(photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
The Israel Law Center (Shurat Hadin) is set to launch a hotline on Monday, to
help Jewish college students who are victims of anti-Semitism on their
According to attorney Kenneth A. Leitner, the Law
Center’s director of American affairs, students will be able to call the hotline
to report incidents of anti-Semitism and anti-Israel acts on US college
campuses, and the Law Center will use the data to take legal action against
colleges believed to be breaching Jewish students’ legal rights, he
“It is time for us to go on the legal offensive,” said Leitner,
who noted that the trend of campus anti-Semitism is growing. “We want Jewish
students to know that there is a number to call when they are victimized by
extremist groups promoting anti-Israel and anti- Semitic hate on American
US colleges will also receive a “report card” grading
them according to their commitment to providing Jewish students with a safe and
welcoming learning environment, Leitner said.
As well as monitoring how
well US campuses are protecting Jewish students from anti-Semitism, the Law
Center intends to use the hotline data to evaluate how colleges are complying
with stringent US anti-terror funding laws.
Leitner noted that US
colleges have a legal obligation to monitor the funding and activities of all
on-campus student groups, and to prevent university funds from being diverted to
unlawful activities directed against Israel.
“In a letter we sent to US
colleges in September, we cautioned schools to be particularly vigilant in
funding student organizations that may have ties to terrorist organizations or
that may engage in unlawful activity abroad,” he added.
By failing to to
do so, the Law Center has warned that universities could unwittingly fall foul
of stringent US legislation.
The US Supreme Court, in a recent ruling in
the Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project case, held that providing any support to
a terrorist organization, even for supposed humanitarian purposes, was
sufficient to impose criminal liability.
organizations like the International Solidarity Movement to recruit students on
US campuses to take part in campaigns in Gaza and the West Bank could also
potentially violate US law, the Law Center has warned.
Leitner added that
radical anti-Israel groups like the ISM and Students for Justice in Palestine
already have a stronghold on US campuses, and noted that the Law Center is
investigating what it believes to be a connection between anti-Israel activists,
organizations and activities in the US and Middle Eastern terrorism.
immediate, effective legal response is likely to have a deterrent effect on
harassment, discrimination, and potentially on terrorism [on college campuses],”
“We would like American college campuses to be safe
and secure for Jewish students, without distraction, intolerance, antagonism and
most importantly, violence. We expect that the schools share our goals – and if
not, we will legally compel them to.”
Students in the US can call the
Israel Law Center Campus Hotline on (718) 907-9258.