Amsterdam – Jewish students at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and VU University Amsterdam (VU) have voiced their concerns regarding their safety on campus.
Students have reported experiencing an increase in anti-Israel sentiment, leading to a feeling of discomfort and insecurity.
The issue gained attention when UvA student Tamar Efrati spoke out about her personal experience, prompting parliamentary questions about the safety of Jewish students.
Tamar Efrati mentioned instances where she felt compelled to hide her Star of David, as students expressed hostility towards Israel and Jews on social media.
She revealed that phrases such as “a good Jew is a dead Jew” were used, creating a hostile environment not only for herself but also for others attending lectures alongside her.
Both UvA and VU have responded to the concerns raised by Jewish students. However, the responses have been met with mixed sentiments.
Nati Banet, a co-chair of IJAR and a student at VU,revealed that the VU’s response to increasing antisemitism on campus was inadequate, with a delayed appointment for a conversation.
Tamar’s experience with UvA also showcased a lack of immediate response, only gaining attention when she shared her story in the university magazine Folia.
The UvA stated that reports of discrimination, including antisemitism, are taken seriously and categorized accordingly. While they responded personally to letters expressing concerns about boycotts and intifada, they maintained that no incidents against Jewish students have been reported.
The VU expressed its commitment to an inclusive and safe environment, emphasizing the importance of dialogue, diversity, and taking a strong stance against exclusion and discrimination.