Antisemites on Campus

U.S. universities have spent years sowing seeds of today’s antisemitism

American Ideals PAC president Ying Ma recently penned the following op-ed for Fox News.

American colleges have been hotbeds of racial grievance and enablers of violence since the 1960s. 

It should come as no surprise, then, that college students and professors are now celebrating terrorism and threatening Jewish students on their own campuses. Just on Thursday, the Department of Education announced that it is investigating five schools across the country for antisemitism.           

Some of the most explicit violent threats have materialized at Cornell, my alma mater and one of the schools under investigation. Last month, a 21-year-old student, Patrick Dai, declared his intent to “shoot up” a kosher dining facility on campus. He was quickly apprehended, and it seems that Dai was suicidally depressed and perhaps not of sound mind. 

Meanwhile, Cornell students who are of sound mind celebrated Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre of Israeli women, men, children, babies, the elderly and entire families. A Cornell professor called the butchery “exhilarating.”

Cornell president Martha Pollack deserves credit for unequivocally condemning Hamas, antisemitism and those at the university who glorify “the evilness of Hamas terrorism.” Yet, this is the same woman who couldn’t bring herself to denounce the Black Lives Matter (BLM) rioters who burned and terrorized American cities for months after the killing of George Floyd

When I expressed my dismay to the Cornell Alumni Affairs Office, it sent me multiple statements issued by Pollack that unwittingly offered further evidence of her deafening silence before the crimes of the racial grievance mob: “We are ashamed of the injustices that are perpetrated in our country, every day, against people of color,” Pollack said in June 2020. 

This statement was followed by an announcement of racial justice initiatives, including zoom sessions on “institutional racism and the context of the current protests,” promotion of research on “matters that relate to systemic racism, colonialism, bias and inequity,” and mandatory training for staff on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). 

Pollack was far from alone; countless other university presidents bent the knee to BLM. The nation’s top 25 colleges responded by variously condemning alleged institutional and structural racism in America, promising to fight for racial justice, and strengthening or creating DEI initiatives on campus. 

None saw fit to extend their moral indignation to the mass riots and chaos perpetrated by self-proclaimed social justice warriors. 

Similarly, many of America’s best-known corporations pledged their support – both moral and financial – for BLM at the height of the riots. 

Amazon posted on its homepage that “Black Lives Matter. Amazon stands in solidarity with the Black community.” X (formerly known as Twitter), Netflix, Nike, Citigroup, Walmart, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Apple, Target, Wendy’s, and other major companies made comparable declarations. 

Among them, national retail or restaurant chains whose branches were looted or burned uttered not a word about law and order. The desire to appease and virtue-signal trumped all common sense and human decency. 

A few years later, instead of chanting racist epithets against White people and the police, left-wing protesters claim that Israel is racist and illegitimate while spewing the vilest and most cliched antisemitic tropes. Such overt racism in the 21st century is grotesque, but perhaps not surprising.

For decades, American universities – along with the mainstream media and the American Left in general – have sowed the seeds of today’s celebratory antisemitism by ignoring or even condoning violence, as long as it came from supposed oppressed groups against supposed oppressors. 

So, the violence perpetrated by BLM and Antifa in the wake of George Floyd’s death was rationalized and even justified because it was committed in the name of valiantly fighting “systemic racism.”  

Of course, universities began caving to student violence long before BLM, and Cornell is one of them. Two dormitories – the Latino Living Center and Ujamaa (focused on Black heritage) – were conceived as direct concessions to violent, racially motivated, student takeovers of campus buildings in 1993 and 1969, respectively. As always, appeasement of violence paved the way for more violence. 

But this time, the antisemitic rants of students and professors alike on campuses across the country have finally exposed just how morally perverse the country’s universities have become, and how directly complicit they are in creating young people who are not open-minded or tolerant or fair or capable of critical thinking, but who unabashedly call for the death of Jews.

Statements condemning antisemitism, and arrests of dangerous individuals, are the absolute minimum that must happen. Universities must also stop kowtowing to the purveyors of racial grievance and fake oppression narratives. 

If they don’t, higher education has a grim future in America – as do the rule of law and true justice.

This column originally appeared at

Image: View of Sage Hall and Sage Chapel, from McGraw Clock Tower, Cornell University