LDB President Kenneth Marcus recently went on The Edwin Black Show to discuss the anti-Israeli de-legitimization, or BDS (boycott, divest, and sanction) movement. Mr. Marcus, in particular, was able to address what is happening on college campuses in regards to this BDS movement. According to Mr. Marcus, this problem is something repeatedly presenting itself on America’s college campuses all around the country.
What at first may begin as a political sentiment oftentimes, stated Mr. Marcus, turns virulent so to be not just aimed at Israel and Israelis, but also in a sense to Jewish Americans as well. The political movement against Israel transforms into something more foreboding, and is often verbalized in an anti-Semitic fashion, making use of traditional anti-Semitic motifs.
The problem is exacerbated because of the disproportionate influence on college campuses of individuals with extreme positions, especially if they are on the far left. It is not the case, Mr. Marcus states, that most professors and students are anti-Semitic. Rather, it’s a relatively small number of anti-Semitic people in a given situation that get much more attention on a college campus than they would in any other faction of American life. Compounding that, anti-Israeli professors are the ones more likely to be teaching Middle East studies and the Humanities. Additionally, they are the ones who are more likely to say it’s okay to introduce your values into the classroom as well as to be politically active themselves. It follows, then, that anti-Israeli professors are engaged in shifting the politics in a way that supports their movement. All of these factors, says Mr. Marcus, lead to greater anti-Israel, and sometimes anti-Semitic, influence on college campuses.