The anti-Semitism on today’s college and university campuses “has metastasized into a cancer,” says Charles Jacobs, special consultant on the new documentary Hate Spaces: The Politics of Intolerance. The title pointedly takes aim at the college fad of “safe spaces” to protect minorities from bigotry and oppression -- unless you're Jewish. Anti-Semitism is not merely tolerated in higher education; it is "tacitly encouraged," writes Andrea Peyser at The New York Post, "by the frequent inaction and support of woefully politically correct administrators and radical leftist professors."
Hate Spaces examines that ugly phenomenon, which often masquerades as anti-Israel activity such as the Boycott, Divestment, and Sactions (BDS) movement. The documentary, put out by the Americans for Peace and Tolerance organization, of which Jacobs is president, notes that anti-Semitism at Hunter and elsewhere is fueled by well-funded organizations with missions to destroy Israel, particularly Students for Justice in Palestine, the nationwide organization which the Horowitz Freedom Center has been targeting with its Stop the Hate on Campus campaign.
Hate Spaces is executive-produced, directed and written by Ralph Avi Goldwasser, who 12 years ago helped create the documentary Columbia Unbecoming, in which students and graduates of Columbia University describe being intimidated by professors for expressing pro-Israel views. “Since then, it’s only gotten worse,” Goldwasser told Peyser.
As an example, Peyser reported that the Million Student March last year at Manhattan’s Hunter College, part of the City University of New York, devolved from a rally for students demanding free tuition and lodging other grievances into a frenzy of Jew-hatred. “Death to Jews! Death to Jews!” the crowd chanted. Hunter’s president and student leaders released a tepid statement a day after the rally condemning the anti-Semitic comments. Too little, too late.
Other examples: a screening of a pro-Israel documentary this year at UC Irvine drew protesters who blocked the exits and chanted, “Long live the intifada!” A pro-Palestinian group slipped mock “eviction notices” under the dorm room doors of students perceived to be Jewish at New York University in 2014 and at least a dozen other campuses since then.
Near the film’s end, noted attorney Alan Dershowitz says, “We have to do more, we have to fight harder . . . because the facts are on our side, morality is on our side, history is on our side.”
Yes, we do have to fight harder, but precisely because history is not on our side simply because we stand for truth and morality. It is not a guiding hand whose "arc bends toward justice," as some, including President Obama, have said. History comes along only after the fact, to trace the struggle of competing, colliding, clashing human forces. Victory is not guaranteed to the moral and truthful but to those who fight harder and longer and with greater conviction. That's why we must do more and fight harder.