Gary Fouse

The Knesset hears about US campus anti-Semitism

On July 25, a Knesset committee heard testimony from American Jewish leaders on the issue of rising anti-Semitism on US university campuses. Testifying before the Knesset were Kenneth Marcus and Alyza Lewin of the Louis D. Brandeis Center, and Ofek Preis, a Jewish student who experienced anti-Semitism first-hand at the State University of New York at New Paltz. I welcome this testimony, and feel strongly that it is something that the Knesset needs to hear. This is certainly more important than the complaining of some American Jewish groups about the recent Israeli Supreme Court controversy.

After teaching part-time at the University of California at Irvine (1998-2016) and seeing first-hand how the organized pro-Palestinian movement all-too-often spilled over into outright Jew hatred, I have long maintained that the focal point for the resurgence in anti-Semitism in the US was on our university campuses. That was due to the agitation by groups like Students for Justice in Palestine and the various chapters of the Muslim Student Union/Association. Now it has metastasized into American society at large.

Yet, I have been dismayed at how many leaders in the universities, the media, and even some Jewish organizations prefer to lay all the blame on the right, MAGA supporters, white nationalists, neo-Nazis etc. To be sure, white nationalists and neo-Nazis share in fomenting the problem. However, they are not the majority of the problem in my view. They certainly have no sway or influence on our university campuses. The major reason for this reluctance to identify the major perpetrators is, in my view, that those on the left do not want to admit that much of the problem in our universities is coming from parts of the Muslim community. I reiterate that no matter who engages in anti-Semitism is to be condemned, but it serves no purpose to mischaracterize the true nature of the problem. As in France, Sweden, and other parts of Western Europe, much of the problem is Islamic anti-Semitism. And just as in the US, European leaders are loathe to acknowledge it.

I have long believed that pressure must be brought upon our universities to protect their Jewish students from harassment and bullying. Too many university administrators have shown cowardice in the face of this campaign of harassment. They refuse to confront the above-mentioned groups. President Trump had put public universities on notice that if they refused to protect their Jewish students, federal funding would be at risk. Of course, President Biden has failed to continue that pressure.

American universities have fallen into disrepute for a host of reasons. Left-wing indoctrination and stifling of free speech are now front and center in front of the American public. In addition, the various departments of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) have attracted recent notice for their divisive influence on behalf of certain ethnic groups on campus to the detriment of other groups, like whites, Asians- and Jews as well. The issue of campus anti-Semitism must also be exposed to the American public, and the main perpetrators identified. It is clear that our universities are in dire need of reform, and the American public is finally getting the message in spite of so many to deny it-including among certain major Jewish organizations.

For these reasons, I welcome the appearance of the above-mentioned Jewish figures before the Israeli Knesset.

About the Author
Gary Fouse worked from 1998-2016 as adjunct teacher at University of California at Irvine Ext. teaching English as a second language. Served three years in US Army Military Police at Erlangen, Germany 1966-68. 1970-1973- Criminal Investigator with US Customs 1973-1995 Criminal investigator with Drug Enforcement Administration. Stationed in Los Angeles, Bangkok, Milan, Italy, Pittsburgh and Office of Training, FBI Academy, Quantico, Va. until retirement. Author of Erlangen-An American's History of a German Town-University Press of America 2005. The Story of Papiamentu- A Study in Slavery and Language, University Press of America, 2002. The Languages of the Former Soviet Republics-Their History and Development, University Press of America, 2000.