While many students want to condemn the violence and speak out against Hamas, or talk about the real troubles faced by the Palestinians, they are afraid of administrators, of being “canceled” or harmed. Student groups like Students for Justice in Palestine are organizing, vocal and threatening violence, even advocating for the death of Jewish students and the destruction of Israel on social media. A professor at the University of Virginia reportedly offered extra credit to students who participate in programming put on by Students for Justice in Palestine.
As Tabia Lee, a former DEI administrator, has observed, “DEI is built on the unshakable belief that the world is divided into two groups of people: the oppressors and the oppressed.” Jews are branded as oppressors and Israel is considered a “genocidal, settler, colonialist state,” Lee says. This way of thinking, she says, means that “criticizing Israel and the Jewish people is not only acceptable but praiseworthy” and “if you defend them, you’re actively abetting racist oppression.” Rather than supporting students struggling with violence and death, the divisiveness on campuses allows the pressure and intensity to mount. DEI offices have failed to achieve their real mandate of supporting all students of all backgrounds.