Antisemitism: A far deeper problem than can be imagined

by | Mar 14, 2024 | Opinion, Other News

America is experiencing a strong uptick in antisemitism, especially on our college campuses. Jewish students feel unsafe and numerous attacks have been registered. University presidents have struggled to admit that advocating for the genocide of Jews is against school policy. Pro-Palestinian student demonstrations against Israel have bordered on outright antisemitism by calling for the destruction of the only democracy in the Middle East. The government is now demanding records of antisemitic incidents on campus and how schools have dealt with them.

This problem is far deeper than can be imagined. It is not enough to simply supply “safe spaces” for Jewish students or to discourage anti-Israel and antisemitic demonstrations. It is an endemic problem with education. Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), which receives foreign funding, has been promoting misleading depictions on campuses for decades with die-ins, false accusations of apartheid, regular “disinformation” displays, and calling for “boycott, divestment, and sanctions” (BDS). Many foreign students are fed antisemitism in their home country from the cradle and fail to check their baseless hatred at the border when they enter the US.

Numerous videos reveal students falsely believing that Israel is an apartheid state, that Arabs are oppressed and enjoy no human rights in Israel, cannot vote or purchase property, that a Palestinian nation existed before “European Jews colonized and appropriated” their land, that October 7 never happened, that Islam forbids rape, that Israel targets Gazans and babies for genocide, and that the Holocaust was a Jewish fabrication to gain world support to establish the state of Israel. This is a massive failure of our education system.

Almost all of the signs and placards displayed by the protesting students are professionally produced on a mass scale. The students did not draw them up in their dorm rooms. Obviously, they are supplied and funded by outside sources. We have an entire generation growing up with misplaced hate and skewed concepts. They will be our future leaders. Where are our educators?

The pro-Hamas line is pushed by American-born professors with biases that they learned in college, and many professors from the Middle East who came hating Jews and Israel from birth. If schools actually desire to address these purveyors of hate, granting them tenure has tied their hands.

So how do we combat antisemitism? Much of it originates in the home, a locale over which we have no control. But in grade school? It is bad enough that universities have become hotbeds of hatred. Unfortunately, now we are seeing examples of this perfidious indoctrination, starting children early in visualizing Jews and Israel with double standards and half-truths. Critical Race Theory depicts Jews not as a protected minority but as “privileged” and “colonialist” despite the vast majority of Israelis living uninterrupted in the Middle East for millennia.

Washington state is considering a Holocaust Education Bill that now has an amendment that requires the study of “genocide” by Israelis, termed the “Hamas Amendment” by critics. Two New York elementary teachers proudly admit to this indoctrination, claiming they were training children to be “social warriors.” How pervasive has this become?

To solve this immoral situation, states such as California need to rewrite their ethnic studies curriculum to actually teach the horrors of the Holocaust, regard Jews as an American minority, not “privileged,” depict Israel fairly without using double standards and Hamas talking points, and crack down on teachers who carry an agenda.

Currently, the Berkeley, Calif. school district is under fire for unchecked antisemitism and hatred of Israel. Students are rewarded for staging walkouts and demonstrations of solidarity with Palestinians, Jewish students are intimidated by teachers who ask about their “Holocaust” tattoos, Jewish parents who complain are threatened by teachers, students are recruited to assist anti-Zionist teachers cheering Hamas atrocities as “liberation,” and Jewish students are shuffled from class to class instead of facing the problem. These “indoctrinations” are even happening in elementary school.

Yes, we have a major crisis within institutions of higher learning. But the problem starts well before that.

Sheldon Fineman, MD is a retired physician residing in Virginia Beach. He may be reached at

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Jewish News.