Heads of Israeli universities condemn antisemitic comments at schools overseas

College campuses have been riddled with antisemitic incidents over the last few weeks in the aftermath of Hamas’s attack on Israel.

By The Associated Press

Heads of Israeli universities sent a letter to colleagues around the world expressing deep concern over anti-Israel and antisemitic discourse at some universities following Hamas’s deadly attack on Israel and the war it triggered in the Gaza Strip.

The Association of University Heads in Israel also criticized what it sees as the inadequate response of some academic leaders.

“It’s unsettling to note that many college campuses have become breeding grounds for anti-Israel and antisemitic sentiments, largely fueled by a naïve and biased understanding of the conflict,” the letter said.

“Freedom of speech is a cornerstone of academic freedom, but it should not be manipulated to legitimize hate speech or to justify violence.”

Tensions on campuses in the U.S. and Europe have been inflamed since the Hamas attack. Some students and faculty have expressed support for the terror group and its attack.

At Harvard, a coalition of more than 30 student groups said Israel was “entirely responsible” for the Hamas attack that killed more than 1,400 people.

At Cornell University, police were sent to guard the Center for Jewish Living over intimidating posts.

The comments have raised fundamental questions about free speech and its limits.

“Just as it would be unthinkable for an academic institution to extend free speech protections to groups targeting other protected classes, so too should demonstrations that call for our destruction and glorify violence against Jews be explicitly prohibited and condemned,” the Israeli university heads said in their letter.