In the aftermath of the horrific terror attack on Israel by Hamas on October 7th, we, the undersigned, a coalition of administrators, professors, campus partners, and students on campuses across the United States standing united against the egregious attack on Israel and the antisemitism that has followed.
Hamas’ recent antisemitic attack, resulting in the murder of over 1,500 innocent Israelis and the kidnapping of more than 230 men, women, and children, is deeply heartbreaking. We pray for those who are currently captive in Gaza. Psalm 69:33 states, “The Lord hears the needy and does not despise his captive people.” And “He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets prisoners free” (Psalm 146:7). Every life holds immeasurable value, and all people of goodwill must stand against these barbaric acts of evil and work tirelessly for the release of every hostage.
We call for an immediate and unconditional release of every Israeli being held captive. Families are torn apart, and communities are in anguish. Lasting peace cannot be achieved through acts of violence against the innocent. The intentional murder and kidnapping of innocent civilians must never be tolerated.
Hamas attacks against Israelis were antisemitic. We adamantly oppose all forms of antisemitism. Since the October 7th attack by Hamas on Israel, the surge in antisemitism, including incidents on US college campuses, has become a disturbing and pressing concern.
This trend is mirrored in countries like Britain, France, Germany, South Africa, and the United States. According to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), antisemitic incidents in the United States alone skyrocketed, with 312 reported cases between October 7th and 23rd, a 400% increase from 2022. Such incidents include verbal abuse, online slurs, threats, graffiti, and vandalism of Jewish properties and religious sites, making it a profoundly unsettling demonstration of hatred.
The rise in antisemitism isn’t limited to non-violent acts; physical assaults have also increased at an alarming rate. A shocking case unfolded in Russia’s Dagestan region when an enraged mob stormed an airport looking for Jews after a flight from Tel Aviv. In the United States, ominous incidents include threats to bomb the Center for Jewish Living at Cornell University and an attempted break-in at a Jewish family’s home in Los Angeles, where the assailant chanted “Free Palestine” and “Kill Jews.”
These incidents stress the urgency of addressing and combating this surge in antisemitism, which threatens not only Jewish communities but also the American principles that all citizens have the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
The eruption of antisemitism on US college campuses is a concerning dimension of the broader trend we’ve witnessed since the October 7th attack by Hamas. Instances like the incident at the Cooper Union in New York City, where an anti-Israel group attempted to breach the President’s office and targeted visibly Jewish students in the library, suggest a growing hostility and intolerance for Jewish students.
These incidents are not isolated, as evidenced by the widespread use of slogans and hashtags such as “Zionism has no place on our campus” and “ZionismOffCampus” at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, or chants like “We don’t want Zionists here” at UC-Santa Barbara. At Grinnell College, students chanted that “Zionism is white supremacy,” and at UC-Irvine, protesters chanted, “We don’t want two states, we want ’48.” Anti-Israel demonstrators at DePaul University shouted, “Death to Zionism.” At Rice University, organizers displayed posters equating Zionism with violence. This behavior on campuses across the country reflects a heinous reality where antisemitism is being normalized and championed.
Academic institutions must take a strong stance against all forms of antisemitism.
We call upon college and university leaders from the United States to recognize the urgency of this matter and work together toward a resolution that unequivocally condemns all forms of antisemitism and demands the safe return of Israeli hostages held by Hamas.
We remain unwavering in our commitment to Israel and the Jewish people’s right of self-defense against their enemies today and always. We implore our supporters, friends, and all who share in our mission to join us in prayer for the release of all hostages and to stand in solidarity with the Jewish people who are being targeted during these difficult times.