From JTA:

An elite West Coast liberal arts school will no longer pre-approve students to study abroad at Haifa University, in a decision announced after its student government voted against the program in protest of Israel. Anti-Zionist activists at Pitzer College and beyond are cheering the change as a victory for the movement to boycott Israel. Jewish Voice for Peace [JVP] and the school’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine [SJP]  wrote on Instagram Monday that the decision was “historic” and said it “sets precedent for colleges and universities across the U.S. to hold complicit Israeli universities accountable.” But administrators at Pitzer, part of the Claremont Colleges consortium of schools in Southern California, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the decision was not due to the boycott movement. Rather, they said, it stemmed from student disinterest. No students have signed up for the program in the past eight years, a college spokesperson said, and Haifa was one of 11 study-abroad programs the school removed from its pre-approval list.


“I learned from Pitzer Jewish students that going to Israel was ‘social suicide,’” Bethany Slater, director of the Claremont Colleges Hillel, told JTA. “Those who had been before college spoke about hiding that information from their peers. They said if people learned of plans to travel to Israel they would be subject to verbal harassment from other students as well as shaming on the anonymous social media platform used by students at Pitzer. I believe this is a significant reason for why the program was underutilized.” Slater, who became the Claremont Hillel’s first full-time independent director last year, said student hostility toward the Haifa program was indicative of a deeper “vitriolic anti-Hillel discourse that has a hysterical quality.” She said her “attempts to open conversation have been rebuffed by both students and faculty” and alleged that she had been “slandered by Jewish students publicly” in her capacity as Hillel director. “As someone who spent many years living within both Palestinian and Israeli societies and as a scholar of inter-religious dialogue I had hoped it would be easier to build bridges here,” she added, describing JVP and SJP’s views as “suspicious and hateful.”