Defeating Anti-Israeli and Anti-Semitic Activity on Campus
A Case Study: Rutgers University
Since the beginning of the Second Intifada in the fall of 2000, anti-Israeli activity, in the form of rallies, divestment campaigns, and misinformation
about the political situation in Israel, has increased significantly across American university campuses. Jewish students at
Rutgers University, the State University of New Jersey, were intimidated
by the extreme anti-Israeli sentiment that often crossed the line
into anti-Semitic activity. In the months leading up to the Third
Annual Palestinian Solidarity Movement Conference, scheduled to
meet at Rutgers, pro-Israeli student activists mobilized to combat the
anti-Israeli movement by creating a new, proactive campaign. Called
Israel Inspires, this campaign had a major impact on student opinion
toward Israel, prevailing over both anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic activity
in the fall of 2004.
Background: Rutgers University
Rutgers University (RU), the State University of New Jersey, is located
on three campuses in Newark, Camden, and New Brunswick/Piscataway, New Jersey. Established in 1766, Rutgers is attended by more
than fifty thousand students. This case study focuses on the New
Brunswick/Piscataway campus, which consists of smaller undergraduate
and graduate colleges. The overall student population is very
diverse, and many students are involved in student groups and tend
to be politically liberal.1
Utilizing University Media: A Springboard for Political Awareness
Regarding political activism, Rutgers was a generally quiet campus
in the fall semester of 2000, when the Second Intifada, or Palestinian
uprising, broke out in the Middle East with a series of terrorist
attacks against Israeli citizens. As the violence grew, information
about these distant events began to flood the college campus, and
students stepped forward with a variety of opinions about this outbreak
of aggression. In the spring of 2001, Rutgers was an exception
to the strident debates that erupted on college campuses across the
country, as editorials on Israeli and Palestinian violence began to
be featured in Rutgers' campus-wide newspaper, the Daily Targum.
The student-controlled media plays a large part in shaping student
political opinion for several reasons, and these are discussed in
Golub's case study on Johns Hopkins University. Although student
media, such as the newspaper, television, or radio station, are closely
affiliated with their university, they receive no funding from the
academic institution. As Golub notes:
Hence, the independent campus media becomes the voice of the
student body, but bears no accountability either to the school or
the students (who usually do not pay a subscription fee).2 In other
words, this media covers the university but cannot be limited or
penalized by it. [In addition,] prospective students often look to
the university newspaper to gain better understanding of the institution,
and alumni tend to use the campus media to stay connected.
Thus, the campus media acts as a link between many
generations of students.3
Pro-Israeli activists at Rutgers began to notice that negative student
opinion about Israel could have a dangerous effect on the campus
after an article that was published in October 2001. Written by an
opinion columnist, the article states that "Israel needs to be dismantled,
either politically or physically," and it became a major issue
on campus for weeks.4
Taking Sides: Pro-Israeli vs. Pro-Palestinian
A propaganda war soon erupted on campus. Particular "sides"
emerged, where pro-Palestinian activists deemed a supporter of Israel
"racist" or "anti-Palestinian," and a supporter of a Palestinian state
was labeled by pro-Israeli activists as "anti-Zionist" and even "anti-Semitic." Some attempts, however, were made by both sides to bring
down the walls that were being erected much too rapidly between
students on the campus. This author was part of a group of student
leaders that gathered to attempt reconciliation between the more vocal
members of both sides of the campus conflict. These attempts did
not, however, do much to ease the growing tensions. The majority of
students at Rutgers and other American universities care more about
missing the latest Dave Chappell Show on Comedy Central than about
how many Jews or Palestinians were killed in the latest attack. The
student activists, however, were very vociferous on the Rutgers campus.
Most pro-Israeli activists were Jewish, and most pro-Palestinian
activists were Muslim. There were a few key exceptions, however.
Much media attention has been given to Charlotte Kates, a former
Rutgers undergraduate and current Rutgers Law student whose religious
affiliations are dubious. According to the website Religious Freedom
Watch,5 Kates is an "antireligious extremist." She created a stir
as leader of NJ Solidarity, a self-described pro-Palestinian organization
that openly calls for the destruction of Israel. According to their
We are opposed to the existence of the apartheid colonial settler
state of Israel, as it is based on the racist ideology of Zionism and
is an expression of colonialism and imperialism, and we stand for
the total liberation of all of historic Palestine. As a solidarity movement,
we are committed to working fully in support of the Palestinian
people's resistance movement. We unconditionally support Palestinians'
human right to resist occupation and oppression by any means
necessary.6 (emphasis added)
Charlotte Kates has received media attention from papers such as
the New York Times, which quoted her virulent attitude toward Israel,
belief in the legitimacy of Palestinian suicide bombers, and denial of
Israel's right to exist.
In October 2003, NJ Solidarity, led by Kates, hosted both an off-campus pro-Palestinian conference four miles from Rutgers and an
on-campus rally. According to the Anti-Defamation League:
One of the conference supporters included a local chapter of Al-Awda, a movement that calls for the destruction of Israel, as indicated
by its motto, "From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be Free."
Other endorsers include the Islamic Association for Palestine, an
anti-Semitic organization that, according to the FBI, has coordinated
its activities with the terrorist group Hamas.7
These events neither attracted the support nor the media coverage
that NJ Solidarity had expected, although the emails that were sent
out to the NJ Solidarity list-serve suggested otherwise.
Another key player in pro-Palestinian activity at Rutgers is
a Jewish Rutgers student and former NJ Solidarity member,
Abe Greenhouse. He is most renowned as the student activist
who threw a kosher strawberry pie in the face of Israeli cabinet
minister Natan Sharansky during his speaking engagement at
Rutgers on 16 September 2003. Sharansky responded to the assault
by nonchalantly wiping the pie from his face, making a small
joke, and continuing his lecture to resounding applause from the
Despite his ties to anti-Israeli activity on campus, Greenhouse
attended a weekly class given at Rutgers Hillel and was well known
to members of the Rutgers Jewish community. Many attempts were
made by both Hillel professionals and student leaders to bring him
back into the Jewish community, but Greenhouse has not attended
any Hillel events since the pie-throwing incident.
Many of the anti-Israeli events with anti-Semitic overtones that
have occurred at Rutgers have been attributed to NJ Solidarity.9 The
actual number of members of NJ Solidarity that participated in their
events is minuscule. According to Andrew Getraer, executive director
of Rutgers Hillel, there may have been 35-40 members of NJ Solidarity
at the apex of their activism.
In comparison, there are a large number of pro-Israeli activists at
Rutgers University. They belong to several pro-Israeli student organizations,
of which the umbrella organization is Students United
Yet, despite the ratio of members of NJ Solidarity to Students
United for Israel, these pro-Palestinian activists were a very vociferous
minority during the peak of their anti-Israeli activity. The NJ Solidarity
list-serve sends out several emails per week, boasts large
membership numbers, and claims successful turnouts at events, but
does not always provide accurate information. For example, an event
that was scheduled for 4 December 2003 at the Center for Latino
Arts and Culture never occurred. According to Getraer, he went to
the widely advertised event at the Latino center and no one was there
except for an older woman, who was also looking for the meeting.
He mentioned that to the best of his knowledge, NJ Solidarity
advertises all the time for events that do not end up happening, from
movies to rallies.
This aforementioned event, the showing of a film called People
and the Land, announced that the movie
...takes viewers into the universe of the occupied people of
Palestine, [with] unreeling images of a new form of apartheid based
on ethnicity...that highlights the human rights violations against
the Palestinian community. "People and the Land" raises and highlights
the issue of US aid to Israel. At campuses across the country,
including Rutgers, students and faculty are demanding that our
universities divest-draw investment from-the apartheid state of
Israel, in order to cut off that corporate aid to the apartheid
NJ Solidarity also spearheaded a campaign called Rutgers Divest,
Calls for the University to apply its human rights ideals where its
dollars are invested. That is, we urge the university to use its political
and financial influence to encourage the United States government
to suspend its aid and arms sales to Israel. We also call upon Rutgers
University to divest from Israel, from US companies that sell arms
to Israel, and from US companies engaged in business with Israel....12
The website boasts a petition signed by 866 members. Interestingly,
however, when researching the signatures this author found that some
of the signatories listed as students either did not exist or were no
During all the pro-Palestinian activity on campus, pro-Israeli activists,
for the most part, continued to organize Israeli educational, social,
and cultural events. Aside from writing responses to anti-Israeli commentaries
and advertisements in the Daily Targum, anti-Israeli activity
was generally ignored in the beginning months of the Palestinian-
Anti-Zionism and Anti-Semitism Intermingle
As the conflict in the Middle East increased in violence, however,
tension on the campus began to mount. With anti-Israeli commentary
no longer limited to the college newspaper, Anti-Zionist rhetoric,
such as "Zionism = Racism," "Sharon = Hitler," and "Zionism =
Nazism" quickly made its way into flyers, chalking, banners, and rally
signs across the campus.
A series of events at Rutgers in the fall of 2002 exemplify how
the line between criticizing Israeli policies and anti-Semitism often
becomes blurred on the college campus. This is a point that has been
noticed and addressed by other university administrations as well,
including Harvard University where President Lawrence Summers
discussed the positive correlation between anti-Israeli activity and the
growth of anti-Semitic incidents in a speech in September 2002.13
At an Israeli-Palestinian dialogue cohosted by the Rutgers University
Democrats and Republicans, pro-Israeli students listened to the
pro-Palestinian side, whereas all pro-Israeli speakers were booed and
given an unfair amount of time to express their view. At the "dialogue,"
Palestinian refugee camps were compared to Holocaust concentration
camps using disturbing visual images. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel
Sharon was also compared to Hitler. Jewish students were not only
intimidated into silence, denied the freedom to express their opinions
openly, but were also emotional victims of Holocaust manipulation,
a personal issue for many Jewish students in attendance. In another
example of Holocaust manipulation and revision, on 4November 2002
NJ Solidarity sponsored a lecture by Holocaust revisionist Norman
Finkelstein. Daniel Goldhagen, author of Hitler's Willing Executioners,
describes Finkelstein as "a man who has made a career of
attacking Israel's legitimacy, including likening those who support
Israel to the 'Gestapo.'"14
Shortly after the Israeli-Palestinian "dialogue," Hillel students on
their way to Morning Prayer services found chalking on the sidewalk
outside of Hillel, permanent marker on a board on Hillel's lawn,
defacement of posters on the fence, and stickers on parking meters.
The chalking and stickers contained defamatory language such as
"Zionism is racism" and "Hillel is racist." This vandalism was reported
by the Rutgers University police as a "bias incident."15 This event
clearly blurs the line between anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic sentiment,
as Hillel became the target for anti-Israeli attacks. Jewish students
who wanted to participate in religious activities hosted by the Center
for Jewish Life on Campus could no longer ignore the political conflict.
One day after Hillel was vandalized, a front-page article appeared
in the Daily Targum. A non-student member of NJ Solidarity said
about the incident, "We have to understand that what happened is
anti-Jewish, not anti-Semitic." In the same article, the University student
senator for the Douglass College Governing Association
(DCGA)16 stated, "An attack on Zionism is by no means an attack
on Judaism."17 These remarks went unchallenged.
An important note about NJ Solidarity's claims in this article,
aside from the inaccuracies of the definition of "anti-Semitic," is that
the same slogans that were chalked on Hillel property were echoed
the very next day at an anti-war rally hosted by the same organization.
This rally, held on 24 October 2002, was dominated by anti-Israeli
slogans. Many students, who came for an anti-war rally and received
a very different message, were dismayed.
As for the vandalism, the police interviewed students whom Hillel
identified to them: three female students who were known to be active
in NJ Solidarity had publicly uttered phrases that were found written
on Hillel property, and had been outspoken against Hillel and Israel
at DCGA meetings. Although a Jewish student who witnessed the
chalking at Brower Commons, the campus dining hall, could not
identify them directly, they matched the general description. When
interviewed by the RU police they denied any involvement, and then
reported to the student government that Hillel was harassing them.
As attacks against Hillel increased in the form of anti-Israeli activity
aimed at the Center, Jewish students were no longer comfortable
about expressing their Jewishness openly. On 20 September 2003, in
the heat of the Israeli-Palestinian propaganda war, swastikas were
painted on the property of both Rutgers Hillel and the Alpha Epsilon
Pi Fraternity House,18 only a few days after Sharansky spoke on the
Announcement of the Third Palestinian Solidarity Movement
A turning point occurred during the late spring semester of 2003 when
it became public knowledge that the Palestinian Solidarity Movement
(PSM), the international organization that sponsors NJ Solidarity,
planned to hold their third annual conference at Rutgers during the
weekend of 10-12 October 2003. It was not long, however, until PSM
began to encounter many difficulties with their plan; a large, pro-
Palestinian conference on the Rutgers campus was not to be.
A few key factors led to PSM's final decision to move their divestment
conference away from Rutgers to Ohio State University. First,
the vocal protest among the local Jewish community indicated to PSM
that they would not be welcome in the Rutgers area. Second, PSM
was discouraged by the difficulty encountered by NJ Solidarity in
trying to obtain a permit for the conference from the University.19
Third, according to the Anti-Defamation League the main reason
PSM moved the conference was internal conflict between PSM and
NJ Solidarity. The former found this chapter of their organization
to be too extreme in their approach to pro-Palestinian activism.20
Specifically, PSM did not agree with Kates's support for Palestinian
"Israel Inspires": A Proactive Response
Some pro-Israeli activists were worried that the PSM conference, which
planned to further the already vocal campaign to coerce universities
to divest from Israel, and would generate even more intimidation and
anti-Israeli propaganda at Rutgers. Seeking community support, pro-Israeli activists cited examples from the anti-Semitic incidents that
occurred at both UC Berkeley and the University of Michigan, the
two previous hosts of the PSM conference.
In April 2003, a group of ten Jewish student leaders and two
Rutgers Hillel professionals sat down together to brainstorm a reaction
to this conference. The leaders established a new coalition, Students
United for Israel, that consisted of representatives from all the pro-Israeli groups on campus.21 This coalition worked throughout the
summer and the beginning of the fall semester to create a new pro-Israeli agenda. This initiative, now known as Israel Inspires, grew
beyond countering the pro-Palestinian conference to a proactive series
of events that would bring together not only students from the United
States, Canada, and other countries but also the local community to
stand in solidarity with Israel.
The main events of the October Israel Inspires campaign, which
consisted of an Israeli Block Party, a Community Rally, and a Student
Weekend Conference, gained international acclaim for their success.22
On 10 October 2003, over a thousand students flocked to the main
student center to celebrate Israeli culture with live bands, Israeli food,
Israeli art, and educational displays.
At the Israel Inspires Student Weekend Conference, 10-12 October
2003, which not only coincided with NJ Solidarity's conference date
but also with the Jewish holiday of Sukkoth, six hundred students
from sixty-eight colleges representing seventeen states, three Canadian
provinces, and three countries came to hear a wide political spectrum
of speakers and celebrate Israel in a 9,000-square-foot sukkah, and to
engage in workshops on advocating for Israel on their own campuses.
Among the speakers for the weekend were June Walker,23 David
Harris,24 Tom Rose,25 and Ambassador Fereydoun Hoveyda.26
The Israel Inspires Rally on 9 October brought seven thousand
people from throughout New Jersey and the New York metropolitan
area to hear speakers including New Jersey Governor James E.
McGreevey, New Jersey Senators Frank R. Lautenberg, Jon S. Corzine,
and Joseph M. Kyrrilos, as well as Ido Aharoni.27
During all the Israel Inspires events, the presence of anti-Israeli
protesters was felt but mostly ignored. The local media, however, gave
these protesters enough attention to encourage their own supporters.
NJ Solidarity measures the success of their own counterevents by the
media coverage they receive. Whereas the Israel Inspires leaders
focused on their new proactive initiative, NJ Solidarity consistently
worked not only to respond to Israel Inspires but to run their own
programs without PSM's support as well.
"Israel Inspires": The Continuing Effect on College Activism
Given the large attendance, attention, and support of the greater
pro-Israeli community, the Israel Inspires campaign was successful
from two major standpoints. First, anti-Semitic incidents at Rutgers
have virtually disappeared since the advent of the campaign. Second,
Israel Inspires was true to its name and inspired many students at
Rutgers to become involved in campus activism. The Rutgers
Students United for Israel community now boasts numerous pro-
Israeli activities, including the debut of the Rutgers Student Journal
of Israel Affairs.
When PSM announced Duke University as the location for their
fourth conference, the success of the Rutgers Israel Inspires campaign
was once again evident as pro-Israeli activists at Duke looked to
Rutgers to create their new pro-Israeli initiative in response to the
The Israeli Initiative is loosely based on the yearlong "Israel Inspires"
campaign last year at Rutgers University, when the National Student
Conference of the Palestine Solidarity Movement held its annual
event in New Brunswick, NJ, the Rutgers base....Jewish students at
Duke have planned an anti-terrorism rally and rock concert, followed
by a pro-Israeli Shabbaton to coincide with the PSM gathering.28
Although anti-Semitic incidents have virtually disappeared at
Rutgers, the campus should continue to be monitored as Middle Eastern
events continue to cause concern among both pro-Israeli and pro-
Palestinian college activists. Much of NJ Solidarity and other pro-
Palestinian organizations' work on the Rutgers campus has turned to
forming coalitions with other organizations that have no predetermined
political agenda on Middle Eastern issues, such as the gay and
lesbian organizations at Rutgers, in which pro-Israeli activists are
alarmingly absent. This author suggests that pro-Israeli activists consider
reaching out to both left-wing and non-Jewish organizations in
seeking to form coalitions. This is an important and necessary step
to ensure that colleges will remain free of anti-Israeli rhetoric, which
can so easily turn into anti-Semitism and intimidation in supposedly
peaceful academic settings.
A Summary of Intimidation:
Anti-Israeli Incidents at Rutgers University
* * *
11 October 2001: Peter Miller, an opinion columnist in the
Daily Targum (the Rutgers campus paper), writes, "Israel needs
to be dismantled, either politically or physically."
Spring 2002: At a pro-Palestinian rally on the steps of the main
dining hall a thirty-foot-long banner is displayed, containing
a purported "quote" from Ariel Sharon, dated 1956, exhorting
IDF soldiers to rape and humiliate Arab women. Signs equate
Zionism with Nazism.
Fall 2002: At an Israeli-Palestinian dialogue cohosted by the
Rutgers University Democrats and Republicans, Jewish students
are intimidated by an overwhelming number of
Arab and Muslim anti-Israeli students, and are not given an
equal chance to speak. Although pro-Israeli students listen
to the pro-Palestinian side, all pro-Israeli speakers are booed
and given an unfair amount of time to convey their point of
view. At the "dialogue," Palestinian refugee camps are compared
to Holocaust concentration camps with disturbing
visual images. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is also
compared to Hitler.
23 October 2002: Reported by the Rutgers University Police
as a "bias incident," anti-Israeli and anti-Hillel graffiti is found
all along College Avenue. On their way to Morning Prayer
services, Hillel students find chalking on the sidewalk outside
of Hillel, permanent marker on a board on Hillel's lawn, defacement
of posters on the fence, and stickers on parking meters.
The chalking and stickers contain defamatory language such
as "Zionism is racism" and "Hillel is racist."
24 October 2002: A front-page article appears in the Daily Targum in which a nonstudent member of NJ Solidarity says
about the previous day's vandalism incident, "We have to understand
that what happened is anti-Jewish, not anti-Semitic."
In the same article, the University student senator for the
DCGA says, "An attack on Zionism is by no means an attack
on Judaism." These remarks go unchallenged.
24 October 2002: In the guise of an antiwar rally, members of
NJ Solidarity hold a rally that is quickly dominated by anti-Israeli slogans. Several Palestinian flags are displayed. This
dismays many students, who came for an antiwar rally and
received a very different message.
25 October 2002: An NJ Solidarity member attempts to force
his way into an invitation-only Hillel event, a training session
on pro-Israeli advocacy on campus. When he is denied entry,
he stages photographs of himself, posts them on an activist
website, and protests to the vice-president for student affairs
that Hillel has violated University policy and is illegitimately
using the Rutgers name. Calls and mails from anti-Israeli activists
flood Hillel and the administration for several days. All
complaints are summarily dismissed.
27 October 2002: Protesting the Douglass College Governing
Association's resolution to condemn the vandalism that Hillel
underwent on 23 October, members of NJ Solidarity pass out
flyers claiming that the statements plastered at Hillel were
"NOT defamatory language." These statements included:
"Free Palestine!" "Israel is an Apartheid State!" "Stop US Aid
to Israel Now!" "Boycott Israel!" "Hillel is Racist!" "Zionism
is Racism!" and "End the Occupation!"
4 November 2002: NJ Solidarity sponsors a lecture by
Holocaust revisionist Norman Finkelstein. Daniel Goldhagen,
author of Hitler's Willing Executioners, describes Finkelstein
as "a man who has made a career of attacking Israel's
legitimacy, including likening those who support Israel to the
November 2002: A series of pro-Palestinian ads run in the
Daily Targum. Some show Palestinian children captions about
how their life's dreams may be thwarted by the occupation;
others list purported Israeli massacres of Arabs from 1948-2002.
28 January 2003: NJ Solidarity begins their divestment campaign,
which calls for public and private institutions to divest
from Israel. The campaign is launched with an anti-Israeli
rally in which twenty supporters of divestment symbolically
"die" to represent Palestinians. One sign reads "Sharon = the future Hitler."
6 February 2003: Former Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia
McKinney is invited by NJ Solidarity to speak during Black
History Month. This disturbs many Jewish students, as in the
past McKinney has been accused of making anti-Semitic comments
during interviews and speeches.
27 February 2003: The Rutgers Association for Middle East
Justice, an ad hoc student group directly associated with NJ
Solidarity, displays a banner that reads, "From the River to
the Sea, Palestine Will Be Free" in both the Rutgers College
and Douglass College centers. Implicit in this sentence is the
idea that the state of Israel should be eradicated from the
Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River, in other words, totally,
and many extremist groups including Hamas have used
27 March 2003: Anti-Israeli activists protest a Hillel speaker
with a mock Israeli "checkpoint" in front of the Hillel building.
They put up flyers around campus implying that the speaker,
an Israeli rabbi, is a terrorist because he lives in Bat Ayin, a
settlement outside of Jerusalem. Israeli settlers are described
as fanatical terrorists. The rabbi's topic was "Jewish Themes
in the Work of Franz Kafka."
28 March 2003: NJ Solidarity places flyers on campus advertising
"A Night of Solidarity" with the lead slogan
Spring 2003: An anti-Israeli ad is sponsored by NJ Solidarity
in the Daily Targum, claiming that Israel is a terrorist state
whose track record is worse than Iraq's.
4 April 2003: A demonstration is organized by the student-led
Arabs United at Rutgers University to protest alleged Israeli
army attacks on Palestinian communities.
5 April 2003: In a front-page report in the Daily Targum, an
Arab student claims that the "Israeli government went into an
all-female hospital and randomly selected 30 women, called
them terrorists, and executed them." The Targum published this
outrageous fabrication as if it was fact, and left it unchallenged.
16 April 2003: The campus Muslim Student Association schedules
a viewing of the documentary Jenin, Jenin, which falsely
asserts that Palestinians were massacred in 2002 by the Israel
Defense Forces in Jenin.
July-August 2003: NJ Solidarity, in promoting the International
Palestinian Solidarity Conference to be held at Rutgers
in October, comes out in support of Palestinian suicide attacks
and declares that Israel has no right to exist. The statements
are covered in the New York Times and all major New York/
New Jersey media.
16 September 2003: Israeli cabinet minister Natan Sharansky
speaks at Rutgers. A well-known pro-Palestinian student activist
assaults him with a pie in the face. The incident gains
worldwide press coverage. Seven months later the University
announces its penalty: the student, who is graduating, will
receive his diploma in December rather than in May.
20 September 2003: Swastikas are painted on the property of
Rutgers Hillel and AEPi, a Jewish chartered fraternity.
] 9 October 2003: Seven thousand people attend the Israel Inspires
Rally. Fifty pro-Palestinian activists protest. The New
York Times and Star-Ledger stories on the event lead with
photos of and interviews the protesters.
10 October 2003: Pro-Palestinian activists protest the Israel
Inspires Block Party, a nonpolitical event attended by over one
thousand students. The centerpiece of the protest is a giant
banner reading "Zionism is Racism." Although the placement
of the banner clearly violates University policy, University
officials refuse to take it down.
11-12 October 2003: The International Palestine Solidarity
Conference is held in New Brunswick. For noncompliance with
University regulations they are denied access to the Rutgers
campus. The conference splits into two groups, and only the
most extreme stay at Rutgers while the others go to Ohio State
February 2004: A professor teaching a course on Islam sends
a mass email to students promoting NJ Solidarity events. Hillel
brings this to the attention of the department chair and the
professor is informally reprimanded.
February 2004: A professor assigns his Advanced Spanish
Grammar class an NJ Solidarity anti-Israeli flyer to translate
for homework. Hillel meets the University president to
1. "About the University," http://ruweb.rutgers.edu/about-the-university.
* * *
2. In the case of Rutgers, students are given the choice on their tuition bill
to support the Daily Targum by agreeing to pay a predetermined, nominal
fee to the University.
3. Yonit Golub, "An Analytic Approach to Campus Pro-Israeli Activism-Case Study: The Johns Hopkins University," Jewish Political Studies
Review, Vol. 16, Nos. 3-4 (5765/2004), pp. 205-213.
4. Peter Miller, "God Loves Terrorism," Daily Targum, 11 October 2001.
5. "Religious Freedom Watch," http://www.religiousfreedomwatch.org.
6. www.newjerseysolidarity.org. Note that the original NJ Solidarity website,
www.njsolidarity.org, can no longer be accessed because anonymous
pro-Israeli activists have since hacked into it and changed it. The pro-Israeli activists have posted on the site extreme anti-Israeli statements,
pictures of Palestinian children training to be suicide bombers, as well
as links to articles that plead Israel's case.
8. Carmen Cusido, "Pie in the Face Prompts Hillel to Improve Security
at Events," Daily Targum, 23 September 2003.
9. Examples of NJ Solidarity's anti-Israeli activity are listed in the Appendix.
10. Pro-Israeli organizations at Rutgers include: Rutgers Hillel, Israel Action
Committee of Rutgers University, Rutgers Israel Public Affairs Committee,
Rutgers Chabad, and the Rutgers Israelis Club. Students United for
Israel runs a list-serve that included over 134 members only a month
after its inception. This list-serve represents all the membership lists of
all the pro-Israeli organizations at Rutgers.
11. "NJ Solidarity: Activists for the Liberation of Palestine," http://
12. "Rutgers University Campaign for Divestment from Israeli Apartheid,"
13. Lawrence Summers, "Address at Morning Prayers," Memorial Church
of Harvard University, 17 September 2002.
14. Daniel Goldhagen, "A Comment by Daniel Goldhagen," http://
15. Chris Lang, "Graffiti Concerns Members of Hillel," Daily Targum, 24
16. The Rutgers women's college.
17. Carmen Cusido, "Resolution Condemns Attack against Hillel," Daily
Targum, 31 October 2002.
18. Alpha Epsilon Pi is the Jewish Fraternity of North America, http://
19. Rutgers denied a permit to NJ Solidarity to use campus property for
their conference on the ground that they failed to fill out the proper
20. "Anti-Israel Divestment Campaigns Heating Up on Campus," ADL, 8
21. The very first meeting of Jewish student leaders was attended by only
a handful of students. As the activism intensified, the number of students
involved grew to include fourteen identified key players in the Israel
Inspires Initiative. These student leaders are: Rahel Bayar, Ronn Blitzer,
Aviva Cohen, Joel Davidson, Norman Jamal, Danielle Josephs, Michelle
Klein, Noam Kutler, Rebecca Leibowitz, Rebecca Markowitz, Shira
Pruce, Scott Roland, Marisa Rosner, and Stephanie Schwartz.
22. Articles about the Israel Inspires rally and surrounding events have
appeared in many newspapers including the New York Times and the
Jerusalem Post. The rally was also covered by all surrounding New Jersey
23. President of Hadassah.
24. Executive Director of the America Jewish Committee.
25. Publisher and CEO of the Jerusalem Post.
26. Iran's ambassador to the United Nations, 1971-1978.
27. Israeli consul for media and public affairs.
28. Gabrielle Birkner, "Campus War Heats Up at Duke," Jewish Week, 8
October 2004, http://www.thejewishweek.com/news/newscontent.php3?
REBECCA LEIBOWITZ is a recent graduate of Rutgers University, where she
graduated Phi Beta Kappa and as a Henry Rutgers Scholar with BAs in
psychology and Jewish studies. She served as student president of Rutgers
Hillel and the Jewish Community Service Organization. She was also a member
of the "Israel Inspires" Executive Committee, the Israel Action Committee
of Rutgers University, the Rutgers Israel Public Affairs Committee, as well
as a Grinspoon Israel Active Intern for Hillel International. Her essay was
written during an internship Leibowitz also has conducted research at the
Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.
The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect
those of the Board of Fellows of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.
The above essay appears in the Spring 2005 issue of the Jewish Political Studies Review, the first and only journal dedicated to the study of Jewish political institutions and behavior, Jewish political thought, and Jewish public affairs.
Published by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (http://www.jcpa.org/), the JPSR appears twice a year in the form of two double issues, either of a general nature or thematic, with contributors including outstanding scholars from the United States, Israel, and abroad.
Jewish Political Studies Review
Invoice No. ________
Annual Subscription Rates:
Back Issues or Single issues - $12 each
Enclosed is my check for US$/NIS: ____________
All checks should be made payable and mailed to:
IN THE US:
Center for Jewish Community Studies
Baltimore Hebrew University
5800 Park Heights Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21215
Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
13 Tel Hai Street
Jerusalem 92107 ISRAEL