• Joel Brown

    Staff Writer

    Portrait of Joel Brown. An older white man with greying brown hair, beard, and mustache and wearing glasses, white collared shirt, and navy blue blazer, smiles and poses in front of a dark grey background.

    Joel Brown is a staff writer at BU Today and Bostonia magazine. He’s written more than 700 stories for the Boston Globe and has also written for the Boston Herald and the Greenfield Recorder. Profile

Comments & Discussion

Boston University moderates comments to facilitate an informed, substantive, civil conversation. Abusive, profane, self-promotional, misleading, incoherent or off-topic comments will be rejected. Moderators are staffed during regular business hours (EST) and can only accept comments written in English. Statistics or facts must include a citation or a link to the citation.

There are 9 comments on With Anti-Semitism on the Rise, a New BU Course Takes Shape

  1. Great piece! Thank you so much for encouraging dialogue on this very important topic! I’m just curious where she obtained the statistic that 25% of BU’s student body is Jewish. Are you sure that is accurate? I am doubtful.

  2. Thanks for bringing attention to this issue. The tricky aspect is calling out this problem without giving the neo-Nazis the publicity that they crave and rely on for more recruits. In the photo at top, the banner at right has what I’m guessing is a URL for a website containing more of their hate speech. (I don’t even want to type it into my browser to double-check, but it seems a pretty good guess.) Maybe blur that bit out? So as not to send any more traffic to that website than it deserves (which is zero). Or maybe just crop that portion of the photo out altogether (which would have the added benefit of removing the American flag, which they have no right to co-opt).

  3. The rise of anti-Semitism in this country does, indeed, coincide exactly with the years of the Trump presidency and its aftermath (see Trump’s comments on Charlottesville, for example). Paradoxically, Trump made many concessions to the Netanyahu government regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (e.g., moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, ignoring the increasing annexation of the Occupied Territories in violation of international law, etc.) during the same period. The course should try to explore this phenomenon.

    The idea of cultivating a dialogue between black and Jewish students is a good one. That said, it would be enriched by a simultaneous dialogue between Jewish students and those of Middle Eastern origin (whether they be Muslim, Christian, or neither). The latter tend to have a different view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the U.S government’s policy towards it. They can also share their own experience regarding the forms of prejudice that they themselves suffer here in the U.S. Jewish and non-Jewish students also need to be informed about the vigorous political movements within Israel that oppose the government’s policies towards Palestinians and the treatment that frequently results from them.

    1. I absolutely agree about the value of engagement between American Jews and Middle Eastern Christians and Muslims. I have seen interactions between those groups be very fruitful! Thanks for the thoughtful response.

    2. I’m concerned about this response. It’s analogous to “I see antisemitism, but…”

      Palestinian and Israeli relations are complicated and the source of emotion and rhetoric. Antisemitism is quite simple. It’s wrong. Let’s keep them separate.

  4. A timely and important subject. I would hope that this important course will also be offered online, so that BU alumni and the wider community can audit the course.

  5. This has been a gravely troubling, not to mention disorienting, development in our society that has been proudly enriched by a tradition of multiculturalism. The rise of hateful, anti-Semitic sentiment has become more prevalent, more threatening and so alien (to me personally, and) surely to a country that has ostensibly embraced inclusion. I would be interested in learning more about this valuable course, seeing the curriculum and bibliography, and seeing the different ways this toxicity can be addressed and eliminated.

  6. I actually find this article disturbing. Antisemitism is a serious and dangerous problem that has been escalating rapidly, especially in recent weeks, and it is coming from the left as “anti-Zionism”, the right, and now very troublingy from the Black Hebrew Israelite movement. This article treats it as “something that’s always there”, as if it’s no big news, and that can be addressed solely by adding a new course next year. The author also attributes it almost entirely to the right, while the reality is that on American college campuses the vast majority of anti-semitism is now coming from the left disguised as anti-Israel hatred and by extension hatred of anyone Jewish who associates in any way with Israel. Anti-semitism is dangerous and at a crisis level. We need action- and allies- who treat it that way.

Post a comment.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *