Anti-Israel protesters demand colleges kick out Hillel, Chabad

Many of the anti-Israel protesters calling for the end of Hillel and Chabad on campus are Jewish students.

By Vered Weiss, World Israel News

At Drexel University in Philadelphia and the University of California, Santa Cruz, anti-Israel encampments demanded their universities divest from Israel and also insisted they “terminate” their relationships with campus Hillel and, in Drexel’s case, Chabad.

The students argue that Hillel’s position and Chabad’s support for Israel make both organizations “complicit in genocide.”

The anti-Israel encampments have sprung up on many universities across America, with most demanding that their universities divest entirely from Israel.

Both Drexel and UCLA called for an end to their campus Hillel, with Drexel demanding that Chabad, a Hasidic outreach movement, also be kicked off campus.

Many of the anti-Israel protesters calling for the end of Hillel and Chabad on campus are Jewish students.

Jews Against White Supremacy UCSC, which supports the anti-Israel encampment, said, “Hillel receives millions from organizations financed by the Israeli apartheid state whose existence is reliant on Palestinian death.”

The Drexel Palestinian Coalition called Hillel “a global zionist campus organization, whose primary purpose, funding, and operations are to facilitate birthright trips to Occupied Palestine.”

Jewish and non-Jewish groups alike have condemned these requests, with Amy Spitalnick, CEO of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, saying, “Calling for a ‘complete boycott’ of and to ‘cut ties’ with Hillel — the center of Jewish life on most campuses… is antisemitic. And ridiculous.”

Read  WATCH: Anti-Israel protesters barricade Cal State LA president's office, trap her inside

However, many Jewish students claim that Hillel doesn’t represent them, and they feel excluded by the organization’s guidelines that will not allow partnerships or speakers who deny Israel’s right to exist, support the boycott movement against Israel, or “delegitimize, demonize, or apply a double standard to Israel.”

Lex Rofeberg, who was active with Open Hillel, a group that protests against Hillel’s refusal to work with anti-Zionist partners and speakers, posted on X that Hillel had painted itself into “an impossible and unsustainable contradiction” by claiming to be an organization for all Jews and yet refusing to accept anti-Zionist views.

Hillel has reaffirmed its support for Israel, which it calls “a core element of Jewish life.”

The Chabad emissaries at Drexel said they weren’t concerned about calls to have them booted off campus.

“We don’t take them seriously,” Moussia Goldstein, the Chabad center’s co-director, told JTA. “It’s so transparent how these things are antisemitic in nature.”

Her husband, rabbi Chaim Goldstein, called the demand “laughable” and “literally the joke of the town.”