'Disorientation guide' calls Jews white supremacists

Students at Tufts University recently claimed that Israel is a “white supremacist state” that perpetuates “apartheid” against Palestinians.

In a “Tufts Disorientation Guide,” which was distributed to incoming freshmen, students targeted Tufts University Hillel as an organization that supports a “white supremacist state”

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Additionally, the guide accuses Hillel of “exploiting Black voices” for inviting the parents of Trayvon Martin to speak about the ramifications of “gun violence” to Tufts students.

While the guide praises other campus groups, the pro-Israel group Hillel is roundly condemned, with the guide even noting that pro-Palestinian students launched a chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) solely to counter the messages of Hillel.

In an effort to discourage students from joining Hillel, the guide suggests “alternative” communities on campus—including SJP—for Jewish students who would like to remain “critical of Zionism and Israel.”

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Sabrina Miller, a sophomore at Tufts who often attends Hillel services, told Campus Reform that she was disheartened by the guide’s portrayal of Hillel, saying that not only was it “ridiculous but also offensive and ignorant.”

Miller went on to point out that “far left liberals often forget that Jews, especially Israel-supporting Jews, are targets of white supremacy” and thus the characterization of Hillel as white supremacist is “especially ignorant.”  

Further, she countered the claim that Hillel is racist by declaring that the organization is “not racist at all” but “open to people of all races, sexualities, even religions.”

While she wasn’t personally involved with planning the Trayvon Martin event, she speculated that the invitation was “a chance to learn and support a diverse community,” rather than to “exploit” black voices, as the guide claimed.

Similarly, Sophie Saunders, a Tufts sophomore also involved with Hillel, asserted that the organization is “inclusive to everyone.”

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“I think to be honest that Hillel is based more around being a welcome community for students at Tufts than it is meant to be a political or conservative Jewish community,” she added, saying, “anyone should feel welcome at Hillel and I think they would if they stopped by.”

Saunder went on to call the guide “extremely misleading,” saying she worried that it would discourage freshmen from joining the organization.

Tufts Hillel’s executive director, Rabbi Jeffrey Summit, similarly objected to the guide’s portrayal of Hillel, telling the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that Hillel has “been working so hard to create a positive atmosphere on campus, and we have such a positive Israel presence.”

Patrick Collins, executive director of media relations, told Campus Reform that the Disorientation Guide was “not part of the university’s official orientation program.”

Upon learning that the guide was posted in two university run Facebook groups for new students, however, Collins claimed that admins deleted the posts for running counter to the school’s “inclusive community and values.”

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Toni_Airaksinen