Bringing hate to anyone.
Brings more hate to everyone.

As a graduate of Columbia University, I am deeply saddened by the hate and polarization taking place today on a campus I love so much. I am appalled that this hate has only continued to rise and has spawned growing levels of physical intimidation and threats of violence that have taken over college and university campuses across our country.

I believe political issues can be, and most importantly, should be debated. They should be debated vigorously. But vicious hate speech and physical intimidation, preventing others from feeling safe, pursuing their studies, or having their voices heard is completely unacceptable.

The leadership and faculty of so many of our leading educational institutions have failed their students. They have not only given up their positions of authority, but also their moral compasses in upholding the core missions of these colleges and universities – to protect their students and the principles of critical thinking and free speech – to teach how to think, not what to think.

Shouting vile, hate filled labels at students while hiding behind masks is not free speech—it is cowardice. Instead of colleges and universities teaching the core principles of free speech and debate our country was founded on, they are emboldening hate that is tearing their campuses, and our youth apart.

When this ends, these students cannot be pardoned for what they have done. They need to be held accountable in order to send a message to future generations of students – that it is necessary to adhere to the rules of civil society and the codes of conduct of academic communities, and that free speech means standing behind your words and accepting the consequences of your actions.

The mission of the Foundation to Combat Antisemitism (FCAS) is to build empathy among all Americans, young and old, as a way to fight the rising hate in our country. Empathy is innate – hate is a learned behavior. Unfortunately, today, hate is exactly what is being learned and taught on campuses across our country. Today, and every day, at FCAS we are standing up to Jewish hate and all hate, and I encourage our nation’s university leaders to act with courage and wisdom so that knowledge, not hate, is what is being produced on our nation’s campuses.

Robert Kraft

Founder of the Foundation to Combat Antisemitism