Identifying Antisemitic Activity

The Investigative Taskforce on Campus Antisemitism criteria for identifying antisemitic activity:

1) ITCA employs the Working Definition of Antisemitism adopted by the U.S. Department of State and many other Western democracies. Included in the definition, and explicitly recognized by the U.S. State Department as forms of antisemitism, are behavior, rhetoric or imagery that:

  • denies Jews their right to self-determination eg. by promoting the elimination of the Jewish state or denying its existence;
  • uses symbols and images associated with historical antisemitism (eg. claims of Jews murdering children for ritual purposes or Jews controlling the world) to characterize Jews, Israelis or Israel;
  • compares Jews to Nazis;
  • accuses the Jewish people and the state of Israel of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.

2) ITCA, along with the U.S. Department of State, also employs Natan Sharansky’s methodology for distinguishing anti-Israel criticism from antisemitism, focusing on behavior, rhetoric, or conduct that:

  • demonizes Israel, eg. when Israel is cast as blood-thirsty or inherently evil;
  • delegitimizes Israel, eg. by suggesting that Israel is an illegitimate state and should therefore be eliminated from the family of nations;
  • holds Israel to a double standard, eg. by claiming that Israel is the worst human rights violator in the world, while ignoring the countries in the world which have far worse human rights records than Israel.

3) Virtually all recent campaigns to boycott, sanction, and divest from Israel (BDS) were established in response to the political call  issued by 171 Palestinian NonGovernmental Organizations, July 9, 2005.  The first and primary signatory of the Palestinian BDS Call was the Council of National and Islamic Forces in Palestine, which, according to the Anti-Defamation League, was founded by Yasser Arafat at the start of the Second Intifada in 2000 for the purpose of “organizing a unified effort among major Palestinian factions to oppose Israel and coordinate terror attacks.” The Council includes among its constituent organizations Hamas, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and PFLP – General Command, all three of which are on the U.S. Department of State’s list of Designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations and are committed to the elimination of the Jewish state through violent means. Many of the founders of the BDS campaigns which were established in response to the Palestinian BDS Call have publicly expressed their goal of using BDS as a non-violent means of weakening the Jewish state and aiding in its elimination. Some BDS campaign founders have even condoned terrorism against Israel and the murder of Jews. In addition, Hannah Rosenthal, the U.S. State Department’s former Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism, has unequivocally condemned academic boycotts of Israel, noting: “when academics from Israel are boycotted, this is not objecting to a policy—this is antisemitism.”  Because the promotion of BDS demonizes, delegitimizes and applies a double standard it is identified as an antisemitic activity.

4) Some of the organizations found on campus that sponsor anti-Israel events, as well as individuals who are invited to campus to participate in these events, have ties to groups on the U.S. Department of State’s list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations. For example, HAMAS and Hizballah both call for the destruction of Israel and the murder of Jews worldwide, and members of these organizations are responsible for the murder of Jews. The expressions of support for terrorist organizations, or the condoning of terrorism against Israel or Jews, is antisemitic.

5) Based on the legal standards of Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act as interpreted by the U.S. Department of Education, any behavior, rhetoric or imagery that singles out and/or targets Jewish students for discrimination, harassment, intimidation or violence eg. by disrupting Jewish student events, interfering with Jewish students’ rights of free speech and association, or causing harm to Jewish students or their property, thereby denying them the ability to fully participate in, or derive equal benefit from, any University program or activity, is antisemitic.

Forms of Antisemitic Activity

  • Denying Jews Their Right to Self-Determination
    …..e.g. promoting the elimination of
    …..the Jewish state or denying its
    …..existence
  • Using Symbols and Images Associated with Historical Anti-Semitism
    …..e.g. claiming that Jews/Israelis
    …..murder children for ritual
    …..purposes or that.Jews/Israel
    …..control the world
  • Comparing Jews to Nazis
  • Accusing Jews and Israel of Inventing or Exaggerating the Holocaust
  • Demonizing Israel
    …..e.g. claiming that Israel is blood-
    …..thirsty or inherently evil
  • Delegitimizeing Israel
    …..e.g. suggesting that Israel is an
    …..illegitimate state and should
    …..therefore be eliminated from
    …..the family of nations
  • Holding Israel to a Double Standard
    …..e.g. claiming that Israel is the
    …..worst human rights violator in
    …..the world, while ignoring the
    …..countries in the.world which
    …..have far worse human.rights
    …..records than Israel
  • Promoting Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions Against Israel
    …..e.g. boycott Israeli academics, or
    …..seek to harm or eliminate Israel
    …..as a Jewish state
  • Condoning Terrorism Against Jews, Supporting Terrorist Organizations
  • Targeting Jewish Students for Discrimination, Harassment, or Intimidation
    …..e.g. disrupting Jewish student
    …..events,.interfering with Jewish
    …..students’ rights of free speech
    …..and association, or causing harm
    …..to Jewish students or.their
    …..property