Sadly, Canadian university campuses have endured a wave of antisemitism. Campus antisemitism is not new; this most recent round was spurred by the Hamas terrorist attack on Israel on October 7. However, the latest eruptions of hatred in educational institutions and on our streets are alarming. The students engaging in it are not only poisoning our community; they are embracing a moral shame that they may find in later life that they can never extinguish.There is a pattern. In 1975, retired Israeli General Moshe Dayan was invited to speak at the University of British Columbia. There was a protest confrontation at the Student Union Building. Demonstrators used megaphones and carried signs that equated Zionism to Nazism and spelled Dayan's name with a swastika instead of a 'Y.' The disturbance was organized by the ad-hoc Committee to Oppose Moshe Dayan's Visit, and participants included members of the Revolutionary Marxist Group, the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist), the Young Socialists, members of the Gay People of UBC, as well as Arab supporters of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Historically it has been typical for students to be involved in the big issues of the day, an extension of living in an environment percolating with ideas, where they are immersed in challenging opinions. However, this time the protests in the aftermath of the Hamas attack seem different. They seem sharply defined by a juvenile viciousness and a mixture of childish exuberance and ignorance of history, while perhaps unaware of the background manipulators.Campuses across the US have been subjected to venomous attacks. At the University of Maryland, for example, someone chalked “Holocaust 2.0” on the pavement during a rally organized by the pro-Hamas Students for Justice in Palestine. Canadian university administrators and faculty seem to be having a hard time sorting themselves out. There has been some response to the more radical incidents, but campus leadership seems rudderless over the severity of the inflammatory discord. The universities have allowed the campus culture to deteriorate over the years, where sophisticated foreign operatives secretly play upon students with cultural Marxism and other radical ideologies. Academic freedom and free speech are weaponized against reasonable community standards of decency and respect for the individual.The oft-heard chant “Free Palestine from the river to the sea” is an offensive call for the eradication of Israel. The phrase is not just calling for freedom and equal rights, or that it somehow can be detached from Hamas’s genocidal meaning. It means the extermination of the Jews. (Nazism, in other words.)The preoccupation of NDP activists over the years who hunt for any possible racist implication of words and symbols, have to stand on their heads with their claim that ‘from the river to the sea’ must be judged for intent, only by what the speaker claims it personally means to them. When confronted and challenged for verbal outrages, some protestors excuse themselves by claiming they are objecting only to Israeli policy. But it is mental gymnastics to dismiss the antisemitism that is basic to these protests.The emergence of so much brash, loud racism exposes how deeply the thrill of self-expression has tempted the young into the dangerous waltz with the ancient hatred of Jews. This behaviour is appalling, as it comes from a privileged class of students who rationalize and generalize for the sake of transitory self-satisfaction with no thought for harm caused.Campus protestors claim their behaviour is protected by freedom of speech. Most basically agree, but speech has always had its legal limits as defined in the Criminal Code of Canada and libel and defamation law. Public protests with threats of violence from bullies and brutes carry a deep social consequence for both the perpetrator and the community.Antisemitism is not a cause that can be dismissed as a youthful indiscretion. It is not some innocent blemish that can be forgotten when a student graduates. Ripping down posters of missing children taken hostage is a hateful and cowardly act, not some gallant moment of defiance. It is no defence to support a terrorist organization that calls for the eradication of the State of Israel, while claiming they only mean the State itself with no harm intended for those who live there.Antisemitism, even if adopted stupidly, is moral rot. We hope many will eventually feel shame about their self-righteous rants. Students are young adults and need to know that some actions may damage them forever.Recently, student clubs circulated posters calling on students to participate in a “rally for Gaza” that depicted individuals kicking and breaking glass windows. This led to a condemnation from the McGill administration that exposed the flyers as antisemitic and deplorable.Publicizing an event through depictions of vandalism is troubling. Worse is using an image of people breaking glass to encourage participation in an event on the 85th anniversary of Kristallnacht and is revealing about the sponsors. Kristallnacht was a series of violent attacks in Nazi Germany that saw mobs smash the windows of synagogues and Jewish-owned businesses. From November 9 to 10 1938, protesters torched synagogues, vandalized Jewish homes, schools and businesses and murdered close to 100 Jews. In the aftermath of Kristallnacht some 30,000 Jewish men were then arrested and sent to Nazi concentration camps.This same bad lot interrupted a Concordia University silent vigil for the return of innocent civilians kidnapped by Hamas. Students faced violence and harassment from a mob of anti-Israel activists. Many Jewish students were accosted and some were assaulted.University administrations must get a spine and take quick action against anti-Israel student clubs and professors who are antisemitic, using censure, suspension or dismissal. It’s unbelievable that Jewish students are being targeted on every campus in Canada. Universities must make it clear that they stand against hatred and antisemitism, which is contrary to their Motos about freedom and the pursuit of truth. Capacity creates its own demand, and without swift responses of denunciation, the social cancer will grow. The ability to offend and get away with it breeds more offending.In the past week, bullets have been fired into a Jewish school on two different occasions and a Molotov cocktail was thrown at a synagogue. With war-related demonstrations happening in cities across the country, there have been reports of protestors brandishing swastikas and other hateful symbols or making bigoted and violent remarks with calls for violence against Jews. Some chants and symbols are being used, from rallies to posters to online that certainly suggest an evil ugliness is arising.Seen on the streets of Toronto. “Punch Zionists.” “No mercy for Zionists.” It’s only a matter of time before the dangerous anti-Jew-movement, otherwise known as the Pro-Palestinian-movement boils over into physical violence in Canada.Benoit-Antoine Bacon, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of British Columbia issued a letter of warning on November 6 to the University. Among other things, he said: "While I know that as a community we are deeply committed to these ideals, I have regretfully been made aware of campus incidents that fall very short of these values. These have included forms of disrespect, bullying, harassment, discrimination, and intimidation." "Hate and racism of any kind will not be tolerated at UBC. The university takes very seriously its responsibility to look into these reports and to act in accordance with our policies." "It is unacceptable that any student, faculty or staff not feel safe on campus. This runs absolutely contrary to our shared obligation to create learning and working environments where everyone feels a sense of safety and belonging and can contribute to their fullest potential." "We must collectively summon the better angels of our nature to ensure the campus climate does not deteriorate. I call on all of us to do everything in our power to reject fear, division, anger, polarization and hate. It is up to us to define the environment in which we want to live. I recognize this is perhaps the most challenging task of all but our shared future, as a community and as a society, depends on our shared belief that it is possible."In my opinion, he was speaking to all of Canada.