Israel, America’s great ally, faced the darkest day in its history Saturday. There is simply no moral justification for Hamas’ terror. The only normal response is to condemn such violence.
Yet, on college campuses across this country, administrators, faculty, and student activists took turns blaming Israel and expressing enthusiastic support for Hamas. And while alumni have been shocked and appalled at these spectacles, it’s often their money that’s fueling such outrages by expanding “diversity, equity, and inclusion” bureaucracies.
One of the fastest-growing budget items at universities today is the explosion of diversity, equity, and inclusion staff. These DEI staff are supposedly there to foster an environment where all ethnic groups and nationalities will feel respected. What better time for a DEI office to voice unqualified support for Jewish students than in the face of Hamas’ war crimes?
Except DEI bureaucracies are hotbeds of antisemitism. Heritage scholar Jay Greene looked at tweets by DEI staff at colleges and universities and found that they “pay a disproportionately high amount of attention to Israel and nearly always attack Israel.” (The Daily Signal is Heritage’s news and commentary outlet.)
In fact, 96% of their tweets or retweets about Israel were critical of the Jewish state. In contrast, 62% of their tweets about China (which is currently carrying out a genocide against its minority Uyghur Muslim population) were positive.
In other words, instead of fighting antisemitism on campuses to make them more “inclusive,” DEI staff are fueling hostility toward Jews. And now, we’re seeing the results.
Harvard University’s DEI mission statement says it “establishes a profound sense of belonging for each member of our community.” Yet this week, 33 student groups cosigned a letter that “holds the Israeli regime entirely responsible for all unfolding violence.”
As the nightmarish images of innocent Israelis being murdered, tortured, and kidnapped populated the news and social media, Harvard took days to utter a response to their campus activists. How many Jewish students at Harvard could possibly feel a sense of belonging on that campus?
At Yale University, Associate Professor of American Studies Zareena Grewal has taken to X (formerly Twitter) in support of Hamas. With over a thousand Israelis dead, including butchered infants, Grewal praised Hamas’ treatment of Israeli captives: “Today, Palestinian freedom fighters showed their humanity in their treatment of Israeli settlers, compared to the brutal actions of the Israeli occupying forces towards Palestinian women and children.”
Yale has been rife with violations of free speech on its campus recently, including the disruption of Alliance Defending Freedom’s Kristen Waggoner. But it chose to defend Grewal’s freedom of expression. How are “diversity” and “inclusion” served by silencing conservatives while letting a faculty member celebrate the murder of over a thousand Jews?
At Stanford, an instructor of a “Civil, Liberal, and Global Education” course used the Hamas attack to teach Jews a lesson. The instructor demanded Jewish students move themselves into the corner of the classroom, telling them “This is what Israel does to the Palestinians.” Then the instructor said that while 6 million Jewish people were murdered in the Holocaust, “colonizers killed more than 6 million. Israel is a colonizer.”
According to Stanford’s DEI website, “A diverse and inclusive community offers different perspectives, experiences, and cultures that enrich the educational experience.” Do Stanford’s DEI officers have nothing to say about this outrage?
Examples like this are popping up all over the place. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
University of Florida President Ben Sasse offered an unequivocal letter of support to the school’s Jewish community and a stern warning against campus activists supporting Hamas’ terror. Sasse wrote, “I also want to be clear about this: We will protect our Jewish students from violence. … If anti-Israel protests come, we will absolutely be ready to act if anyone dares to escalate beyond peaceful protest. Speech is protected—violence and vandalism are not.”
What a bold and rational stance. But why is this so rare? As universities and colleges pain themselves to appear as havens of diversity and inclusion, Sasse’s cogent statement should be the status quo.
Of course, free speech should be protected on college campuses. And there’s nothing wrong with a university aspiring to create an environment where all students, no matter their culture or ethnicity, can feel welcome.
But what good is a (very expensive) army of DEI officers if campus activists feel empowered to celebrate the deadliest day of violence against Jews since the Holocaust?
Soon, you may get a letter in the mail from your alma mater asking for money to help it cover the cost of an ever-expanding DEI bureaucracy. And you might feel a sense of obligation to an institution that helped shape your life.
But before writing that check, call the DEI office and ask about the status of pro-Hamas activism on campus.
This year, your answer just might be “no.”
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