Since the savage Hamas terror attacks on Oct. 7 in Israel, there’s been a growing number of antisemitic incidents here in the United States and around the world.
In Britain, Sir Ephraim Mirvis, the nation’s chief Jewish rabbi recently told ITV News the UK’s Jewish community is more fearful now than it has been since 1945.
“There is a lot of anxiety,” Mirvis said. “Seeing so many thousands on the streets openly supporting the Hamas terrorists certainly has caused a lot of anxiety in our community.”
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the director for global social action at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, California appeared on Tuesday’s edition of The 700 Club to talk about what seems to be an explosion of antisemitism around the world.
“It’s interesting. In the first few days, I had a number of interviews from journalists from Europe, all of whom said they were sympathetic. Supported a two-state solution. Sympathetic to the Palestinians. But I kept hearing, ‘I didn’t sign on for this.’ We were hoping and anticipating that supporters of the Palestinian cause would be repulsed by what they saw, what we all saw,” Cooper said.
“These were worse than than Nazis. Nazis tried to erase their crimes and they (the Hamas terrorists) were broadcasting their crimes. I think in large measure the shock troops for the mainstreaming of the narrative of Hamas, genocidal antisemitic hate, turned out to be student groups across campuses in the United States with the support of some of their professors. And frankly, in terms of most college presidents, and chancellors AWOL,” he noted.
“You have these massive rallies already in London, in Germany, and then on campuses here in the states, which quickly shifted, and focused on this narrative, genocidal narrative of hatred of Jews. And remember, since even before COVID, we’ve had a spike in antisemitic hate crimes. A lot of it was fueled and is fueled by social media, by Tiktok, by Telegram. That’s already been in place,” Cooper explained.
“But the explosion of hatred and the embrace of the inhuman massacres and everything else that’s gone on, and the silence of NGO (nonprofit organization) women’s groups saying nothing about the rape of Israeli women. You can go right down the list. Forty Israeli infants murdered, not a word,” the Simon Wiesenthal Center director said.
“But I think for us, the main crossroads in trying to push back at least in this part of the phenomena, really is going to be the college campuses. But it’s against the backdrop of the fact that the members of ‘The Squad’ have been able to get away with some of the worst anti-Israel and sometimes antisemitic venom. No price to pay,” Cooper noted.
“Where CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations), an organization which made the top 10 antisemite list of the Simon Wiesenthal Center not too long ago, is hosted by the White House as an important ally and source to fight antisemitism when they are a significant part of the problem,” he said.
“If we’re going to fight back, we have to recognize the unfortunate truth that we have antisemites in the Far Right. We have plenty of antisemitism from the Left. And universities here, along with some of the media have allowed the moving of the goalposts of the debate over the Holy Land that was once upon a time, well, ‘Will a Palestinian state include East Jerusalem?’ to now a genocidal call to basically get rid of all Jews,” Cooper noted.
“That has to change and for that to happen we’re going to need a lot of help from our neighbors,” he added.
Turning University and College Students to the Truth About Hamas
700 Club host Gordon Robertson noted the Palestinian support by student clubs that have been going on for years in the U.S. and asked Cooper what could be done to turn the tide on college campuses towards the truth.
“I think there are a number of points. First, you point to so many elite universities. But thank God, a lot of the biggest donors to Penn, the University of Pennsylvania, which used to be after Yeshiva University the most sought-after place for Jewish kids to go to. Jewish students there have been left hanging and a lot of megadonors have snapped shut their checkbooks. Alumni have a lot to say in terms of the future of presidents and chancellors. And publicly coming out and saying, ‘I’m not giving you another dime. I don’t like what’s going on here. I’m not asking for anything more for Jewish students, but you’re basically not doing anything to protect your Jewish kids or to be intimidation-free.’ That’s number one,” Cooper continued.
“Number two. I’ll just call out two governors. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), very creative, went after to defund and basically to push off campus the Palestinian group based on some of the anti-terror laws that they have down in Florida. The governor of New York, Miss (Kathy) Hochul (D-NY) just went up to Cornell yesterday to stand with the Jewish students to let everyone know that these threats of violence and rape and all the rest is not going to be put up with,” he said.
“We need the governors of all 50 states and that means also the regents and the budgets. We need a message to go out to the elites like Harvard and Yale but also to state schools. In California, we’ve had a disastrous situation with the UC system and very big disappointments with the University of Southern California. It’s a national issue and we have to focus our intention on the purse strings and on the political implications. It’s going to be a long haul here also. It will not be turned around in a day,” Cooper said.
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Cooper was partly referring to threatening statements about Jews on an internet discussion board that have unnerved students at Cornell University and prompted officials to send police to guard a Jewish center and kosher dining hall.
The menacing, anonymous messages, posted over the weekend in an online forum about fraternities and sororities, came amid a torrent of antisemitic and anti-Muslim rhetoric that has flowed on social media during the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.
New York Gov. Hochul pledged during a visit to Cornell’s Center for Jewish Living on Monday that state police would work to identify anyone making online threats and hold them accountable.
“No one should be afraid to walk from their dorm or their dining hall to a classroom,” she said. “When speech crosses over into hate speech and into hate crimes, that’s when we have to make sure that students know that we’ll step up and protect them.”
The Cornell University Police Department is also investigating and has notified the FBI. The department said in a prepared statement that it had increased patrols and arranged additional security for Jewish students and organizations both on and off campus.
The Biden administration also announced new plans Monday to combat antisemitism on college campuses after what the administration called an “alarming” uptick of incidents since the Israel-Hamas war began earlier this month, according to NBC News.
The outlet reported the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security will partner with campus law enforcement to track hate-related threats and provide federal resources to schools, including assessing specific and credible threats online.