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It is widely known that antisemitism has increased dramatically on American campuses in recent years. Why are American youth so vulnerable to the lures of anti-Semitism/anti-Zionism?

Unfortunately, the seeds are often sown in middle and high schools. This is partly due to increases in Title VI funding from the U.S. government and Arab states after 9/11 with the goal of teaching students about Islam and the Middle East. In fact, according to the New York Times Magazine, on July 3, 2019, Anti-Jewish propaganda financed by Qatar and Saudi Arabia has been incorporated into syllabi in many a classroom in America.

With poor oversight of the program, highly biased instruction has followed. In Newton, Mass., for instance, an alert parent discovered a homework assignment with egregious, false statements about Israel. Other blatantly anti-Semitic material was discovered in the classroom. Many parents joined in the fight to correct the problem, but the conflict continues.

When students are indoctrinated against Israel at such a young age, they are easy targets for on-campus anti-Semitic hate groups, such as Students for Justice in Palestine. Biased professors who vilify Israel, ignore terrorist attacks against Jewish people, and diminish Jewish connection to the land lend further credence to an anti-Jewish narrative.

The now-infamous “Conflict Over Gaza” conference at University of North Carolina/Duke University in March 2019 spurred the United States Department of Education to investigate misuse of Title VI funding. Some clips from the conference are available on the NCCI YouTube site.

Significantly, President Trump in December 2019  signed an executive order aimed at protecting Jewish students from discrimination under Title VI. But the targeting of Jews under the banner of “academic freedom” has been a problem for years. Duke University Press published the blatantly anti-Semitic “Right to Maim” in 2017, claiming Israel intentionally maims Muslim Palestinians to oppress them. To date, Duke University refuses to disavow the work, a modern-day blood libel against Jews and Israel.

So, what can YOU do to protect your child from anti-Jewish indoctrination?

Take Action against Antisemitism in Education
Parents of teenagers:

  1. Be knowledgeable about Israel’s history.  StandWithUs provides excellent, easily digested materials on the history of the Jewish people and the Arab-Israeli conflict.
  2. Review your child’s textbooks. Make sure that the map of Israel is accurate, and that Jewish history is portrayed correctly. It’s important that Islam is taught in a balanced way, and includes lethal threats facing women, LGBT people, and religious minorities in Muslim countries. Terrorist attacks against Israelis are also part of an objective portrayal.
  3. Review your child’s Internet materials. Approach your child’s virtual sources with the same skepticism and rigor you would for any subject.
  4. Review events held at your child’s school. It’s problematic if there are celebrations of “Palestine” but none for Israel.
  5. Register your child for Club Z in your area.  This high school-age national club is setting up chapters in numerous states to instill Jewish pride in American youth and give them tool to face down anti-Semitism at college.

If you live near a university or have a college student:

  1. Look for local events and speakers pertaining to Israel. Universities don’t host blatant racists. Why should they host promoters of the Jew-targeting movement, Boycott, Divest, Sanction (BDS) Israel?
  2. Is there a Students for Justice in Palesting (SJP) or Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) chapter at the university? These groups sponsor anti-Semitic events, such as “Israel Apartheid Week.” We recommend that you attend these events to expose their lies.
  3. Encourage your college student to join campus chapters of Zionists Of America (ZOA) or StandWithUs. SWU, in particular, has an excellent program to educate students about Israel and teach them how to deal with discrimination against Zionists.
References:
  1. AMCHA initiative.
  2. Inside Higher Ed. A Surge of Antisemitism, Dec 2018.
  3. Stotsky, S, CAMERA, Indoctrinating Our Youth 2017.
  4. Anti-Israel Indoctrination Continues in Newton Public High School, CAMERA, 2019.
  5. Executive Order 13899, Combating Anti-Semitism.
  6. Puar, Jasbir, “Right to Maim”.

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