Let’s take in two news items that don’t appear related on the surface.
First, Inside Higher Ed reported recently that anti-Semitic incidents on college campuses increased 41 percent in 2022, adding “That is greater than the 36 percent increase in incidents in the United States over all.”
Second, yesterday the Washington Post published an article from a third-year Stanford Law student that claims the bulk of Stanford law students are really moderates who are turned off by the extremists of both sides (“far-right students,” the author claims, “make up a small and unpopular camp” because, sure, the Stanford Federalist Society has heckled so many visiting speakers over the years), culminating with the Rodney King Injunction: can’t we all just get along?
But this paragraph gives away the real problem:
Expressing nuance about certain matters — whether on Israel or policing — is essentially taboo for anyone who doesn’t want to invite social ostracizing.
I know this from helping organize a spring-break trip this year to Israel and the Palestinian territories. Far-left, pro-Palestinian students opposed the trip, urging classmates to abstain from visiting the “apartheid state” of Israel. One student, who ended up going anyway, was first subjected to an intervention-like meeting with critics of the trip. Others, intimidated, dropped out.
None of these agitated students intimidating their fellow students are conservatives. Anti-Semitism today is driven by the ideological left, full stop. Yet the media and liberals persist in arguing that anti-Semitism comes from the right.
And it is likely to get worse because no university administration is going to do a damn thing about it. In fact anti-Semitism is slowly being institutionalized in American universities and other elite institutions. Note this passage from a recent article in Tablet:
A tenure-track humanities professor at a prestigious public university tells of the finalists for her department’s next graduate school cohort. Of the 20 or so candidates, four to five are Jews. One is a working-class yeshivish applicant with an incredible backstory and even better recommendations. He is passed over for not being “diverse” enough. Of course our professor doesn’t complain— her own tenure is at risk. In the end, not a single Jew is offered admission.
Another Jewish professor applies to work in the UC system. In his mandatory diversity statement, which he describes as “the most shameful piece of writing I’ve ever done,” his sole aim is to convey the impression that he hopes to be the last Jewish man they ever hire. He still doesn’t get the job.
And why would he? Using YouGov data, Eric Kaufmann finds that just 4% of elite American academics under 30 are Jewish (compared to 21% of boomers). The steep decline of Jewish editors at the Harvard Law Review (down roughly 50% in less than 10 years) could be the subject of its own law review article.
The same pattern holds across America’s elite institutions: a slow-moving downward trend from the 1990s to the mid-2010s—likely due to all sorts of normal sociological factors—and then a purge so sweeping and dramatic you almost wonder who sent out the secret memo.
Museum boards now diversify by getting Jews to resign. A well-respected Jewish curator at the Guggenheim is purged after she puts on a Basquiat show. At the Art Institute of Chicago, even the nice Jewish lady volunteers are terminated for having the wrong ethnic background. There’s an entire cottage industry of summer programs and fellowships and postdocs that are now off-limits to Jews.
Chaser—From Inside Higher Ed today:
The Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights has resolved its investigation into how the University of Vermont responded to complaints from students who said they faced antisemitic harassment at the institution.
Department investigators identified several areas of concern, including failure to investigate the allegations and that the failure to do so “may have allowed a hostile environment for some Jewish students to persist at the university.”
Students who complained to OCR said they faced online harassment from a teaching assistant who talked about wanting to lower Zionist students’ grades and that a campus group excluded Zionists from participating. The complaint also included allegations that the campus Hillel building was vandalized.
Jewish college students have reported an increase in campus antisemitism in recent years, and the Vermont case is the first of several open investigations involving complaints of antisemitism to be resolved.
“It does not appear that the university determined whether the cumulative effects of these incidents created a hostile environment based on students’ shared ancestry (Jewish) or took action regarding the cumulative effects of the incidents until after the commencement of OCR’s investigation of this matter,” department officials wrote in a letter to the university.
Contrast this typical college response to rising anti-Semitism to how colleges wheel the big guns into place whenever someone imagines they spotted a noose on a tree, not to mention the repeated campus race hoaxes of recent years.