Campus antisemitism watchdog releases new ‘tracker’ with photo, video evidence
A watchdog group focused on combating antisemitism on American college campuses launched a renovated “Antisemitism Tracker” on Wednesday, in hopes of helping the public more easily navigate incidents that have taken place nationwide since 2015.
The AMCHA Initiative’s new search engine allows users to search the organization’s database by city, state, zip code, geographical region, year, date range, university, and three types of incident categories. These include targeting Jewish students and staff, antisemitic expression, and activity supporting the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign, which opposes the Jewish people’s right to national self-determination in Israel.
Users can also browse lists of anti-Zionist campus groups, of incidents involving disruptions and swastikas, and of faculty members who have committed to supporting academic boycotts of Israel. A scorecard logs the results of BDS votes on various campuses, while a “student voices” section features relevant testimonials.
“An important part of AMCHA’s mission is to document and expose incidents of campus antisemitism and make this information easily and readily available to the public,” said Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, AMCHA’s director and a former lecturer at the University of California, Santa Cruz. “We hope our new searchable databases will make it easier for parents, students, alumni, researchers, journalists and anyone in the community to access the information they are looking for.”
The group also shared a library of open-source images and videos documenting incidents, which students can submit evidence to.
“Today every student has ready access to a camera on their phone,” Rossman-Benjamin said. “They will now have the opportunity to take a more active role in documenting and exposing the antisemitism they witness.”
Founded in 2011, AMCHA has repeatedly warned against rising levels of antisemitism on campus and urged administrators to properly protect students. An annual report released by the group last month found that antisemitic acts involving Israel were “far more likely” to create a hostile environment for Jewish students on US college campuses than those that reflected “classic” anti-Jewish prejudice, and increasingly extended to boycotts of individual students.