Believe the Hype: Zionism is Losing the Battle of Ideas on College Campuses

BDS supporters protesting in London. The poster reads, “Boycott Israeli Products”. Wikimedia.

Haaretz reporter Ari Shavit paid a visit to two dozen U.S. college campuses and came back with a dire warning: the Jewish future is slipping through our fingers, he writes, referring to those who support Israel and Zionism.

What he found on his listening tour was a besieged Jewish community, squeezed between the extreme rhetoric of BDS on one side and their own concerns about Israel’s policy on the other.

We feel like we’ve been abandoned on the battlefield, many of them told me. The anti-Zionists, they said, are accusing us of collaborating with evil, but Zionism doesn’t understand us and doesn’t speak to us; instead, it’s busy building more and more and more settlements.

Zionism, Shavit writes, has failed to provide “a reliable, relevant and inspirational narrative” to counter the “near-overt anti-Semitism” of the BDS offensive. “And when they arrive on campus and are exposed to anti-Israel venom, the Jewish and pro-Israel identity of many of them collapses.”

In other words, it’s a battle for legitimacy. And Israel is losing…


I see it as partly demographics: almost all Muslims are virulently opposed to Israel and Jews in general. ‘Brown people’, even if they are not Muslims, are conditioned by the current campus atmosphere to see themselves as ‘victims.’

And more and more Muslims and ‘brown people’ are arriving daily.  Jews make up a smaller and smaller fraction of the population. 

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