BOSTON, Mass. — More than 60 students from all across North America and England arrived in Boston last month for a high-level training conference on how to respond to BDS and campus antisemitism.
“At my university in Canada, Jewish students are bombarded by hatred toward Israel from BDS activists and student government officials. The conference gave us skills to handle their aggressive tactics,” said York University student Danielle Shachar, referring to the recent conference hosted by the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), which provided the students with a free trip to Boston to attend four full days of lectures, discussions and workshops.
Shachar said Jewish students at her school are “feeling scared and unsafe and ignored by the administration.” Under the guise of free speech, she said, anti-Israel groups and student government officials are posting content on social media that glorifies terrorism and incites violence.
“University administrators need to take action to foster an atmosphere of safety and civility for all students,” Shachar said. “Unfortunately they’re not.”
Andrea Levin, CAMERA’s president and executive director, was among the twenty CAMERA staff members to train the students on how to deal with campus hostility.
“We’ve seen an unfortunate rise in antisemitism on campuses across the globe,” Levin said. “We have more students than ever attending our conference, from 45 universities.”
“What we try to give students are practical techniques and strategies for handling the bigotry they’re facing – along with an exploration of the moral dimension in standing up for the Jewish state. These are very impressive young people who are committed, thoughtful and eager to be effective,” she said.
The students attended high-level sessions with such experts as geopolitical specialist Professor Efraim Inbar, director of the Begin-Sadat Center at Bar Ilan University.
“It’s tough out there on campus nowadays,” Shachar said. “But if you support Israel and are feeling intimidated, just don’t forget organizations like CAMERA. They can help you. You’re not alone.”
For more information on CAMERA’s student program, visit www.cameraoncampus.org.