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University Presidents From US, Canada Set to Participate in Auschwitz Event Amid Surging Campus Antisemitism

A man walks through the grounds of the former Nazi German Auschwitz death camp for the annual International “March of the Living” in Oswiecim, Poland, April 18, 2023. Jakub Porzycki/Agencja via REUTERS

University presidents from the US and Canada are set to gather at Auschwitz, the infamous Nazi concentration camp in Poland, to commemorate the Holocaust amid a global rise in antisemitism that has erupted on college campuses.

The International March of the Living, a Holocaust education program founded in 1988, announced the event on Wednesday in a press release. Held as part of the observance of Yom HaShoah — Holocaust Remembrance Day — on Monday, it will include Yeshiva University President Ari Berman and former US Education Secretary John King, who will be joined by a delegation of their peers drawn from faith-oriented schools and historically black colleges and universities, as well as 55 Holocaust survivors.

The International March of the Living has been holding a similar event for more than 30 years and estimates that over “300,000 alumni from 50 countries” have participated in the same march on the 3-kilometer path leading from Auschwitz I to Auschwitz II-Birkenau, the Nazis’ largest death camp where 1 million Jews were murdered.

“Europe’s most educated and advanced country in terms of higher education, in both the arts and sciences, was none other than Germany and yet this was the very same nation that singled out for eradication an entire people — the Jewish people — in the most horrifying manner,” International March of the Living vice chairman David Machlis said in a statement.

“As we travel through Poland and see the results of Nazi Germany’s genocidal policies towards the Jews, we will see the direct link between antisemitism and the road to Auschwitz,” he continued. “We hope that through this mission, which is planned to be expanded in future years, university presidents will become allies in the fight against antisemitism — because we know all too well the potential devastating outcomes of ignoring the issue.”

The event comes amid a burst of antisemitism throughout the world that had been building for several years but fully erupted after Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel. The terror attack, in which Hamas terrorists murdered 1,200 people and kidnapped 253 others as hostages, was the deadliest single-day slaughter of Jews since the Holocaust.

In the months that have passed since Oct. 7, anti-Zionist activists inspired by Hamas’ barbarity have bullied and even assaulted Jewish students while demanding that colleges implement a full boycott of Israel — an action that would purge schools of Jews and Zionists, experts have told The Algemeiner.  According to the Anti-Defamation League, antisemitic incidents on college campuses, which The Algemeiner covered extensively, rose 321 percent in 2023, disrupting the studies of Jewish students and leaving them uncertain about the fate of the American Jewish community.

Across the US, antisemitic incidents surged a harrowing 140 percent in 2023, with 8,873 incidents — an average of 24 every day — amounting to a year unlike any experienced by the American Jewish community since the organization began tracking such data in 1979. Incidents of harassment, vandalism, and assault all spiked by double and triple digits, with California, New York, New Jersey, Florida, and Massachusetts accounting for nearly half, or 48 percent, of all that occurred.

“Education is the most powerful tool we have in fighting antisemitism, hatred, discrimination, and war,” Eva Kuper, the child of a Holocaust survivor, said in Wednesday’s press release. “Our children are our future and we must equip them to remember the past, to learn from the past, to honor the past, to become witnesses who bring the truth of the Holocaust forward for generations to come.”

She added, “But they most also look to the future with hope. As Elie Wiesel said: ‘Just as man cannot live without dreams, he cannot live without hope. If dreams reflect the past, hope summons the future.’ There are indeed many stories of horror during the Holocaust, but there are also many stories which attest to man’s goodness. They too are a part of the history of the Holocaust.”

Follow Dion J. Pierre @DionJPierre.

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Hate crimes in Toronto are predominantly antisemitic—and the numbers continue to rise: TPS security and intelligence commander

Antisemitic hate crimes continue to account for more than any other category of reported hate crimes in Toronto, according to the head of Toronto police intelligence. Superintendent Katherine Stephenson of Toronto Police Service (TPS) confirmed the ongoing spike in hate occurrences during a presentation at Holy Blossom Temple on May 29, where she addressed 350 […]

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‘Israel Is Not Jewish People,’ New York Times ‘Daily’ Guest Really Wants You to Know

Anti-Israel protesters outside Columbia University in Manhattan, New York City, April 22, 2024. Photo: USA TODAY NETWORK via Reuters Connect

When producers from the New York Times podcast “The Daily” posted on social media looking for “Jewish students who represent a range of feelings and experiences, from being enthusiastically pro Palestinian to enthusiastically pro Israel, and everything in between,” I replied, “This is a trap! They’ll use the ‘pro-Palestinian’ (the polite term they use for the ones who want to wipe Israel off the map) ones to make it sound like the Jewish community is divided and give listeners the illusion that the anti-Israel protests aren’t antisemitic.”

Sure enough, the Times podcast episode that finally aired, headlined, “The Campus Protesters Explain Themselves,” included three students.

Mustafa Yowell, of Irving, Texas, said his mother was from “Nablus, Palestine” and described himself as a Palestinian Arab. He’s a student at the University of Texas, Austin who complained to the Times that “two IDF [Israel Defense Forces] soldiers had infiltrated the campus.” By “IDF soldiers” he meant Israeli students at the university who had, like many Israelis, served in the army before college.

The second student interviewed, Elisha Baker, a student at Columbia University, described himself as a proud Zionist and a graduate of Jewish day school.

And the third student, Jasmine Jolly, a student at Cal Poly Humboldt, described herself as the daughter of a Catholic father and “of Ashkenazi descent on my mom’s side.” Jolly showed up at protests with a sign that said “in honor of my Jewish ancestors, I stand with Palestine.” Jolly also chanted “there is only one solution, intifada revolution.”

“There’s nothing that has come across to me as antisemitic if you are able to pause and remember that Israel is not Jewish people and Zionism is not Jewish people,” Jolly explained to the Times audience.

Jolly read an email from her Jewish grandfather claiming, “Israel is an increasingly apartheid state.”

This is just such a misleading view of reality on campus and in American Jewish life. Even polls like Pew that use an expansive definition of who is Jewish find overwhelming Jewish support for Israel and negligible support for Hamas, including among younger Jews 18 to 34.

In reality, a lot of the anti-Israel protesters aren’t even Palestinians; they are European or Asian students or white or black Americans who either have been brainwashed by their professors or who have underlying, pre-existing antisemitic attitudes. Few of them have been to the Middle East and many of them are ignorant about basic facts about it — remember the Wall Street Journal piece, “From Which River to Which Sea?

“The Daily” episode made it crisply concrete, with the Times representing Jews as being split 50-50, with one normative Jew and one Jew chanting “there is only one solution, intifada revolution.” That’s ridiculous, yet a similar approach contaminates other Times coverage of the Jewish community, misleadlingly portraying American Jewry as deeply divided rather than unified around the goals of getting the hostages back, eliminating the threat of Hamas, and making American college campuses safe for Jewish students.

The Times was at this game well before Oct. 7, 2023, proclaiming “the unraveling of American Zionism” and trotting out old chestnuts such as the Reform movement’s Pittsburgh Platform of 1885 and the New York Times‘ favorite Jew, Peter Beinart.

I find myself rolling my eyes at such depictions, but there is clearly some audience for them among the Times readership and top editorial ranks. The Times executive editor, Joe Kahn, told Semafor’s Ben Smith in a May interview, “I’m not an active Jew.” Maybe the New York Times can sell sweatshirts: “Inactive Jew.” Who, exactly, is supposed to find that distinction between “active” and “inactive” Jews reassuring? Maybe they can put it on top of the front page in place of “All the News That’s Fit to Print”: “Edited by someone who wants the public to know he’s not an active Jew.”

Of all the moments to choose to distance oneself publicly from the Jewish people, this is sure quite one to choose.

This “Daily” episode seems calculated to appeal to the inactive Jews, and to others who want justification to believe it’s not antisemitic to set up on Passover and falsely accuse Israel of genocide. It’s nice for the Times to include a Zionist voice on the program, but he wound up sandwiched in between a Palestinian and an “only one solution, intifada revolution” person. It’s fairly typical for the New York Times these days, but it isn’t pretty.

Ira Stoll was managing editor of The Forward and North American editor of The Jerusalem Post. His media critique, a regular Algemeiner feature, can be found here. He also writes at

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Palestinian Islamic Jihad Releases Second Video of Israeli Hostage Sasha Troufanov

Israeli hostage Alexander (Sasha) Trufanov as seen in an undated propaganda video released by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group on May 30, 2024. Photo: Screenshot

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group on Thursday released a second propaganda video this week featuring Israeli hostage Alexander (Sasha) Trufanov, 28, who was kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists during Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel.

In the video, Trufanov says he is doing well and criticizes Israel’s prime minister and government in remarks that were likely scripted by his captors.

There was no information about when the video was filmed. However, Trufanov refers to Israel’s decision on May 5 to order the local offices of Qatar’s Al Jazeera satellite news network to close, indicating he may have been filmed in the last few weeks.

The latest video came just two days after Islamic Jihad, an Iran-backed Palestinian terrorist group in Gaza, released its first video featuring Trufanov.

The 30-second undated video shows Trufanov, an Amazon employee, identifying himself and saying that he will soon discuss what has happened to him and other hostages in Gaza.

Similar videos have been released by terrorists groups in Gaza. Israel has lambasted them as psychological warfare meant to torture the Israeli public, especially the families of the hostages being held in Gaza.

Trufanov’s mother said after the first video was released that she was happy to see her son after all this time, but it was “heartbreaking” that he had been a hostage for so long.

“Seeing my Sasha on my TV was very cheering, but it also breaks my heart that he’s still been in captivity for so long,” she said in a video released by the family. “I ask everyone, all the decision-makers: Please do everything, absolutely everything, to bring my son and all the hostages home now.”

Hamas-led Palestinian terrorists abducted over 250 people during their Oct. 7 onslaught. Sasha was kidnapped alongside his mother, grandmother, and girlfriend. All three women were released as part of a temporary ceasefire agreement negotiated in November. His father, Vitaly Trufanov, was one of the 1,200 people killed during the Hamas massacre.

“The proof of life from Alexsander (Sasha) Trufanov is additional evidence that the Israeli government must give a significant mandate to the negotiating team,” the Hostages Families Forum, which represents the families of the hostages, said in a statement.

More than 120 hostages remain in Gaza, which is ruled by Hamas. Islamic Jihad is a separate but allied terrorist organization in the Palestinian enclave. Both are backed by Iran, which provides them with money, weapons, and training.

Negotiations brokered by Qatar, Egypt, and the US to reach a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas in Gaza have been stalled for weeks.

Trufanov was an engineer at the Israeli microelectronics company Annapurna Labs, which Amazon owns.

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