POLL: Majority of top university students say antisemitism is a problem on campus

Pro-Palestinian and pro-Hamas protests have sparked safety concerns and backlash among students.

POLL: Majority of top university students say antisemitism is a problem on campus
AP Photo/Cliff Owen
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A new poll conducted by U.S. News & World Report reveals that approximately two-thirds of students attending top-ranked universities believe that antisemitism is a problem on their campuses. The findings come in the wake of recent pro-Palestinian and pro-Hamas protests that have disrupted university campuses nationwide, leading to campus shutdowns, event cancellations, and hundreds of arrests.

According to the survey, 67% of students at the top 25 universities ranked by U.S. News & World Report identified antisemitism as a problem on campus. Fourteen percent of respondents considered antisemitism a "huge problem," while 53% called it a "small problem."

The campus demonstrations have also impacted students' sense of safety, with more than a third of students (38%) reporting feeling less safe due to the protests. Twenty-eight percent said they felt "a little less safe," and 10% reported feeling "much less safe."

Pamela Nadell, director of Jewish studies at American University, commented on the situation, stating, "The campus has never been immune from antisemitism. The outbursts that we've had since Oct. 7 have a long, long history," the Daily Wire reported. She noted that tensions tend to escalate on U.S. campuses whenever events erupt in Israel, but the current situation is characterized by the breadth of the explosion.

Nadell expressed concern that opposition to the war has morphed into the repetition of classic anti-Semitic tropes, targeting not only Israel and its policies but also Jewish students.

Polls suggest that the demonstrators' tactics and behavior are sparking a backlash and eroding support for their cause. A Generation Lab survey released earlier this month found that roughly two-thirds of students believed demonstrators should not occupy campus buildings to protest, and nine out of ten students said that protesters should not block pro-Israel students from parts of campus. Additionally, 81% of students believed that protesters should be held accountable for destroying, vandalizing, or illegally occupying buildings.

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