By Israel on Campus Coalition, Special for USDR
Israel on Campus Coalition (ICC) today released its annual report on Israel-related trends at American colleges and universities. ICC collects and analyzes reports from its national partner organizations, local campuses, and open-source material to identify and assess changes in Israel-related activity at individual campuses and across the broader campus community.
The report found that the 2015-2016 academic year marked a turning point for the pro- and anti-Israel campus communities. ICC observed an overall decline in the number of anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns on U.S. college campuses. Instead, anti-Israel activists refocused their efforts on other activities, such as attention-getting, visceral displays of anti-Israel sentiment, heckling, and disruptions of Israel-related events that attempted to intimidate and silence lecturers and guest speakers.
ICC also observed an increase in overall pro-Israel activity on U.S. campuses with visible support for Israel, namely pro-Israel rallies and demonstrations increasing by more than 151 percent, coinciding with a 36 percent increase in cultural programming.
“Last year, college campuses saw notable shifts in both pro- and anti-Israel activity. While rates of BDS may have fallen, this by no means suggests those who seek the destruction of Israel are slowing down,” said ICC Executive Director Jacob Baime. “As anti-Israel activists test the limits of what passes for acceptable anti-Israel action on campus, the pro-Israel community must continue working to support student activists who engage with their peers, pursue dialogue and understanding, and work toward peace.”
In addition to these trends, ICC observed important changes within the anti-Israel movement. As anti-Israel activity declined on the West Coast, there was a surge of anti-Israel activity in Chicago. In ICC’s 2014-2015 Campus Trends Report, ICC noted an increase in anti-Israel activity on the West Coast and in the Midwest. During the 2015-2016 academic year, anti-Israel activity decreased on the West Coast and continued to increase in the Midwest.
SOURCE Israel on Campus Coalition