The zeitgeist on campuses these days, on both sides of the Atlantic, is one of identity and liberation politics. Jews, of course, are a minority, but through a fashionable cultural prism they are seen as the minority that isn’t — that is to say white, privileged and identified with an “imperialist-colonialist” state, Israel. They are the anti-victims in a prevalent culture of victimhood; Jews, it seems, are the sole historical victim whose claim is dubious.
A recent Oberlin alumna, Isabel Storch Sherrell, alluded in a Facebook post to the students she’d heard dismissing the Holocaust as mere “white on white crime.” As reported by David Bernstein in The Washington Post, she wrote of Jewish students that, “Our struggle does not intersect with other forms of racism.”
Noa Lessof-Gendler, a student at Britain’s Cambridge University, complained last month in Varsity, a campus newspaper, that anti-Semitism was felt “in the word ‘Zio”’ flung around in left-wing groups.” She wrote: “I’m Jewish, but that doesn’t mean I have Palestinian blood on my hands,” or should feel nervous “about conversations in Hall when an Israeli speaker visits.”