ANALYSIS: DEI initiatives create environment where ‘inclusion does not apply to Jewish students on campus’

A study published by Heritage Foundation showed a spike of anti-Semitic incidents occurring on college campuses at the same time DEI faculty continue being hostile to supporters of Israel.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion programs have become popular on campus to expand student comfort and inclusivity on college campuses. These centers serve as a space for students to connect and feel appreciated among their fellow peers, guided by experts and academics at the highest level. 

But what happens when a specific group of students is left out of the mix?

It is not a question that college campuses and universities are not always the safe space for academic freedom and self-expression that they claim to be. Repeatedly, students with a specific point of view are criticized and intimidated to maintain a quiet disposition during their four year journey through higher education. 

Who are these students? Those that are Jewish or are supporters of Israel. 

DEI programs cannot fix the prejudices embedded in the swamp that is higher edudcation; it some cases, these initiatives actually compound the discrimination already present. 

244 anti-Semitic incidents were reported during the 2020-2021 school year, according to the Heritage Foundation’s report this month. 

That number represents a 34.8% increase from the previous academic year. 

But how - or perhaps why - did that dramatic rise occur during a school year largely shunted to virtual attendance during COVID-19?

As Campus Reform has reported, Jewish students and supporters of Israel face intimidation and discrimination whether online or on campus. Incidents this year such as the chancellor at Rutgers University issuing an apology for condemning a “resurgance of anti-Semitism” does not help matters. 

One University of Michigan student told Campus Reform in July that “[i]t is scary to be a Jew in America right now.”

In August, a person at University of Tennessee-Knoxville desecrated the Star of David by eating a sticker depicting the Jewish symbol to protest the state of Israel. 

[RELATED: ACADEMICALLY SPEAKING: Boghossian’s departure signals the need for higher ed’s anti-woke remnant to stand up against intimidation]

Heritage Foundation’s December 2021 report, “Inclusion Delusion: The Antisemitism of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Staff at Universities,” strongly suggests that DEI staff’s pretense to inclusivity actually makes campuses less tolerant environments for Jewish students and non-Jewish supporters of Israel. 

“What we found in our most recent paper is that higher education diversity bureaucrats—who are paid to promote inclusion—have a strange way of showing it on Twitter. DEI staffers tweet so inordinately and hyperbolically about Israel, relative to China, that they cross the line into antisemitism,” James Paul, a doctoral fellow at the University of Arkansas and the report’s co-author, told Campus Reform.

“Apparently ‘inclusion’ does not apply to Jewish students on campus,” Paul added. 

Heritage analyzed the Twitter feeds of 741 DEI faculty representing 65 universities to determine any favorability when it came to discussions surrounding Israel. The same analysis was conducted for China, in comparison.

Of the tweets, 96% expressed criticism of Israel, while a stark 62% were expressed positive opinions about China. 

“The overwhelming pattern is that DEI staff at universities pay a disproportionately high amount of attention to Israel and nearly always attack Israel,” the report states.

At the average university, Heritage finds that there is an average of 45 DEI staff tasked with the responsibility of creating an inclusive environment. The industry has become extremely profitable for these staffers, as well, and at the expense of the college community.

Ohio State University, for example, pays $10,097,051 to employ 131 diversity administrators. 

Thirty of those employees earn more than $100,000 per year, and of the 99 salaried employees, the average salary calculates to $89,168. 

Statements made about Israel included accusations of “genocide, apartheid, settler colonialism, ethnic cleansing, and other extreme crimes,” according to Heritage. 

These phrases were non-existent in language used to refer to China, spare for the favorable use of the word “colonialism.”

Though the Heritage study did find minimal criticism of China for its human rights violations against Uighur Muslims and African residents, it also found that such critiques were less severely worded than language reserved for anti-Israel posts. 

[RELATED: POLL: 50% of Jewish students feel they ‘need to hide their identity’ on campus]

“It would be impossible to review the inordinate attention that DEI staff pay to Israel relative to China, the nearly universal attacks on Israel and China without concluding that DEI staff have an obsessive and irrational animus toward the Jewish state,” the study states.

Paul told Campus Reform that the findings only support the claim that DEI staffers are not committed to fostering a true inclusive environment.

Jay P. Greene, a senior research fellow at Heritage and the report’s lead author, agreed with his Paul’s assessment. 

“After publishing three reports on DEI bureaucracy in K-12 and higher education, we find little evidence that DEI promotes inclusive environments or closes achievement gaps,” Greene told Campus Reform

The bottom line is that students have a right to feel safe and secure on the campus of their choosing. They should not be subjected to pressure to hide or conform their worldviews to meet the standards of those claiming to provide an inclusive experience. 

The prevalence of DEI staff and facilities on American campuses cannot and should not be a vehicle for the woke, liberal mob to continue their suppression of viewpoint diversity under the false banner of inclusivity. 

The tweets featured throughout the study bear witness to the biased discrimination being waged on college campuses, and it is hindering students’ abilities to pursue an education in a truly free academic space.