(TIMES OF ISRAEL, JTA, AGENCIES) – The White House last week called out the “grotesque” and “antisemitic” actions of students protesting against Israel on American college campuses since the outbreak of the Gaza war.
“There is an extremely disturbing pattern of antisemitic messages being conveyed on college campuses,” White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates told The Times of Israel.
“Just over the past week, we’ve seen protests and statements on college campuses that call for the annihilation of the State of Israel; for genocide against the Jewish people. Jewish students have even had to barricade themselves inside buildings,” he said.
Last Tuesday night, messages including “glory to our martyrs”, “divestment from Zionist genocide now” and “free Palestine from the river to the sea” were projected onto the exterior of a campus building at George Washington University.
At Cooper Union College in New York the next night, Jewish students were locked in the library for 20 minutes as pro-Palestinian demonstrators pounded on the doors and shouted anti-Israel slogans.
Bates said, “These grotesque sentiments and actions shock the conscience and turn the stomach. They also recall our commitment that can’t be forgotten: Never again.”
The onset of the war is also unleashing a wave of antisemitism by Muslims in Europe.
“I’ve never felt as unsafe as I do now,” said Lior Bar-Ami, a rabbi who divides his time between Berlin and Vienna. He added that some of his friends told him they feel unsafe around him when he wears his kippah.
Similar fears are shared by Jews across the continent, where antisemitic incidents are skyrocketing. At the same time, hundreds of thousands of protesters rally at demonstrations that are billed as expressions of support of Palestinian civilians, but that many, both Jewish and non-Jewish, perceive as shows of Jew-hatred and solidarity with Hamas despite its recent displays of extreme barbarism against Israelis.
Some 35,000 pro-Palestinian protesters marched through the streets of Madrid last weekend, calling “Freedom for Palestine”.
In Britain, tens of thousands of pro-Palestinian protesters marched, while thousands more attended protests in France and Switzerland, as well as in Poland and Spain.
There were also large demonstrations in Greece and Pakistan. Tens of thousands of Moroccans marched through Casablanca, AFP reported.
Thousands of pro-Palestinian protesters poured onto the streets of Brooklyn, New York’s largest borough, on Saturday to voice their opposition to Israel’s operation in Gaza.