Zach Stern

‘Open Hillel’ Only Promotes Anti-Semitism

A response to Daniel Solomon’s recent article:

The ‘Open Hillel’ movement seeks nothing more than to spread anti-Semitic messages in the one place on campus that is supposed to be safe for Jewish students.

The movement claims to promote the idea of open debate under the Hillel umbrella and allow all voices regarding Israel to be heard at Hillel. However, the only voices Hillel currently does not allow are those that demonize and delegitimize the Jewish state and those that support the anti-Semitic BDS movement.

In other words, criticism of Israel is welcome at Hillel as long as that criticism does not call for the destruction of the Jewish state, hold Israel to an impossible double standard, or call for the boycott of the only Jewish state.

Therefore, by default, all ‘Open Hillel’ supports is the inclusion of these dangerous anti-Semitic messages at the Jewish student center. Again, this is true because Hillel already allows all other voices.

Delegitimizing and demonizing the Jewish state, as well as holding it to a double standard (which BDS does on a regular basis), is considered anti-Semitic even by John Kerry’s State Department.

Daniel Solomon argued in his recent Times of Israel op-ed that “opening” Hillel will save it. However, I fail to see how opening Hillel to anti-Semitism will save the place on campus that is supposed to be safe for Jewish students.

That’s like arguing that the only way to save the NAACP is to partner with the KKK.

About the Author
Zach is the Managing Director of ZOA Campus, the campus branch of the Zionist Organization of America. Before working for the ZOA, he worked in Israel advocacy in Tel Aviv. Zach is a graduate of the University of Minnesota's School of Journalism.