Rise in Antisemitic Attacks and Harassment on College Campuses


Image Courtesy of Spectrum News

By Noah Slayter

Reader discretion is advised as this article will discuss antisemitism and violent topics.

Antisemitic incidents in America are up 400% according to the Anti-Defamation League. This comes on the heels of the October 7th attack by Hamas on the Israeli state that killed over 1,400 people. The main target of these anti-Jewish harassments are Hebraic students on American college campuses. Threats, use of slurs, and physical acts of violence have been noted in major universities across the country. 

At the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMA), a student has been arrested for allegedly punching a Jewish student on campus. The alleged perpetrator approached the student during a demonstration called “Bring Them Home: Solidarity Walk and Installation”, an effort to bring attention to the hostages currently held by Hamas. The individual allegedly gave the group a middle finger and then began punching a student holding an Israeli flag, he also spat on the flag.

UMass Amherst has also had to arrest 57 of its students due to a sit-in within an administrative building on campus. Initially, 250 students gathered inside the building, and 57 students remained after the building closed for the evening. The protesters were calling for UMA to end their connection with Raytheon technologies, which has helped produce some of the weapons used in the Gaza Strip.

The Ivy League has had its own plague of antisemitic issues recently as well. Harvard has had their “Harvard Hillel,” a center on Jewish studies, vandalized twice. A student from the Harvard Business School was mobbed by a large group of Pro-Palestine protesters, including a then-member of the Harvard Law Review, Ibrahim I. Bharmal. The accostment occurred during a “die-in” protest (a twist of sit-in protests)  on the university property. The altercation included blocking the first-year Israeli student with keffiyehs, traditional Palestinian scarves. Instigators yelled “Shame” and forcibly grabbed the student. 

Based on a report sent to the FBI in Boston, reviewed by the Washington Free Beacon, “An Israeli student on his way to class pulled his phone out to film the rioters and he was attacked. He was assaulted both physically and verbally. Throughout the assault, he kept calm, but was aggressively attacked by Pro-Palestine rioters.”

Harvard University has now established a group of advisors to help fight against anti-Semitism on their campus.

At Cornell University, police had to be stationed outside the “Center for Jewish Living,” a kosher campus dining hall, due to threats to “shoot up” the building, as well as “stab” and “slit the throat” of Jewish men. According to the prosecution against the 21-year-old student, Patrick Dai was allegedly caught threatening to rape and throw Jewish women off of cliffs, cut the heads off of Jewish babies, and “bring an assault rifle to campus and shoot all you.” He is currently in custody awaiting trial and has not entered a plea, as of yet.

Cooper Union College near Manhattan NY, had Jewish students forced to hide in the campus library out of fear of rioters from a pro-Hamas protest outside, on October 25th. Students rushed past security to bang on the barricaded door of the library once it was discovered that Jewish students resided inside. The Jewish students were forced to remain inside the library for 20 minutes while police dispersed the illegal gathering. A Librarian reportedly told the students they could “hide in the attic” if they wished. Thankfully, no students were harmed, or property damaged.

DC Schools have had their fair share of protests as well. George Washington University students projected “Glory to our Martyrs” on the wall of a Library. Georgetown University placed a staff member on leave after finding antisemitic posts on her social media. The staff member tweeted in 2015 that she had a “deep seeded [sic] hate for Zio bitches.” 

More recently, numerous students from George Mason, George Washington, Howard, Gallaudet, and American Universities were arrested yesterday because they interrupted a House Judiciary Committee Meeting. The Students were protesting congressional support of Israel.

President Kilpatrick made a statement on social media regarding the October 7th attacks in Israel. The Catholic University President called Hamas a “terrorist organization” deserving of the “strongest condemnation,” while also stating fear that the state of Israel could do harm during the  “total siege under which the Palestinians are living in Gaza” Kilpatrick also briefly addressed how the attacks have caused strife on American college campuses.

“Shamefully, on some college campuses, there have been acts of anti-Semitism or hateful comments made against Muslim students. There is no room on a Catholic campus for words and actions that do not uphold the respect and dignity due to every single member of this community.”

The following SGA Senators shared their thoughts.

Theology School Senator Andrea Suarez said that “Violence is never justifiable,” and that she is “committed to making sure that everyone feels safe and secure” at CUA. 

Class of 2026 Senator Michael Kish stated that the “most holistic method to combat antisemitism on campus is prayer, and to live with a spirit of Christian charity and love for all peoples.”

Business School Senator Maximillian Morris commented, “There is never a right to massacre innocent civilians, of any religion, or any region.” He was “horrified” by the attacks on October 7th. 

Class of 2025 Senator Jeffery Lance said that he “firmly condemn[s] antisemitism and all other forms of racism.” He stated that it is important to “ensure as a campus community that we stand united against racism and protect each other as students and human beings who are equal in dignity.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *