Yale College Council’s condemnation of Israel raises worries over anti-Semitism

The condemnation was voted on after recent violence in the Gaza Strip, with the resulting statement also criticizing the US police and ‘white supremacy against Black Americans.’

The statement drew criticism and stoked concerns about anti-Semitism on campus.

The Yale College Council (YCC) has adopted a statement of condemnation against Israel. 

Originally authored by members of the group Yalies 4 Palestine, the statement denounces the “injustice, genocide, and ethnic cleansing occuring in Palestine.”

“This is not a political issue,” the statement reads. “As students at one of the most privileged academic institutions in the world, we must call out injustice wherever it may occur.”

Additionally, the statement compares the conflict between Palestine and Israel to the protests against racial injustice and police brutality in the United States. 

“We call upon all Yale students to recognize the connections between the US’s domestic racial oppression and its imperial oppression against people of color worldwide. Just as Israel’s military enforces the apartheid system against Palestinians, the US police enforces the system of white [sic] supremacy against Black Americans.”

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A number of Jewish groups at Yale have come out in condemnation of the statement, including representatives from Hillel and the Slifka Center for Jewish Life.

One Yale student spoke with Campus Reform about the condemnation, but requested to remain anonymous. 

“I think the injustice and ethnic cleansing Israel inflicts on the Palestinians is sickening and absolutely worthy of all condemnation, but it troubles me that the statement makes absolutely no mention of Israeli lives or Palestinian terrorism,” the student said. 

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“The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is anything but a zero-sum game, and making it so one-sided is counterproductive and dangerous,” continued the student. “Over a dozen Israeli civilians died from rocket attacks targeting civilian population centers with statistical weaponry during this round of fighting. Are their lives worthless and not worthy of mention? Are their deaths not egregious and worthy of condemnation by those who claim to care about human rights? You can’t claim the moral high ground and pick one side whose rights you care about.”

The student also said he felt a spike in anti-Semitism on campus this spring. 

“I think the Yale Jewish community faces a tough challenge in determining a narrative regarding the conflict that people can rally behind, and that seems like a borderline impossible task right now,” he said. 

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