California outlet cites AIM work in growing tension on campuses over Israel-Hamas war
October 24, 2023
Bay Area campuses rife with tension over the Israel-Hamas war
As the war between Israel and Hamas rages, students across the Bay Area have become tangled in its ideological crossfire. And as the death toll in the Middle East mounts, the vitriol across American campuses has too, with threats, discrimination and online harassment popping up at universities from coast to coast.
It has grown so contentious that two University of California, Berkeley, professors from opposite sides of the conflict felt compelled to plead with students on a campus that was the birthplace of the Free Speech Movement to stop the harassment.
“We are two professors on this campus who disagree, vehemently. But we have always treated one another with respect and dignity,” wrote the two professors — one Palestinian, and the other Israeli — in a message to the student body last Thursday. “We love this campus with its diverse communities and all of our students and are heartbroken to hear of incidents of near violence between students in recent days.”
That message, written by professors Hatem Bazian and Ron Hassner, came right below another from the university chancellor, acknowledging the “growing prevalence” of online threats and harassment tied to the war.
The backlash is growing. After students at Harvard University signed a statement saying they held Israel “entirely responsible” for the violence unfolding in the Middle East, for example, the conservative group Accuracy in Media circled Harvard with a digital billboard. The sign flashed photos and names of the letter’s signatories with the headline, “Harvard’s Leading Antisemites,” the New York Times reported. Soon after, the group published those names on a page called HarvardHatesJews.com.