Numerous articles, papers, conferences, and even Congressional hearings have highlighted the proliferation of antisemitism on college campuses around the country. However, little to no attention has been paid to the ways that anti-Zionist faculty on those same campuses have—in direct violation of policy—openly supported and encouraged the harassment, threats, intimidation, and physical attacks that are making many college campuses decidedly unsafe for Jewish students.

A new AMCHA Initiative report exposes the massive surge in anti-Zionist activism and advocacy—perpetuated with complete impunity—by University of California faculty (as individuals and members of departmental and/or faculty organizations) and graduate students, and shows how that activity has contributed to the equally massive post-October 7th surge in campus antisemitism.

The report, entitled “Academic Agitators: The Role of Anti-Zionist Faculty Activism in Escalating Antisemitism at the University of California After October 7, 2023,” documents a more-than-10-fold year-over-year increase in the number of incidents of faculty-supported anti-Zionist agitation. Hiding behind “free speech” and “academic freedom,” these faculty and the departments and campus organizations they are associated with, not only openly engage in anti-Zionist indoctrination and activism, they also provide material support (along with an implied University imprimatur) to anti-Zionist students and student groups and foster hostility and harm toward Jews and the state of Israel.

The report includes several appendices, which provide a grim sampling of the nearly 100 confirmed faculty-driven anti-Zionist incidents. These include:
A UC Irvine professor cancelled classes so that students could participate in anti-Israel “civil disobedience, boycotts… and protests.”
A UC Berkeley graduate student teacher offered extra credit to students who attended a walkout “against the settler-colonial occupation of Gaza” or emailed their “local California representative” in support of Palestine.
UC Santa Cruz’s Critical Race and Ethnic Studies used its departmental website to justify Hamas’ October 7th massacre, rape, torture and kidnapping of Israeli civilians, falsely claiming that Israel was wholly to blame because of “75 years of settler colonial displacement.”
The UC Berkeley Black Studies Graduate Students called for a boycott of the school’s study abroad programs in Israel, and called for the murder of Israeli Jews, declaring that “the Zionist Israeli state must end.”

The report also includes a powerful appendix containing statements from Jewish current UC students and faculty about the increasingly hostile and dangerous environment they face on various campuses. For example:
UC Berkeley, where 85% of Berkeley’s Jewish students felt that “the [Berkeley] administration has [not] adequately addressed the safety concerns of Jewish students impacted by the recent violence in Israel,” and 75% of Berkeley’s Jewish students do not feel safe expressing their Jewish identity on campus (e.g., wearing a Star of David necklace or talking about being Jewish with peers/faculty): “[I]t’s become unbearable to learn in an atmosphere so hostile to Jews,” and “Why is it that I can’t walk to class without facing intimidation… Why do I get threats just for being Jewish?”
UCLA: “When I walk on campus, I’m not just scared about verbal altercations, but I’m honestly scared for my life. And I know many students in the community feel the same way.”
UC Santa Barbara: “The most serious concern is that many Jewish students are now afraid of their professors. Jewish students are isolated. You’d think, in the wake of the last four years, with BLM, Asian American students, others, Jews support everyone. We’re pretty liberal, especially about civil rights. But no one is supporting us.:
UC San Diego: “[Y]ou need to imagine how we feel now and just imagine how I’m still afraid to wear my Jewish star necklace.”

After years of not enforcing their own clear policies that prohibit faculty and graduate students from engaging in political indoctrination and activism, UC administrators have emboldened their anti-Zionist faculty to continue peddling their hatred of the Jewish state and efforts to destroy it, knowing they can do so with impunity. That, in turn emboldens students and other bad actors to verbally and physically attack Jews and anyone else they believe supports Zionism.

The report concludes with a powerful demand that “UC Regents establish robust enforcement procedures for ensuring that faculty are prohibited from using their University positions and resources to engage in political indoctrination and activism.” And it concludes with an ominous warning: “Unless and until such robust enforcement procedures are put in place, University of California campuses will not be safe for their Jewish members.”

Read the Report