Press TV. Listen here.
Forces within the US government are using anti-Semitism as an excuse to cover up growing opposition among university students to Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands, says Virginia-based analyst Keith Preston.
Israeli researchers at Tel Aviv University said Sunday that anti-Semitic incidents on US college campuses, mostly in the form of insults and harassment of Jewish students, increased 45 percent in 2016.
Overall, the number of violent anti-Semitic incidents in the United States rose slightly last year, compared to 2015, increasing from 88 to 91, the report found.
The report comes following a recent wave of bomb threats against Jewish community centers across the United States and in Canada.
Political scientists and academics have argued that supporters of Israel equate criticism of Zionism and Israel with anti-Semitism in a deliberate attempt to discredit critics and prevent legitimate criticism of Israel.
Preston, director of attackthesystem.com, told Press TV that there was “very limited evidence” of growing anti-Semitic sentiments on college campuses across the US and people who made such claims were providing a “dubious” explanation of what they consider anti-Semitism.
“What they seem to be objecting to is what they perceive as anti-Israel sentiments on campuses and I think they are probably right in the sense that there is a growing support among university students in the United States for the pro-Palestinian movement and for the movement to divest Israel and things of that nature,” the analyst said Sunday.
“This is markedly different from anti-Semitism,” he argued. “Anti-Semitism implies a carte blanche hostility or prejudice against Jewish people and that is not what the pro-Palestinian movement is about at all.”
Preston said there were even Jewish students promoting movements like the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.
“So, I think this is something of a smoke-screen argument that is being raised and claims that anti-Semitism is somehow growing on American campuses,” he said, concluding that such reports in fact show that opposition to Israel’s occupation of Palestine is on the rise.