The satirical student publication targeting a Jewish student and falsely claiming he had authored an op-ed entitled “What About All the Good Things Hitler Did?” is merely the latest in a series of problems that Jewish and pro-Israel students have faced at Rutgers University (“Rutgers Under Bias Fire,” April 15, 2012). Jewish students have been threatened, harassed and discriminated against on campus, and the university has largely ignored these problems.
Consider how Rutgers responded to a campus program sponsored by an anti-Israel student group called BAKA. The program, entitled “Never Again for Anyone,” absurdly and offensively equated the Nazis’ genocide against the Jews with Israel’s defensive polices toward the Palestinians. The program’s content aside, the admissions policy discriminated against Jews and supporters of Israel. BAKA was never held accountable by Rutgers.
Rutgers knows about all these anti-Semitic incidents, but its response has been abysmal. When Jewish students complained, officials refused to even listen. Instead, the Jewish students were treated to a lecture about Islamophobia. They were made to feel like the aggressors, even though they had been victimized.
When speakers and programs demonize Jews or Israel, university leadership must publicly condemn them as anti-Semitic, and also condemn the perpetrators. In addition, Rutgers should enforce its own policies, so that when Jewish students are threatened or discriminated against, the wrongdoers are held accountable.
Rutgers needs to educate its staff and students about the meaning and effect of anti-Semitism, and finally recognize that it’s a problem on campus that the university is committed to remedying.