May 3, 2024 | Announcements

The Wave of Anti-Israel Protests on University Campuses

Dear Friends,

For the past two weeks the protests on university campuses have been front page news and causing fear and concern in the Jewish community. Over 2,000 protestors have been arrested on some of our nation’s most prestigious universities. While there is a rich history of impactful campus protests, many of those we have seen have crossed the line. They have gone from expressing understandable sympathy and empathy for the suffering of the Palestinians to glorifying Hamas, calling for violence against Israelis and any Zionists, and have created an atmosphere of fear where Jewish students are afraid for their physical safety. While there certainly are some well intentioned protesters there are also bad actors. There are reports that a significant proportion of the arrested are not students.

Free speech is a cornerstone of our democracy and antiwar protests are a powerful way to call attention to the plight of civilians in wars. However, are these protests truly antiwar? Are they seeking true peace between both sides or the eradication of Israel? Whom are they benefitting? If the United States were to stop arms shipments to Israel would it leave the country defenseless against the real life nations and entities who have made it clear they want to destroy it?

There have been many powerful articles about what has gone wrong with this protest movement. Here is one from Rabbi Haviva Ner-David, writing for the Times of Israel, as a Columbia alum and peace activist living in Israel.

May the coming weeks bring good news for Israel, the Jewish people, and our world in need of peace and unity.

Shabbat shalom,
Rabbi Adir Glick