When I found myself hoping that my college-bound granddaughter will not "come out" as Jewish, I realized I had time-traveled back to the Germany of the 1930s—and I wasn't singing "Willkommen."
My fears were only heightened this week as I watched the film "Crossing the Line 2," at its Boston premiere. (http://www.campusintifada.com) The film details the spreading infection of anti-Israel (read anti-Semitic) activity on American college campuses. Guest of honor and speaker at the showing was the noble and beautiful Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who said that watching the film was like "having a bucket of ice water" dumped on her head.
In "Crossing the Line 2" (the second film on the same subject by the producers, Jerusalem U/Step Up For Israel) we see raucous, scary mobs of students (and obvious non-students) in kafiyahs and hijabs, bellowing and bullhorning "We support the intifada!" "F-- you, Zionist scum!" Nazi pigs!" and more. We see "die-ins," apartheid walls, guerrilla theater, mock eviction notices, and other pro-Palestinian antics. And, by contrast, we meet Jewish students facing, and even facing down, the obscenities and bullying. Perhaps they were screened by the producers at central casting, but they all seem fresh-faced, sensible, and mannerly.
But their task is formidable. For instance, Becky Sebo of Ohio University is shown attempting to read a statement in support of Israel to the student senate. Appallingly, in the midst of her remarks, the campus police arrive and she and three others are arrested and taken away in handcuffs. Sarah Abonyi of the University of New Mexico correctly identifies the sources of the hatred: the group called Students for Justice in Palestine, and most important, faculty, particularly tenured faculty. As Aviva Slomich, a CAMERA campus director, says, "Students come and go, but professors stay."