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. 

  • Icebow

    All too depressing. The moral depravity outstrips the dumbing down. No more than 10% of a population should go to university.

  • dance…dancetotheradio

    Part of the problem is the legal and quasi legal human rights apparatus that Jewish people themselves helped to set up is being used against them.

    • k1962

      Please…it wasn’t set up by only Jews and it is used against everyone or do you think checking your white privilege only applies to Jews?

      • dance…dancetotheradio

        I don’t check my white privilege.
        I earned it.

      • Xavier

        My white privilege got me mugged, my home burgled, and my car stolen – and more than once.

        The city is vibrant.

        • dance…dancetotheradio

          You sound like Gordon Ramsay!

  • David Murrell

    To my way of thinking is that on campuses Jews (and pro-Israel non-Jews) should fight a guerrilla war. Yes, there should be above-board moderate-Jewish groups to show the flag, but there. But there should be tough-minded groups like the JDL to take to the streets — this on campuses. Thinks like boycotts of university fundraising, lawsuits, underground newspapers and web sites — Jewish students should be doing these sort of things. Once the above ground war is lost, students should become guerrillas.

    • k1962

      I recall an Islamic Apartheid week held at one university many years ago. Don’t know why that fizzled as it is very apropos. I guess fearing for one’s life could be a reason.

  • Norman_In_New_York

    I have a feeling that things will change once Obama leaves office.

    • Xavier

      So do I – he lit the fuse but wants to be away from the blast.

  • Everyone Else

    Haaretz complaining about anti-Israel sentiment is like a pyromaniac complaining about fires.