Students, Education, Learning, Teaching, Campus, University, College
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How College Students Can Address Anti-Israel Activity on Campus

Students, Education, Learning, Teaching, Campus, University, College

By Rich Tenorio

In recent decades, pro-Palestinian students on American college campuses have incorporated “Israeli Apartheid Week” into their activism. This year, amid the fallout from the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks on Israel and the ongoing Israeli response, there is a chance of increased anti-Israel and anti-Zionist demonstrations on college campuses.

For Jewish students who identify as Zionist, this may create or heighten an uncomfortable atmosphere. There are resources that exist online that can help students who might feel unwelcome on campus during this period. The most important thing for students to remember is that they are not alone.

Accusations raised against Israel

Anti-Zionism at colleges and universities has been documented by multiple organizations nationwide. The American Jewish Committee (AJC) examined campus anti-Zionism earlier this decade, including with reference to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, and noting that all criticism of Israel was not necessarily antisemitic. The Anti-Defamation League has documented anti-Zionism on college campuses in the wake of the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks—from Students for Justice in Palestine rallies in the immediate aftermath of the attacks to campus walkouts in late October to cause for further concern by the end of 2023.

How to respond

Students may feel unsure or uncertain over how to respond to anti-Zionist arguments. There is advice available through many organizations; here are some resources to access first.

  • The Israeli American Council has a downloadable activism resource packet regarding the Israel-Hamas war.  as well as  the Mishelanu program for college students. The latter has two categories – Fellows and Ambassadors. IAC New England currently offers Mishelanu at four campuses in the region: BU, Brandeis, Northeastern and UMass-Amherst.
  • The AJC provides a downloadable advocacy guide for students facing anti-Zionism called “Know Your Rights.”
  • Students at Brandeis University can apply for a fellowship to battle Jew hate from the Foundation to Combat Antisemitism.
  • The Zionist feminist organization Zioness has a 58-page toolkit on campus antisemitism and anti-Zionism, including tips on deescalation.
  • Hillel International, an organization devoted to Jewish campus life worldwide, has an extensive resource website on antisemitism, including anti-Zionism.
  • AJC New England has a “Campus Library” resources section for students in both college and high school.

The ADL has many tools for dealing with antisemitic and anti-Israel incidents on campus, including:

  • Think. Plan. Act.,” a resource hub for facing antisemitism on campus.
  • Recommendations on how to counter antisemitism at colleges and universities gleaned from campus surveys pre- and post-Oct. 7.
  • Six specific tips for combating campus antisemitism.
Parents’ concerns

The Jewish fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi has a downloadable booklet of resources for parents regarding antisemitism on campus.

For faculty, administrators and staff
  • The National Education Association has an article on its NEANow site that shares tips for how educators can deescalate antisemitism on campus and how they can prevent anti-Israel criticism from crossing over into antisemitism.
  • Hillel International runs the Campus Climate Initiative, a program that educates college administrators on how to fight antisemitism and insure inclusion of all students on campus.
  • Both Zioness and the historic Jewish fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi also have advice on allyship for campus administrators.
For students applying to college
  • The organization TribeTalk seeks to inform high school seniors about the climate at the colleges and universities they are considering. One way it does this is through workshops on antisemitism and the ways it can intersect with anti-Zionism.
  • Hillel International has a series of webinars for Jewish high school students and their families about the college prep process, including in the changed atmosphere of today. One webinar focuses on antisemitism on campus.
  • Adam Lehman, the CEO of Hillel International, penned an opinion piece for Newsweek offering advice on how to choose a school during a campus antisemitism increase.
  • The Lappin Foundation has a program called Leaders for Tomorrow for high school juniors and seniors. Its goals include teaching about the dangers of antisemitism, and how to be a leader in high school and college.
Advice for allies

For non-Jewish administrators and students on campus, there are ways to show support.

The ADL offers a guide, “6 Ways to Be an Ally,” that encourages you to do the following:

  • Support targets, whether you know them or not.
  • Don’t participate.
  • Tell aggressors to stop.
  • Inform a trusted adult.
  • Get to know people instead of judging them.
  • Be an ally online.

Students should not face anti-Zionism or antisemitism alone. They are encouraged to reach out to their local Hillels on campus, and also to report antisemitic incidents to the ADL.

Rich Tenorio covers antisemitism news for His work has appeared in international, national, regional and local media outlets. He is a graduate of Harvard College and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He is also a cartoonist. Email him at