Last month, in a breathtaking display of anti-Semitism reminiscent of Nazi Germany, members of the student government at South Africa’s Durban University of Technology (DUT) called for the expulsion of all Jewish students from their campus. The very next day, halfway around the world, the student government at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) engaged in a similar display of anti-Jewish bigotry, nearly denying a highly qualified young woman a position on the student judiciary board after four student representatives brazenly argued that her Jewishness and affiliation with Jewish organizations should make her ineligible for the position.
Besides a shared proclivity for anti-Jewish bigotry, the DUT and UCLA student governments have something else in common: both bodies had previously voted to embrace the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. This is not a coincidence, but rather further evidence of the well-documented relationship between BDS and acts of anti-Semitism, particularly on college campuses. At schools where groups such as Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) promote BDS, Jewish students have routinely reported being harassed, physically and verbally assaulted, threatened, vilified, and discriminated against. Jewish students’ property and the property of Jewish student organizations have been defaced, damaged, or destroyed, while Jewish student events have been disrupted and shut down.