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Hillel vows to supports SA Jewish students

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The world’s largest Jewish campus comes out in support of SA Jewish students. US-based Hillel International vowed last week that they will not allow hatred against Jewish students in SA to escalate. The SRC at Durban University of Technology (DUT) had demanded the expulsion of Jewish students, a call that was swiftly nipped in the bud by DUT’s administration. Hillel has 105 Foundations & over 350 affiliates in America, Europe, Israel & Eastern Europe. They join a barrage of support SAUJS has received from overseas.
by ANT KATZ | Feb 23, 2015

Hillel president vows to stop hatred against Jewish students. “With US campuses continuously tested by BDS, we are mindful of the short leap between contending with an anti-Israel movement and one that is dangerously and unabashedly anti-Semitic,” he said.

Hillel International President and CEO Eric Fingerhut vowed last week that his organization will not allow hatred against Jewish students to escalate. This followed a demand to expel Jews at a DUT – an issue that was subsequently partially resolved.

Hillel - Fingerhut Eric


RIGHT: President and CEO Hillel International Eric Fingerhut

“We will not permit such hatred to take root on any campus in the world where Hillel can extend its reach and offer support,” he said in a statement. “Hillel International stands in solidarity with Jewish students everywhere in their right to experience a safe and welcoming higher education.”

Fingerhut issued the statement in response to reports of the Student Representative Council (SRC) at DUT calling on the university to expel Jewish students who do not support the Palestinian agenda. DUT Vice Chancellor, Professor Ahmed Bawa, subsequently rejected the demand calling it “totally unacceptable.”

In a subsequent interview with ALGEMEINER.com, Fingerhut elaborated: “I think there is now very clear evidence that in every case where we have seen the anti-Israel activities on campus, that are evidenced by BDS resolutions and apartheid walls etc., that they are increasingly associated with these types of behavior; with the types of harassment of students who identify themselves as pro-Israel.

READ: FINGERHUT’S FULL STATEMENT ON HILLEL.org

"The types of verbal violence and frankly, sometimes now too often, physical violence that can only be categorized as antisemitism.”

Hillel - LogoFingerhut added: “The very short path from what is respected political activity regarding issues in the Middle East to antisemitism is being easily crossed and creating an atmosphere that is denying Jewish students in some places their right to an education free of harassment and intimation… and what I saw in Durban was the logical conclusion of that movement. Clearly we are not there yet in the US, but to think that the continuum of hate that we have seen the beginning of in places like UC Davis or other locales does not end at Durban is to mislead ourselves.

“I want us to be aware that we are not immune from the antisemitic consequences of this very significant campaign of hate against Israel that is coming to our campuses.”

“US campuses continuously tested by BDS”

Fingerhut said he found the suggestion by DUT student leaders to expel Jews “positively chilling.” He connected the incident to the current environment Jewish university students are facing in the US.

“With US campuses continuously tested by BDS, we are mindful of the short leap between contending with an anti-Israel movement and one that is dangerously and unabashedly anti-Semitic,” he said.

Still, according to a recent report by the Israel on Campus Coalition, the hard work by pro-Israel organisations across the US resulted in a surge in campus support for Israel in 2014. The “Fall 2014 Campus Activity Report” showed there were 63 percent more pro-Israel events in the semester than anti-Israel events. There was also a 53 percent growth in pro-Israel events since 2012 and 36 percent since 2013. Overall, campuses hosting pro-Israel activity jumped by 25.4 percent in 2014.


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Who is Hillel International?

The largest Jewish campus organization in the world, Hillel’s motto is “The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life.” Hillel says on its website that it is “devoted to creatively engaging and empowering over 400,000 Jewish college students through its network of 105 Foundations and over 350 affiliates in North America, Europe, Israel and the states of the former Soviet Union. Its long-standing dedication to building Jewish identity, while nurturing intellectual and spiritual growth in a pluralistic community, positions Hillel as a leader in building a stronger Jewish people and stronger Jewish future

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1 Comment

  1. 1 Choni 23 Feb
    There can NEVER EVER be a strong Jewish people without their own Land.
    The Hilel foundation does nothing except strengthen the cursed exile.
    The only way to protect Jewish youth is to encourage them to leave the exilic 'cemetries' and help perfect and protect our people in Israel.

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