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CHLOE SPARWATH: Breaking The Generational Curse Of Antisemitism Must Begin On College Campuses

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Chloe Sparwath Contributor
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Nearly a century after Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party came to power in Germany and put in motion their movement to eradicate the world of its Jewish population, American college campuses are experiencing violent antisemitism.

Hillel International recently published results from a study they conducted with Jewish American college students. The results are something I never thought we would see in a civilized country in 2023. Here are some of the most shocking results: more than 1 in 3 Jewish students “say they have needed to hide their Jewish identity,” 1 in 3 Jewish students say there have been “acts of hate or violence on campus against Jews” and over half (54%) of Jewish students feel “scared.”(RELATED: Harvard Rabbi Blasts University Leadership Over Permissiveness Of ‘Antisemitism’)

Let those statistics sink in. This is happening on college campuses in the United States of America in the year 2023. We are supposed to be a free country, where freedom of religion is not only encouraged, but guaranteed by law. Yet a third of Jewish American students, many of them who attend public universities, feel they need to hide their identity and religion for their own safety.

This is not the time to be silent or cower behind the false notion that if you are not Jewish this is not your fight. Violence against the Jews and silence and complicity of their non-Jewish counterparts is an undisputed historical pattern spanning since the beginning of the Diaspora in the 500s BC (see pogroms, blood libel, crusades).

Antisemitism is a generational curse worldwide that must be broken, but it will take a conscious effort to do so. Like most social movements, this is a fight that needs to start on college campuses, especially because they are evidently some of the most hostile environments right now for Jews and those who support the right of the Jewish people to have their own state. College campuses are where America’s young people are supposed to go to become enlightened, not indoctrinated with hate.

This surge of campus antisemitism comes in the wake of Hamas’s Oct.7 brutal assault on Israeli civilians where more than 1,200 people were massacred, scores of women and girls were raped and more than 200 hostages (including babies, young children and the elderly) were kidnapped into the Gaza strip.

Initially, world sympathy was with Israel, but it did not take much time before public opinion in the West turned against them, and as Israel is the world’s only Jewish state, the Jewish people themselves. This trend is the most prevalent in younger American generations, such as Gen Z, and millennials and especially on college campuses. As found in a Harvard Caps Harris Poll, a majority of Americans between the ages of 18-24 believe Hamas murdering Israeli civilians was justified. Out of that same age group, 62% of them claim that Hamas’s actions were genocidal, meaning that an unfathomable number of college-aged Americans believe that Hamas committing an act of genocide against Jewish people is justified.

These young Americans’ abhorrent opinions regarding unspeakable atrocities committed against Israelis have clearly translated into antisemitism against their Jewish peers on campus.

For example, 21-year-old Patrick Dai of Cornell University is under fire after posting that he would “stab” and “slit the throat” of any Jewish men he saw on campus and then rape Jewish women and throw them off cliffs. At another Ivy League school, the University of Pennsylvania, there have been so many disturbing incidences of antisemitism that the FBI is investigating. Several American chapters of Students for Justice in Palestine celebrated or were immediately established after Hamas’s massacre of Israeli civilians before Israel retaliated. Columbia University recently suspended its SJP chapter for “threatening rhetoric and intimidation”. At New York City College, Jewish students had to barricade themselves in a library as a mob of protesters chanting “free Palestine” tried to break down the door. The list goes on, and obviously, this on-campus terrorism means devastating repercussions for Jewish students.

“Never again,” people said after the Holocaust. “I would have stood up against the Nazis if I were in Germany,” said others.

Unfortunately, never again is now, as there are real-life Nazis spreading their vitriolic hate on college campuses like the plague. We must fight to end it now, so that no horrors of the past are repeated.

Chloe Sparwath earned her Bachelor of Arts in Politics with an emphasis on Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia. While at UVA, Sparwath was elected president of the UVA chapter of the Network of enlightened Women. She is part of the new book, You’re Not Alone: The Conservative Woman’s Guide to College.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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