22 May, 2015
By Don Futterman
While young minority activists across American college campuses are rejecting Israel and isolating their Jewish classmates, Israel has chosen a government of settlers and religious extremists. Add to that the Jewish community’s ambivalent response to liberal or progressive Jewish students who question Israel’s policies, and we may be creating the perfect storm to undermine future support for Israel.
According to a front-page article published last week in The New York Times, student groups at hundreds of American colleges are promoting divestment from Israel, and Jewish students are hurting. Fueled in part by the carnage of last summer’s Gaza war – in which more than 2,200 Palestinians were reported killed, including almost 500 children – the BDS movement is uniting a wide range of minority activist groups – African-American, Hispanic, LGBT – in solidarity against Israel, and in many cases, against Jews as well.
Many Jewish students feel cornered. They don’t know how to answer the criticism of the Gaza war or the ongoing occupation, criticism they may share or know nothing about, and they are being told that they don’t qualify as a minority by Israel’s non-Jewish minority adversaries on campus. If they question Israeli policies, the organized Jewish community views their loyalty as suspect.
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