Elkana Bar Eitan

Taking advantage of the ‘Woke movement’ and the search for meaning and community

Many people are watching the anti-Israel and anti-Jewish violent demonstrations on American university campuses and wondering how bad the situation is.

In the past 15 years, I’ve worked with many American campuses, including some of those considered most radical, so I decided to share my thoughts about this worrying topic.
First, it’s important to note that the vast majority don’t care, just like in any society. Simple as that. I believe that less than 5% of students on campus have invested any time learning about the topic, not to mention taking part in any event related to the war in Israel.
However, these small groups of so-called ‘activists’ are doing a fantastic job creating a buzz on and (mostly) off campus. I believe that their biggest success is that they got the masses to believe they are powerful. By targeting the elite left and using social media outlets, they were able to achieve their number one goal – the isolation of the pro-Israel community. It’s shocking to see how few are vocal supporters of Israel. How few are the vocal supporters of Jewish students.
What is going on campuses has nothing to do with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It’s pure antisemitism. And it’s based on the vulnerable situation of many young people in Western societies.
I believe that these young students are motivated by two things: Purpose and Community.
Growing up in wealthy Western societies, they finally feel they have found a cause worth fighting for, a purpose in life. Dealing with loneliness and depression, they are now part of a community and, for the first time, feel like they belong. We are witnessing how the deep social and mental challenges of growing up in modern-day Western civilizations impact Israel and the Jewish community.
It’s truly amazing to watch how violence and hate bring people together. LGBTQ activists join fundamental Islamic terrorists and fight the only democracy and liberal society in the Middle East. It’s also fascinating to watch how none of these so-called activists feel the need to get as emotionally involved in any other conflict.
Evil forces are taking advantage of the ‘Woke movement’ and the deep desire for meaning and community and forming a coalition of haters. Haters of the only Jewish State. Like so many times before, the Jews are singled out and blamed for all the problems of society. Attacking the Jewish State allows so-called progressives to embrace hate and violence. Allowing Jews to join the haters helps deceive the public. Unfortunately, some Jews are also part of this movement. They are also in search of meaning and community. Sadly, Jewish communities couldn’t cater to their needs, so they found comfort in the hands of modern-day antisemites.
Like so many times before, the actual attacks and vocal bigotry are carried out by a tiny part of society. The bigger problem is that the masses don’t interfere. The masses don’t care enough to face the loud and violent mobs.
This is where great leadership and personal responsibility can make a difference.
Where are the university leaders? Where are the lay leaders? Where are the social media influencers?
Speak up.
Don’t let these dangerous people get away with their crimes. Don’t allow the spread of hate and lies.
It is our responsibility to fight back. It is our obligation to share the truth.
About the Author
Elkana is an entrepreneur and business manager with a deep passion for education. Since 2007, Elkana has been in the field of experiential education and social entrepreneurship, focusing on community building, social awareness, humanities, and Jewish identity. Elkana currently resides in Eshhar, together with his wife, two daughters, and son.
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