Thursday, February 29, 2024

Survey: Jewish College students on Campus Fearful, Unhappy, and Scared Since Oct. 7 Hamas Assault

Jewish college students discover themselves in concern and going through disappointment on their faculty campuses ever for the reason that Oct. 7 Hamas assault on Israel, in accordance with a latest survey by Jewish campus group Hillel Worldwide.Adam LehmanAdam Lehman

The net survey – performed by market analysis agency Benenson Technique Group for Hillel Worldwide from Nov. 14-15 – included 300 Jewish faculty college students.

The survey discovered that 51% of U.S. respondents reported feeling much less protected on campus than they did previous to the Oct. 7 assaults, in accordance with Adam Lehman, president and CEO of Hillel Worldwide.

Oct. 7, 2023, marked the day terrorist group Hamas’s immediately attacked a music competition that was occurring in Israel, with greater than 1,400 Israelis killed and greater than 240 taken hostage, in accordance with Israeli officers. Because the assault, Israel has struck again and has been at struggle with the group in Gaza, the devoted assault leading to greater than 10,000 Palestinians useless, in accordance with Palestinian officers.

The continuing battle has polarized many within the U.S., together with on faculty campuses, the place scholar walkouts and demonstrations have arisen in assist for either side. There have additionally been calls to guard free speech for school amid these rising tensions.

In keeping with the survey, 84% of Jewish college students stated the state of affairs in Israel and Gaza is affecting them, with 68% reporting feeling disappointment and 54% scared. What the scholars had been requested was broad.

“The survey query that they had been responding to is as follows: ‘How is the information in Israel and Gaza making you are feeling?’ So, it was not particular to anybody facet of what’s occurring with the struggle,” Lehman stated. “However I believe that is also related as a result of the scholars surveyed not solely expressed, in [the] overwhelming majority of instances, feeling unhappy but additionally annoyed, offended, scared, and helpless.”

In keeping with the survey, college students are feeling the necessity to disguise their Jewish identities – 37% stated they wanted to. And 35% have stated that there have been acts of hate or violence towards Jewish folks on campus. 

The survey findings come amid immense ranges of campus antisemitism for the reason that Oct. 7 assaults, Lehman stated, including that there have been greater than 500 reported incidents of antisemitism within the final six weeks, together with 33 bodily assaults towards Jewish college students. The over 500 incidents – a 1,000% enhance from any prior six-week interval Hillel Worldwide has recorded – embody vandalism and hate speech, amongst different types of harassment and intimidation, he stated.

Assaults and harassments appear to be focusing on each Jewish and pro-Palestinian college students, in accordance with consultants.

Brown College senior Jillian Lederman, chair of Hillel’s Israel Management Community and president of Brown College students for Israel, stated that the survey’s outcomes had been heartbreaking however not surprising.

She talked about incidents on campus of individuals holding Israel and the Israeli authorities solely chargeable for all violence towards Israelis and Palestinians; a protester glorifying Hamas as martyrs; posters of kidnapped civlians being torn down or alleged to be Israeli propaganda; and private claims towards her that she supported genocide.

“My expertise on campus over the previous [more than] six weeks may be very reflective of the survey outcomes when folks say they’re pressured to cover their Jewish identification, when folks say that they’re scared about violence or harassment towards Jews on campus,” Lederman stated. “That’s one thing that I’ve skilled, that has been prevalent at Brown and at many different colleges throughout the nation.

“We’re in a state of affairs now the place over a 3rd of scholars are saying that there is been violence or acts of hate towards Jews on their campuses. That is an enormous quantity. … It is one thing that universities have a duty to handle [and] fight, and lots of of them are failing at that duty.”

Extra than half (53%) of survey respondents reported dissatisfaction with how their college was responding to violence and hate on campus, Lehman stated. And the majority of Jewish college students who answered (78%) stated that Jewish areas are extra essential now than ever earlier than.

“The present state of affairs Jewish college students are going through on campus is moreover leaving them annoyed and offended,” Lehman stated. “And I believe that’s partially a reflection of the truth that they had been stunned to see so little empathy, in phrases of their very own identities and experiences following the Oct. 7 terrorist assaults, from different college students, school, and employees. Moreover, they’ve seen so little sensitivity directed in the direction of Jewish scholar communities within the six weeks since, and as an alternative have confronted a lot demonization of not solely Israel however of Jews as a part of the fallout from the struggle in Gaza.”

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