaughtered, but your mourning and grief are interrupted by pro-Hamas protestors. You arrive at class for a required course where the professor asks all the Jewish students to remove their backpacks and belongings and huddle together in a corner so they can feel what it’s like to be a Palestinian in Gaza. You see that a Hamas leader has called for “a global day of jihad” against Jews around the world. And this is all within 72 hours of seeing graphic images of thousands of Israeli civilians – people to whom you feel connected or may even know – being slaughtered, raped, taken hostage or maimed.
And through all of this, you hear silence from many you would expect to speak up and express outrage at what is happening, including faculty who lead your classes and administrators who lead your institutions.
These are just a few of the very real and horrifying examples of what has been happening on campuses nationwide. And when you hear it, it’s easy to understand why Jewish students are scared. In fact, based on our survey of Jewish college students last week, more than half (56%) report being scared, isolated, angry and sad.
Worse yet, a quarter of Jewish students surveyed said there has been violence or acts of hate committed on their campus since the Oct. 7 Hamas attack. That’s one in four students subjected to violence on campus in the span of three weeks in what should be a safe space. That should be alarming to everyone. We can’t allow it to go unnoticed or unaddressed.
College and university leaders need to do more. Even with the efforts of those administrations that have spoken up about the initial Hamas atrocities and the subsequent spike in antisemitism, only 41% of the Jewish students we surveyed reported feeling satisfied with support from their university leaders.
Hillels around the world are doing all they can to provide additional security, community space, programming, wellness support and advocacy on behalf of Jewish students. However, Hillel professionals and student leaders can’t solve this problem alone. They need — and Jewish students deserve — campus administrators to continue speaking up, showing up, and standing up for their Jewish student communities, which does not in any way preclude them from doing the same for Palestinian-Americans or other students being impacted by the war.
In particular, university administrations must address faculty and staff who use their platforms and resources to traffic in biased and discriminatory agitation that alienates, silences and marginalizes significant minority communities on their campuses. I understand the needs and protections for academic freedom and free speech, but those freedoms are not a license to create an environment of harassment, bullying and threats for Jewish students, or for any students.
Even amid this degrading campus climate for Jewish students, there is a basis for hope. We’ve seen Jewish students and Hillel communities show up with courage and resilience in mourning for the victims of the Simchat Torah massacre, and in showing compassion toward the continuing civilian victims of the war — both Israeli and Palestinian — even as they understand that it is Hamas who has put all of those victims in harm’s way.
Jewish learning and tradition teaches us to bring light even, and especially, into these darkest moments, and our students exemplify that tradition. While students have a role to play in repairing what’s broken in their campus communities and in the broader world, that does not absolve the university administrators, faculty and staff from doing everything within their powers to ensure the well-being, safety and support for all of their students, including their Jewish students.
Adam Lehman is the President and CEO of Hillel International, the largest Jewish campus organization in the world.
Protester Sets Self on Fire Outside Israeli Consulate in Atlanta
i24 News – A protester was in critical condition on Friday after setting themself on fire outside the Israeli consulate in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. authorities said. A security guard who tried to intervene was also wounded.
A Palestinian flag found at the scene was part of the protest, Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum said at a news conference. He added that investigators did not believe there was any connection to terrorism and none of the consular staff was ever in danger.
JUST IN: A pro-Palestine protester is in critical condition after they set themselves on fire in “political protest” outside of the Israeli Consulate office in Atlanta.
The protester was reportedly draped in a Palestine flag.
The protester has severe burns and unfortunately, a… pic.twitter.com/B8nUQAj2nU
— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) December 1, 2023
“We do not see any threat here,” he said. “We believe it was an act of extreme political protest that occurred.” Everyone inside the consulate building was said to be safe.
Anat Sultan-Dadon, Consul General of Israel to the southeastern U.S., said: “We are saddened to learn of the self-immolation at the entrance to the office building. It is tragic to see the hate and incitement toward Israel expressed in such a horrific way.”
“The sanctity of life is our highest value. Our prayers are with the security officer who was injured while trying to prevent this tragic act. We are grateful to the city of Atlanta’s law enforcement and first responders for all they do to ensure safety.”
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Released Israeli Hostages Call for Captives to Be Freed
Israeli hostages released in the past week by Hamas in Gaza called on Saturday for the immediate release of fellow captives left behind, a day after a temporary truce that had allowed scores to come home broke down.
Tens of thousands gathered at a rally in Tel Aviv outside Israel‘s defense headquarters, where they cheered Yelena Trupanov, 50, standing on a stage just two days after being freed.
“I came to thank you because without you I wouldn’t be here. Now we must bring back my (son) Sasha, and everyone. Now.”
Similar pleas from other released hostages were shown on video.
A seven-day truce, during which Hamas had released more than 100 hostages, collapsed on Friday after Hamas breached the ceasefire.
Israel said on Saturday it had recalled a Mossad intelligence agency team from Qatar, host of indirect negotiations with Hamas, accusing the Palestinian faction of reneging on a deal that would have freed all children and women held hostage.
More than 240 people – Israelis and foreign nationals – were abducted to Gaza on Oct 7. by Hamas terrorists who burst through the border with Israel and killed 1,200 people.
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IDF Foils Stabbing Attack Near Nablus in West Bank, Eliminates Terrorist
i24 News – The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reported thwarting a stabbing attack on Saturday afternoon against reserve Battalion 7037 at the X junction near Nablus in the West Bank.
According to the IDF spokesperson, the event unfolded when the forces at the roadblock became suspicious of an individual approaching the barricade.
During the questioning process, the suspect suddenly drew a knife and advanced towards the IDF personnel.
ניסיון פיגוע דקירה אירע לפני זמן קצר לעבר כוח צה”ל במילואים מגדוד 7037 שפעל בחסם בצומת האיקס סמוך לעיר שכם שבמרחב חטיבת שומרון.
הכוח חשד במחבל שהגיע לחסם והחל לתחקר אותו, המחבל שלף סכין והחל להתקדם לעבר הכוח.
הלוחמים חתרו למגע והגיבו בירי לעבר המחבל שחוסל. אין נפגעים לכוחותינו. pic.twitter.com/mEaJs58hpE
— דובר צה״ל דניאל הגרי – Daniel Hagari (@IDFSpokesperson) December 2, 2023
The soldiers, faced with the threat, engaged in contact procedures and ultimately responded by opening fire on the assailant. The spokesperson confirmed that the attacker was neutralized due to the IDF’s action.
It was also noted that there were no casualties among the IDF forces involved in the incident. According to the spokesperson, the situation at the X junction has stabilized, and IDF continues to maintain vigilance in the area to prevent further attacks.
The post IDF Foils Stabbing Attack Near Nablus in West Bank, Eliminates Terrorist first appeared on Algemeiner.com.