Recent ordeals for Jews on college campuses include being probedon their religious identity in student government hearings, seeing swastikas sprayed on fraternity houses, and the presence of a student-initiated course accused of anti-Semitism. Pro-Israel voices are fighting back, but who is winning this war of ideas? An episode at Columbia University, a historic hotbed of anti-Zionism, illustrates the complex dynamics at play.
Last month, Christians United for Israel (CUFI), America’s largest pro-Israel organization with more than 2 million members, planned a lecture at Columbia concerning the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., and his support for Israel. CUFI says that the school administration meddled with the event in a way that unfairly singled out the pro-Israel group. The university imposed an “unprecedented level of bureaucratic scrutiny in an effort to intimidate,” says David Walker, CUFI’s national campus coordinator.
Walker tells JNS.org that the university moved the lecture to a much smaller venue at the last minute, demanded to know the names of all off-campus individuals expected to attend, and denied the general public entry as evidence of “bureaucratic bullying.” Some organizations partnering with CUFI on the event proceeded to withdraw their support in the aftermath of the administration’s actions.
Originally published at JNS.org