The Growth of Anti Semitism
Lee Sutherland, Liberty Champion
April 26, 2016
Christians must stand in opposition to attacks on Jewish college students
From racist Halloween costumes to freedom of speech issues, universities have been home to a number of controversies.
Yet, one of the most under-reported and least acknowledged issues is the growth of anti-Semitism at many campuses in the U.S.
This may seem strange to many Americans. Anti-Semitism seems like a thing of the past.
Yet it is a widespread and urgent issue.
We are not surprised to hear that government telecasts in Iran or textbooks in some Muslim-majority countries espouse hateful and even violent ideas.
We need to be alarmed that the situation is growing so difficult in Europe that many Jews are openly talking about leaving the continent for America or Israel.
However, anti-Semitism is not merely a part of the cultures in other nations but is a growing problem here in America, specifically on college campuses.
This past summer I had the privilege of interning with the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law.
This organization, founded by its President and General Counsel Kenneth L. Marcus in 2011, “seeks to advance the civil and human rights of the Jewish people and promote justice for all.”
Its main focus has been on the “anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism on university campuses” and provides “research resources, public policy education and legal advocacy” to fight against it.
I came into my internship at the Brandeis Center like many Americans, understanding the historical examples of anti-Semitism but largely ignorant of its place in society today.
I left with my eyes opened.
According to a joint survey done by the Brandeis Center and Trinity College in 2013-14, over half of the Jewish college students surveyed said they had suffered or had witnessed anti-Semitism at their university.
From physical violence to different social treatment, Jewish students experience harsh treatment just for their culture, ethnicity and religious beliefs.
One example of this came last month.
At an event on Cornell University’s campus, Rev. Graylan Hagler made a number of anti-Semitic remarks to the students attending his lecture.
In his talk, Hagler said that “Zionism is racism; diminish(ed) the Holocaust by characterizing it as ‘a’ Holocaust rather than ‘the’ Holocaust; den(ied) that the term anti-Semitism applies to Jews; and falsely compar(ed) Israel to apartheid South Africa,” according to a press release from the Brandeis Center.
Statements and events like these are all too common across the U.S., and it is becoming increasingly necessary for citizens to stand up against them.
As Christians, we should have an even greater interest in fighting for the religious freedom and civil rights of others.
Christ’s call to believers to love their neighbor as themselves includes standing for the religious and civil liberties of all.
There have been numerous examples of Christians throughout history who have done this.
From Dietrich Bonhoeffer sacrificing his life by fighting against the horrific treatment of Jews in Nazi Germany to Baptist evangelist John Leland’s stand for the religious liberties of the Turks in the American Revolution, Christians have many models to follow.
Anti-Semitism in America and around the world is an issue that cannot be ignored.
It is the role of every citizen, including those of different religious beliefs, to call on university and government leaders to address these dangerous trends.