Israel has been engaged in intense combat with Hamas for more than two months. During this time, here in the United States we have seen a wide swing against Israel through misleading media coverage and numerous displays of antisemitism. But despite that, America is standing with Israel.

Values Dictate Policy

The United States has done a decent job, since October 7th, to stand by Israel, but there have been missteps. In particular, anti-Israel staff at the White House and in Congress, as well as entrenched bureaucrats at the State Department, have tried to push U.S. policy against Israel. Thus far, for the most part they’ve failed.

Just recently, for example, the United States vetoed a UN Security Council Resolution calling for a cease-fire in Gaza. Such a resolution would’ve harmed Israel and benefitted Hamas. 

In addition, the State Department recently pushed forward a transfer of munitions for Merkava tanks to Israel extremely rapidly, despite the fact that such a process usually takes weeks. Mind you, this is the very same State Department where 400 staff members allegedly “anonymously” signed a letter condemning American support for Israel.

Washington’s support for Israel should come as no surprise because, quite simply, we live in a democracy. Israel consistently enjoys widespread support amongst the American public, and the overwhelming majority of our elected officials reflect that.

And despite the aforementioned media coverage, the average American’s view of Israel has not changed since Israel began ground operations in Gaza. A Wall Street Journal poll released Monday found that a majority of Americans believe Israel’s military action in Gaza is appropriate. Likewise, 42% of Americans sympathize more with the Israelis than the Palestinians, for whom just 12% of Americans had greater sympathy. About a third of those polled said they sympathized with both sides equally.

Education Dictates Values

The above numbers sound good, yeah? Well, don’t get too excited just yet. The same poll found dramatically lower support for Israel amongst younger and more left-leaning Americans. For example, 23% of Americans aged 18-34 said they sympathized more with the Palestinians than the Israelis. A plurality, 31%, still said the opposite, but that’s a significant shift from the overall American public.

And, sadly, there’s more. A new poll from The Economist found that 20% of Americans aged 18-29 believe the Holocaust was a myth. Another 30% were unsure.  Given this level of ignorance – a most fertile ground in which to plant seeds of hate – it’s a bit less surprising that we’ve seen, for the past few years, a substantial increase in antisemitic incidents in the U.S., with 2023 on track to be the most antisemitic year recorded in American history after already hitting increasingly historical highs the previous two years.

After getting over the shocking level of hatred and ignorance described here, one might be inclined to ask: What on earth happened?

Well, as it happens, the answer was put on full display last week when the Presidents of Harvard, MIT and the University of Pennsylvania testified before the House Education Committee.

During that now infamous hearing, the leaders of all three universities could not bring themselves to agree that calling for the genocide of Jews constitutes bullying and was against their school’s code of conduct. And if the leaders of the most (allegedly) illustrious higher-education institutions in America do not believe that calling for the genocide of Jews is bullying, that tells you everything you really need to know about the state of American education.

We are deeply grateful to Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) for her unwavering determination to expose and address the problem of pervasive (and apparently permissible) antisemitism on the American college campus. As a direct result of Rep. Stefanik’s line of questioning exposing the rot atop the ivory tower, President Liz Magill of the University of Pennsylvania is no longer the President of that institution and the University’s Chairman of the Board of Trustees resigned as well.  To quote Rep. Stefanik, “one down, two to go.” It should also be noted how many democrats came out in support of Rep. Stefanik’s line of questioning – after many years both the left and right are beginning to see the problems on our campuses for what they are.

Unfortunately, the stewards of MIT and Harvard do not yet understand that they are facing – and thus far failing – a defining moral test for their institutions. MIT’s board expressed support for the institution’s president after her disastrous performance in Washington. And while Harvard’s leadership has yet to say anything substantive about President Claudine Gay’s future, more than 500 faculty members signed a letter in support of Gay, further indicating that the once distinguished Harvard University has become among the country’s leading hotbeds of antisemitism.

Since at least 2017, the CUFI Action Fund has been sounding the alarm on this issue. Our Chairwoman testified before the House Judiciary Committee in an effort to advance the Antisemitism Awareness Act – which eventually became U.S. policy under President Trump’s executive order combatting antisemitism. We worked to advance the Never Again Education Act and state level acknowledgement of the IHRA definition, as well as enhance Holocaust education standards in a number of states across the country.

Our advocacy in this context is, of course, far from over. This is why we are seeking to advance the Countering Hate Against Israel (CHAI) by Federal Contractors Act to put the U.S. government on record with 36 states around the country to ensure that none of your federal dollars go to companies boycotting Israel.

We know that when these antisemitic Israel haters graduate from the likes of Penn, Harvard or MIT, their next stop is going to be in America’s corporate board rooms where they can turn their campus activism into financial warfare against the one and only Jewish state. However, with your help and support, together we will push the enemy back into the dark hole from whence they came.


The CUFI Action Fund


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