top of page

The End Of Jewish Exceptionalism On U.S. College Campuses  

Written by Michael Thervil  

Photo by Michael Minasi KUT NEWS
Photo by Michael Minasi KUT NEWS

Just as Israel's war on both Hamas and the people of Gaza is heating up so are the Pro-Palestinian protest on college campuses. The students and a significant number of professors at colleges and universities from across America are protesting side by side against Israel's genocidal war on Palestine. For many people this is a time, if not the time that gives them stark memories of the protests that occurred during the 1960’s in America concerning the Vietnam War. For others the nationwide wave of student protest on college campuses is a long time coming. This is because they like people all over the world have tuned into the vast number of human rights violations that the people of Palestine have been subjected to for decades. For them, they feel as if it's time that a permanent ceasefire should take effect in Gaza and that America in conjunction with the worlds weapons manufacturers should stop sending weapons to the Israeli Defense Force (IDF).  


Outside of the people mentioned above, there are the few people, who either practitioners of the Jewish faith or who are ethnically Jewish that feel as if their entire world has been turned upside down as they feel threatened by the growing anti-Jewish/anti-Israeli sentiment that seems to be engulfing the campuses of college and universities around America. Due to no fault of their own and being considered a protected population of people within the United States, practitioners of Judaism and people who are ethnically Jewish seem to be “shaken” by the recent protests across the nation. The question that is being asked at this point in time is why? One possible answer is the growing public perception of what is known as Jewish Exceptionalism.   


What we mean by this is that for decades, it's been nearly impossible for anyone to openly criticize both Israel and Jewish people whether they reside in Israel or America. This is so much the case that if someone were to criticize any Jew or Israeli in the slightest of capacity, they would be risking themselves being either disciplined or fired from their jobs and or expelled from institutions of Higher Learning. Moreover, in the past, people who openly criticized Israel or any descendant of the Jewish heritage, they would be considered dreadfully antisemitic.

Well, from the looks of college and university campuses in America, the notion of Jewish Exceptionalism appears to be changing – if not coming to an end. But what's embarrassing about this, is that it's the youngest generation of American adults that are leading and influencing a change in public thought when it comes to addressing and, in some cases, even countering the notion of Jewish Exceptionalism in America.   

Photo by Jay Janner/USA Today Network via REUTERS
Photo by Jay Janner/USA Today Network via REUTERS

For decades, it used to be so easy to call someone an antisemite in order to get them to stop speaking on the senseless American funding that is given to Israel so they may continue their atrocities and war crimes against the people in and outside the borders of Palestine and throughout the world. Even more than that, many people in America are starting to openly show their disgust towards the American Politicians that appear to have been brought off and paid for and thus, have no backbone when it comes to standing up against the biggest Jewish lobbyist in America known as American Israel Public Affairs Committee or AIPAC. Again, it's the youngest of American adults on the campuses of colleges and universities that are leading the charge when it comes to tackling and putting an end to Jewish Exceptionalism in America.  


Currently to date since the beginning of the Pro-Palestine protest, a noticeable number of American students on college and university campuses have either been arrested, suspended and in a small number of cases expelled from their academic institutions due to them protesting and/or getting into skirmishes with police. Although the majority of the students that have been arrested mainly for minor infractions, have been released from police custody.

Despite this, the life changing consequences of potentially being arrested and convicted has not deterred them or their efforts to continue protesting against the genocide that's happening in Gaza. Academic administrators and facility members are also under fire for appearing to show bias towards Israel and even if their not doing so, it seems that they are treading excessively light when it comes to addressing the wave of Pro-Palestinian protests and demonstrations on their campuses. What happens next is too difficult to tell because of all the variables seen and unseen that are involved. But from what we can tell, the idea of Jewish Exceptionalism is over.


bottom of page