Anti-Semitic Bullying Early Intervention Program Unveiled For N.J. College Students

Bergen County To Show When Anti-Israel Speech Crosses Line

TEANECK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A college campus is a place for freedom of speech.

But an increase in complaints about ant-Semitism on college campuses across the country and right here in the Tri-State Area has inspired a new program to help potential victims, reports CBS 2’s Emily Smith.

A disturbing cell phone video on YouTube shows an Israeli ambassador being bullied off stage last year by some pro-Palestine undergrad students at the University of California-Irvine.

With an increasing number of anti-Semitic complaints like that, a Bergen County anti-defamation group has started a program to help incoming freshmen prepare for what seems to be happening.

“Students are having a hard time dealing with the anti-Israel rhetoric that they are faced with. In many cases there is a tremendous amount of imbalance,” said Eltzion Neuer of the Anti-Defamation League of New Jersey.

“That’s something that you don’t expect when you come from a pro-Israel home,” added Rutgers University sophomore Raffi Mark.

The new program in Teaneck isn’t meant to get students riled up over possible anti-Semitic attacks, but to show them when an anti-Israel stance crosses the line.

“It’s not just about anti-Semitism; we have to be very careful. We don’t want to be accused of simply stifling all of the criticism of Israel,” Neuer said.

As a student at Rutgers, Mark said the bullying mostly comes from other students — even in class.

“I have a friend who took a class where he sat in class and felt attacked every time he spoke,” Mark said.

Smith obtained video of Rutgers students going at it. A student organization for Middle Eastern justice co-sponsored the supposedly public event, but when pro-Israel students showed up some were denied admission.

”I have a friend who was accused of killing Palestinians by virtue of being pro-Israel,” said William Paterson University student Melissa Brown.

Brown said she sees anti-Semitic bullying at her school, too.

“They vandalized our posters for halal saying ‘Free Palestine. Stop the Israeli genocide in Palestine.’ And that hurt. They have opinions but shouldn’t express it on our property,” Brown said.

The ADL gave Smith the itinerary. The first topic is “there are two sides to every story.” They hope Sunday’s program helps spread the word a college campus is a place for free speech, but not bullying.

The event is sponsored by the UJA Federation of New Jersey. More than 100 students are expected.

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

More from Emily Smith
  • Mike

    Sharon Is pile of steaming dog mess.

  • g

    tough guy on email


    U.S. taxpayers give Billion$ and Billion$ to Israel….more than any other country….while unemployment and homeless are at record high.

    • mike

      bunch of miserable thugs right here…I wanted to meet you cowards – and we will talk about ISRAEL and contributions of JEWISH PEOPLE to the world civilization

  • kendra

    all this tolerating people should start from a very very young age and we shouldn,t talk about hating each other in front of our children cause we should all know that we are our kids first teachers.

  • Ms. Billie M. Spaight

    . . .lollipops and ice cream cones and blintzes and licorice sticks. We should all suck the same things the Jews do and we would be happier.

  • Ms. Billie M. Spaight

    I have friends that are pro-Israel and friends who are anti-Israel. Some don’t believe Israel should exist. Others don’t believe that the Palestinians have a right to a state. But ALL of us are very careful NOT to express hatred or lack of sympathy for Jews or Palestinians and we all try to understand the situations these groups are in.

    This is why we can maintain our friendships despite our varying opinions. We all need to be careful about being very clear that we are discussing countries and government policies rather than groups of people.

    And by the same token, it’s vital to for listeners to make that distinction too. When someone talks about “Jews” or “Arabs” or “Palestinians” being responsible for acts that are wrong, that is anti-Semitism (Arabs and Palestinians are also Semites). When these groups of PEOPLE are describing as wanting something that they are not entitled to or when their sufferings are dismissed that can be anti-Semitism. But, when one discusses the actions of governmental or organizational stances or policies or individuals–say, the JDL or PLO or Netenyahu or Yassir Arafat, then one may be discussing disagreements with actions or beliefs or policies. But disliking the organizations or individuals is not the same thing as anti-Semitism.

    If we can all be clear about these distinctions when talking OR listening that would create more harmony. It won’t erase every disagreement but it will make discussions must more civilized and fair.

  • Gerald Waldman

    I see that the anti-semitic bigots are on this blog too.

  • bob smith

    People around the world have finally open their eyes and see what Israel really is.
    They are simply reacting to the way Israel are killing the Palestine and stealing their land. Speaking out against Israel is not in any way ant-Semitism, Jews have used this method for too long and it is no longer effective!

    • lil betman

      You’re another one of those uneducated idiots who better go brush up on the history of the Middle East. You are nothing but a hateful and bitter moron.

      • ProSemite

        Israel is a nation, not a religion, and like any nation is is sometimes right and sometimes wrong. G.K. Chesterton said, “”My country, right or wrong,’ is like saying, ‘My mother, drunk or sober’!” Very often 18 year old students feel “attacked” by any opinion that varies even a smidgen from theirs; one adult student said she felt “attacked,” because I said she had attended a very good yeshiva, and was well-prepared for college! The subjective is rarely accurate.

      • Ms. Billie M. Spaight

        Let’s be clear. Let’s not talk about what Jews, Palestinians, Arabs, or Israelis are doing. Let’s talk about what governments, organizations, and individuals are doing. Then we can avoid all types of anti-Semitism–whether it be against Jews or Arabs

blog comments powered by Disqus
Giving Tuesday
Charles Osgood Event

Listen Live