IDF soldiers find that they must combat more than their enemies on the field. They must also fight the raging anti-semitism rampant on US college campuses.
To that end, LIBI USA, which supports the LIBI Fund, the IDF’s official humanitarian branch, along with an anonymous sponsor have decided that Hanukkah is the perfect time to increase the light of truth at US universities concerning Israel’s struggle against terrorism and the challenges the IDF faces to keep the Holy Land’s citizens safe.
The supporter will match all donations made during the eight days of Hanukkah up to $8,000. That means that $16,000 can be raised to battle US anti-semitism from December 7 through December 14.
“Studies find that 54 percent of Jewish students on college campuses faced anti-Jewish harassment in 2014. The rise in blatant anti-semitism from the so called ‘educated elite’ must be addressed,” noted Dr. John A.I. Grossman, LIBI USA Chairman, to Breaking Israel News.
Universities have traditionally served as a place for intellectual expansiveness and an enclave for positive social change. However, students are now being exposed to far-left, anti-Israel sentiments to such a degree that often, these views of hate are perpetrated by Jews themselves.
“For years universities have maintained a permissive attitude when it came to anti- Israel rhetoric,” continued Grossman. “These fertile grounds for hatred have lead to skewed and negative attitudes towards Israel, the IDF and through extension, the Jewish people.”
With the release of a new Anti-Defamation League (ADL) report showing that the 2014-2015 were years with continuing increases of anti-Israel activities on US university campuses, LIBI USA feels the urgency to do what it can to stop the tidal-wave of negativity towards Israel and its struggles against terror .
“University student groups are sponsoring programs and initiatives to defame and delegitimize Israel. This is simply anti-semitism in another form,” Grossman explained to Breaking Israel News. “With the noted success of our past programs where we sent an IDF soldier to speak on US campuses, we have realized the importance of maintaining a pro-Israel voice for students who are especially vulnerable to accepting what they are presented as fact.”
Controversial speeches and activities are often welcomed at universities under the guise of free expression. Just after the murder of 18-year-old American student Ezra Schwartz by Palestinian terrorists in Israel, pro-Palestinian students at the University of Michigan set up an anti-Israel protest.
Students are quoted in the Michigan Daily newspaper as saying that they had been badly shaken by the demonstration. Yet, their student government called for the the barring of a Jewish student serving on the Central Student Government for “firmly” stating to the protesters, “You’re not serious about this, with these signs here. It’s disgusting. Take it down, you’re not serious.” The pro-Palestinian activity notably went unchecked.
Similarly, the University of Central Florida recently released surveillance footage of two suspects distributing anti-Semitic stickers and fliers around the campus. Nazi swastikas along with hate speech were included as well as calls for boycotting Israeli made products.
These are just two of hundreds of examples of anti-Israel bias found on US college campuses. “With continuous reports from Jewish college students that they are feeling increasingly threatened by hostile attitudes coming out of universities, LIBI USA is grateful to have a matching donor for all funds raised during Hanukkah to combat false and detrimental information regarding Israel and our IDF soldiers,” stated Grossman. “The IDF is the most moral army in the world and this message needs to be spread.”