Ten people are now facing charges after they repeatedly shouted pro-Palestinian slogans while witnesses spoke, including a Jewish Cornell undergrad who testified about death threats she was getting at school.
Amanda Silberstein, the student who was interrupted at that congressional hearing, described it as a “surreal environment” on campus.
“Tensions are still running really high,” she said Thursday on “Elizabeth Vargas Reports.” “It’s really, really just insanity what is happening right now and that Jewish students across the country do not feel safe.”
A Cornell student was arrested last week after making antisemitic threats. Patrick Dai, 21, a junior from Pittsford, New York, is accused of posting threatening messages to the Cornell section of an online discussion site, including posts calling for the deaths of Jewish people.
The Anti-Defamation League estimates antisemitic incidents in the U.S. are up nearly 400% over the same period last year.
At Brown University, senior Jillian Lederman told NewsNation she’s been confronted for supporting Israel and accused of being a supporter of genocide.
“I know other students who have been yelled at for being outwardly Jewish,” she said. “This is an environment of harassment on campus, and it’s something that Jewish students are facing all across the country.”
Silberstein and Lederman both criticized professors who they say are contributing to the violence. Several have faced backlash for statements made online or in class, as reported by The Hill.
“These are professors; they’re tasked with teaching students, with educating them, with making sure that students feel welcomed and accepted in their class,” Lederman said. “That doesn’t mean not introducing uncomfortable viewpoints that, doesn’t mean not encouraging difficult conversations in class, but what it does mean is that professors should not be justifying violence, should not be exhilarated by violence in class.”
Silberstein chose to attend Cornell because she was looking for a diverse environment, a “bastion of tolerance” and where free speech reigns. Instead, she said she found confrontation and violence.
“It is disheartening to put it in the nicest terms to be approached by all of these hatred and you know, really virulent antisemitic opinions on campus,” she said. “I still feel passionately that Jewish students around the country should not hide, and that attending these universities, showing them our humanity, showing them our experiences, speaking up and not be allowing ourselves to be silent is the way to combat this.”
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Author: Tyler Wornell