Last year I wrote in Taki’s Magazine about how the rise on campuses due to increasing nonwhite enrollment of the movement to use Boycotts, Divestment, and Sanctions to pressure Israel was starting to open Jewish eyes. Now, from The Forward, an article about how this pattern is moving from the playpen of campus politics to the real world of Social Justice Warrior jobs.
How BDS Is Pushing Jewish Students Out of Social Justice Activism Seffi Kogen September 4, 2016In other words, it’s getting harder for Jews to get paying Social Justice Warrior jobs after college unless they denounce Israel. Granted, those kind of jobs generally don’t pay well, but lots of young Jewish Americans have affluent parents and grandparents to help them out while they find themselves.
A Barnard College sophomore recently articulated the sad choice many progressive Jewish students face on campuses around the country. In a Columbia Spectator op-ed, she called on Barnard’s student government to not support a sexual assault prevention group — a group she herself had once helped lead.
She took this stand because the group had “officially taken on an anti-Israel stance… publicly denounc[ing] Israel on social media and collaborat[ing] with anti-Israel student groups, such as Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine.” By choosing to condemn Israel, the group had “effectively politicized anti-sexual violence work on this campus,” she wrote. “Doing so is detrimental to the cause and unfair to pro-Israel survivors.”
Much has been written about the rise of intersectionality, and how the academic theory claiming that all forms of oppression are connected, when applied to the real world, has encouraged the formation of coalitions between American progressives and pro-Palestinian activists. But it has also led to the erosion of traditional ties on which Jews have long relied.
For the first time, American Jews are beginning to see real ripples of BDS — the movement to boycott, divest from and sanction Israel — take hold off campus. …
And perhaps most prominently and provocatively, the Movement for Black Lives, a coalition of 50 Black Lives Matter groups, released a platform calling Israel an “apartheid” state guilty of “genocide” against the Palestinians, and endorsing BDS.
… Today, to be a social justice advocate of any kind on many U.S. college campuses requires a sort of litmus test. Do you believe that your university should divest its holdings in fossil fuel companies to help fight global warming? Then you also have to support divestment from private prisons. Do you want to fight the epidemic of campus sexual assault? Good, but you must also support BDS. And, if you believe that women on U.S. campuses shouldn’t have to fear rape each time they venture out at night, but don’t want to sign on to an anti-Israel agenda, you might just find yourself pushed out of the sexual violence advocacy arena.
BDS has not led to a change in Israeli policy. It won’t. But it has slowly but surely begun to freeze American Jews out of the crucial social justice conversations of our time. As one student attendee at the AJC Global Forum 2016 put it: “I want to be a part of the progressive fights my generation is currently waging, but I am deeply troubled and challenged by the anti-Israel sentiment rising amongst the far left.”
For a decade, Jewish students have been the canaries in our coal mine. No, they are not persecuted or under assault, as some would have you believe. But they suffer nevertheless as their peers make it clear to them that their Zionism disqualifies them from the progressive activist community and, in some instances, from campus leadership roles in general.
Now, as former campus activists graduate to activism in the Black Lives Matter movement, in progressive political parties and in their churches, we are getting a taste of what ails our campuses.
In any case, a real line in the sand in 21st Century America, a taboo that’s so strictly enforced that most people don’t even recognize it exists is: No job discrimination against Jews.
On the other hand, the Diverse people who are using BDS to bar their Jewish rivals from jobs they want are Diverse and therefore Good, so there will be much cognitive dissonance among Jews in the future.