The faculty of San Diego Community College, in my home state of California, is putting Jewish students at risk by focusing their attention away from the classroom and attacking Israel. The union, which represents SDCC faculty, passed a resolution baselessly accusing Israel and Jews of forcing Palestinians from their homes. In the wake of this resolution, no statement has been issued or action taken by the SDCC administration in support of Jewish students on campus. During a time when Jews are facing an unprecedented spike in antisemitism, SDCC’s administrators must step up in support of the local Jewish community.
When anti-Israel resolutions like this pass at any local level of government, Jews’ safety is thrown into jeopardy. A recent survey by the Anti-Defamation League showed a strong correlation between the passage of BDS resolutions and attacks against Jews, at home and abroad. The growth of hate in America is widespread. It is amplified by institutions “normalizing” and publishing resolutions that encourage division. In 2020, the FBI reported that 58% of religiously motivated hate crimes were committed against Jews, who make up just 2% of America’s population. This resolution, passed by the American Federation of Teachers Guild Local 1931, SDCC’s staff and the teachers union, sends precisely the wrong message to the campus community and directly places Jewish students in a dangerous and hostile environment.
SDCC administrators have previously not shied away from public statements on issues of social justice. In 2020, the school announced its solidarity with Black Lives Matter, going as far as to cut the umbrella BLM organization a $10,000 check. SDCC did not hesitate to stand with Black Lives Matter, but it refuses to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism. This definition, which has been accepted by 31 national governments, including the United States, is a critical tool to help protect Jewish students from discrimination.
As a Jew, I am deeply angered and hurt by SDCC’s offensive reaction to these developments. This normalization of hatred has no place on American college campuses. SDCC can and must take a stand with Jewish students by condemning this unfounded anti-Israel resolution. It is not too late for them to take action to show that all students should feel welcome and safe on campus.