To university administrators, campus organizations, and whomever else it may concern:
As students return to campus this fall and schools start choosing their line-up of speakers for the semester, we call on you not to extend an invitation to antisemites. There’s a pattern of universities failing to take accountability for platforming people who incite hate and violence toward Jews.
Last spring, when Mohammed El-Kurd spoke at universities across the country, Jewish on Campus received dozens of submissions from students that his sentiments of violence against Jews and support for terrorism seeped onto their campuses. In 2021, when Leila Khaled — responsible for hijacking planes as part of a terrorist attack — was invited to speak at San Francisco State University, she was allowed to spread the beliefs that incited that very act of terror. This summer, Roger Waters and his decades-long antisemitic campaign promoting the boycott, divestment, and sanctions of Israel were offered a platform at McGill University, adding fuel to the fire that is BDS on campus. While participants claim these ideals only target Israel, the campaign directly correlates to antisemitism Jewish students face. This, combined with his outspoken belief in antisemitic conspiracy theories and Holocaust denial, has no place on campus.
Hosting speakers who condone terrorism and spread antisemitic conspiracy theories sends Jewish students the message that antisemitism isn’t a problem, or worse: antisemitic rhetoric is worth sharing with your student body. We feel neglected and unsupported by our peers. When these speakers spread their hate on campus, it doesn’t leave when their event is over; they provoke antisemitism on campus that has a lasting effect on the Jewish community.
Inviting guests to speak on college campuses is a great opportunity to welcome new perspectives and diversity of thought, but antisemitism is not that. Tuition dollars and student programming fees should not go towards people whose presence on campus actively harms a student population. When someone is invited to speak or host an event, the university endorses their rhetoric, behavior, and values.
Jewish on Campus is committed to fighting for the safety of Jewish college students everywhere. We urge you not to extend your platform only to those whose messages target Jews or other minority student populations on your campus. Universities have a platform, and who they give it to matters. Don’t give it to antisemites.
Jewish on Campus