Conflicts on Campus

The New York Times is a world renowned news organizing that has been reporting on a wide range of topics since its founding in 1851.  Recently, Linda K. Wertheimer wrote about how the conflict in the Middle East effects students on college campuses.  Even I have seen the type of protest on our campus that Linda refers too in her piece. The article “Students and the Middle East Conflict”, goes into detail about an incident that took place at the Tufts University “Tastes of Israel” gathering and how this small episode speaks to the larger issue.

At the gathering, Israeli food had small toothpicks with the Israeli flag on them, this was seen by some as appropriation. This of course was on a small scale but speaks to the increasingly uneasy and hostile attitude towards Israel on college campuses. Jews and people who support Israel find it hard to speak up in support because of the negative feedback they receive. 57% or the majority of Americans say that they stand with Israel its struggles although rise in the support for Palestine has risen among millennials.

Many pro Palestine and anti-Israel groups have formed with the primary mission of boycotting Israel and delegitimizing the state. One of these groups is called Students for Justice in Palestine, who openly say that they react violently to anything that they do not accept as pro Palestine. Because of the rise of these groups and other factors, anti- Semitism has grown on campuses and students feel unsafe to stand with Israel. Modern Jewish Studies at Brandeis University conducted a survey with the results that a quarter of participates had been directly blamed for actions of Israel and at least one fourth had experienced anti- Semitism in the past year. Many other surveys reviled similarly shocking statistics. The article does not take the stance of shutting down all protests but rather says that they all must be peaceful and informative rather than attacking people’s views.

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