The Evil Campaign to Remove Jews from the Public Square


ITEM: In Oakland, California, a Jewish woman walks into her son’s seventh-grade classroom on back-to-school night to see a poster that says, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”

ITEM: In New York City, on the anniversary of Kristallnacht, angry pro-Palestinian crowds surround a Jewish man and bloody his head with a chair.

ITEM: In Philadelphia, hundreds mob a Jewish-owned restaurant, chanting, “Goldie, Goldie, you can’t hide; we charge you with genocide.” The restaurant is named Goldie.

ITEM: In Berkeley, California, the only Jewish teacher at an elementary school returns to find her door covered in Post-it notes that say, “Stop bombing babies!”

ITEM: In Chicago, home to the third-largest Jewish population in America, unions organize a high- school walkout in which students call for the destruction of Israel. “I’m incredibly proud of our students for exercising their constitutional rights to be able to speak out and speak up for righteousness,” said Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson.

ITEM: In Washington, D.C., attendees arriving at a concert by the American-Jewish singer Matisyahu are greeted by a pro-Hamas demonstration.

At school, at work, and at play, American Jews find themselves increasingly ostracized by their peers. On college campuses, the quiet reestablishment of unofficial quotas has, over the course of a generation or two, halved the Jewish enrollment at a selection of elite universities. These days, stories of higher education’s turn against the Jews are ubiquitous. But as the above examples demonstrate, the attempt to cast Jews and Judaism out from the public square—or make Jews extremely uncomfortable inside the public square—has spread far beyond the college quad. And the statistics unambiguously say the same.

In the American Jewish Committee’s comprehensive survey of anti-Semitism in 2023, respondents were asked: “In the past 12 months, have you avoided certain places, events, or situations out of concern for your safety or comfort as a Jew out of fear of antisemitism?” Twenty-six percent—a quarter of U.S. Jews—responded in the affirmative. That is a 10-point increase over last year. In the poll, the number of those who admitted to avoiding “wearing, carrying, or displaying things that might help people identify you as a Jew,” as well as those who said they “avoided posting content online that would identify you as a Jew or reveal your views on Jewish issues,” increased as well.

All of this reflects the modern reality across the country. FBI reports show Jews are the target of more than half of all religiously motivated crimes. According to the Anti-Defamation League, over the course of the three months after October 7, there were more than 600 reported anti-Semitic incidents against Jewish institutions. And the ADL found a nearly 50 percent increase in security costs for Jewish schools in New York, New Jersey, and Florida.

It’s a trend that began before October. A survey of hiring managers commissioned by in 2022 found that a quarter were less likely to move forward with the recruiting process with a candidate after learning that the candidate was Jewish. When asked how they could know the applicant was Jewish, the hiring managers had some interesting answers. One-third of the hiring managers said they were tipped off by a candidate’s Jewish-sounding last name. Twenty-six percent said they knew just by looking at them.

Those answers compel us to recall the last time America went down this road.


In her book People Love Dead Jews, Dara Horn recounts the furious response she received once when she mentioned, in a lecture, that the common story of immigration officials changing Jewish family names at Ellis Island is a myth. Immigrants’ names were taken from ship manifests, which were compiled using the immigrants’ own passports. Inspectors were there to confirm, not record, each passenger’s name.

Name-changers in the early-20th century were often Jews, but they were much more likely to be already-settled middle-aged parents of children who were pursuing a trade or a degree in higher education. In 1932, according to the historian Kirsten Fermaglich, 65 percent of those petitioning to change their name had Jewish-sounding last names. Most of the name changes—for Jews and non-Jews alike—at this time were motivated by the desire “to abandon ‘foreign’ names that were ‘difficult to pronounce and spell’ and to adopt instead more ‘American’ names,” Fermaglich writes. “These individuals were hoping to shed the ethnic markers that disadvantaged them in American society by taking on unmarked, ordinary names that would go unnoticed.”

This came at a time when public opinion in the United States had been turning against immigrants for a decade. Especially Jewish immigrants. A restrictive immigration bill would become law (over President Woodrow Wilson’s veto) in 1917. Momentum would soon get rolling toward another, even more restrictive one in 1924. Because immigration law was country-of-origin focused, there could be no official “Jewish quota.” But there were quotas for the parts of Europe that Jews were seeking to leave, and those quotas could be reduced in favor of more “desirable” countries of origin.

“The Hebrew race… in spite of long residence in Europe, is still as it has always been an Asiatic race,” thundered prominent immigration restrictionist Prescott Hall. Bolshevism, he said, was a “movement of oriental Tatar tribes led by Asiatic Semites against the Nordic bourgeoisie.” The historian Howard Sachar quotes a U.S. foreign-service officer inveighing against the Polish Jews seeking to come to America: “They are filthy, un-American and often dangerous in their habits.” Most of them “lack any conception of patriotic or national spirit, and the majority of this percentage is mentally incapable of acquiring it.”

That last line was intended to convey the point that assimilation into American ways was impossible for Jews. Therefore, one was right to be suspicious of them—whether or not they were born in America. Thus no one with a Jewish-sounding last name was spared the suspicion that he might not ever be truly American. Clubs and hotels and even residential neighborhoods tightened their policies excluding Jews. In 1922, Harvard President A. Lawrence Lowell repeatedly encountered potential donors who demanded to know how the president planned to “leave our university free of this plague.” Official quotas were still controversial, but the Ivies ultimately figured out the same thing the congressional crafters of immigration quotas did: You could limit your intake of Jews by adjusting geographic quotas. By the 1930s, Harvard had dropped its share of Jewish enrollment from over 25 percent to 10 percent, and Yale, Princeton, Dartmouth, and Swarthmore had gotten their Jewish share into the single digits.

And what of the professions? Academic departments stopped or greatly reduced their hiring of Jews. Medical schools, too, enacted stricter limits than undergraduate programs. The student body at Columbia’s College of Physicians went from 50 percent Jewish to 6 percent, the latter number soon becoming the new average at medical schools. Overall, between 1930 and 1950, Jewish medical-school enrollment would fall by half.



April 16, 2024 | 2 Comments »

Subscribe to Israpundit Daily Digest

Leave a Reply

2 Comments / 2 Comments

  1. How the Neo-Nazi Left Brainwashes its Recruits to Kill
    “We’ll see you at your house. We’ll murder you.”

    April 23, 2024 by Daniel Greenfield

    My comment: Bring back the Smith Act. No, forget that. The Biden administration has been pretending it’s still in force and applies, in any case, just as the “international community” pretends the Geneva Accords apply to Israel and selectively targets Trump and his supporters. This might help some if it goes through. Currently it’s just an executive order from Trump. The Dems have defeated it legislatively once before in 2019. This one has two Dem sponsors and one Republican.