Students on university campuses throughout Europe are facing a surge in anti-Semitism, with problems in the United Kingdom up 59% in just a year and one student in Glasgow being told to “go gas herself,” according to a report from the Investigation Project on Terrorism.
Student Ethan Gabriel Bergman, speaking to the Dutch newspaper Israel Nieuws, described, at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands, “dozens of incidents … including the administration’s decision to ignore International Holocaust Remembrance Day.”
Explains the report, “If there were a survival handbook for Jewish students at the universities of Europe, it would probably begin with this: Tell no one that you’re Jewish. Condemn Israel as a terrorist, genocidal state. Get used to it.”
Universities in Belgium, France and the U.K. are reporting the same issue, with the U.K. confirming just last month “antisemitic abuse on university campuses has reached record levels” – a full 59 percent higher than in 2020.
“And it’s not just students. As one professor at the University of Maastricht told a Jewish colleague, ‘If you want to keep your job, don’t tell anyone that you’re Jewish and that you support Israel,'” the report explained.
Earlier in the year there were anti-Israel demonstrations across Europe, with university protest banners demanding, “all [Israel] wants to see is blood. Arab blood, as much as possible – blood, the more the better – blood, the main thing is that Arab blood is spilled,” the report said.
“Yet when a Jewish student wrote despairingly of this in a student Facebook group, the replies that came in were anything but supportive. ‘Filthy cancer-Jew, I hope that they turn the gas chambers back on,’ one person wrote, and another: ‘your stinking people will be destroyed.'” the report noted.
But worse, when the student sought a disciplinary response to the attack, school officials said, “Don’t you think you deserved it for being so unfriendly?”
Bergman reported that he’s watched the BDS movement – to boycott, divest and sanction Israel – expand and that he’s been told groups will work with the European Jewish Association only if they will join that effort.
Maastricht officials, when asked about the situation, denied there had been any complaints of discrimination.
The report explained at the University of Gent, in Belgium, officials declared “solidarity with the Palestinian people who, since 1948, have opposed a settler-colonial regime involved in ethnic cleansing … and apartheid.”
More than 1,300 students and professors signed on.
The population of Muslims is higher than the Jewish population on most campuses, the report said, “but that doesn’t explain the full aggressiveness of the anti-Jewish hate on Europe’s campuses, nor does it explain the pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel sentiments of so many European professors.”
The report said Holocaust survivor Regine Suchowolski-Sluszny regularly gives lectures in Belgian schools about her own experiences, and described how teachers often question her about Israel and Palestine, “attempting to compare the Nazi regime with Israel.”
“They have little knowledge of the history or the actual situation in the Middle East,” she explained. “It isn’t of interest to them, and so they go along with what they hear on TV.”
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