Anti-Israel stances are more common in university newspapers, study finds

A recent study by Alums for Campus Fairness shows an anti-Israel slant when it comes to articles written for university newspapers.

'Of the 1,450 articles that address Israel, over a third – 532 – present the Jewish State in a negative way. Only 17% provided a positive view of the country,' the study shows.

University newspapers nationwide tend to favor pro-Palestine over pro-Israel stances, according to a study released this month. 

The study was conducted by Alums for Campus Fairness, a group aiming to “counter antisemitism, including demonization of Israel and other forms of bigotry at universities.”

According to the results, which looked at campus newspaper articles published from 2017-present, more articles and op-eds addressing Israel have negative viewpoints about the Jewish state than positive.

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“Of the 1,450 articles that address Israel, over a third – 532 – present the Jewish State in a negative way. Only 17% provided a positive view of the country,” the study found.

And when it came to op-eds, over half of them were negative: 307 out of 585.

Avi D. Gordon, Executive Director for Alums for Campus Fairness, was “not surprised by these results.”

“Jewish and Zionist students and alumni know all too well that most campus newspapers do not give them a fair hearing. This study is just the first time we have actual data to back up what we have experienced for years,” Gordon told Campus Reform

When asked how anti-Israel bias can be combated on college campuses, Gordon responded, “Campus newspapers must include Jewish student and alumni voices when covering topics involving the Jewish and Zionist communities.”

“A great deal of bias results from the exclusion of Jewish/Zionist voices and perspectives. Jewish students and alumni should write more Op-Eds and also proactively reach out to student reporters to build relationships and offer themselves up as sources,” he added. 

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Campus Reform spoke with Jewish students and graduates about unfair media coverage when it comes to Israel, one student of which is already taking Gordon’s advice. 

Judah Waxelbaum, a graduate student at Arizona State University, “advocate[s] for and write about issues” relating to Israel. He has previously been published in the Jerusalem Post, the Washington Examiner, and more. 

Waxelbaum is not surprised by the study’s results.

“It’s important to bring attention to it. Israel means a great deal to many and it appears there is a constant campaign to slander the only Jewish state,” Waxelbaum told Campus Reform

Campus Reform also spoke to Stephanie Aszkenas, who is Jewish and a recent graduate from Florida International University. 

“It is paramount that in civilized societies both points of views [sic] are demonstrated so as not to foster a culture of contempt toward the lesser-understood side,” Aszkenas explained to Campus Reform

She continued by calling out liberal colleges nationwide, saying, “Liberal colleges, in their attempt to appeal to the humanitarian position, portray mostly skewed information that fails to depict the incredibly nuanced and culturally rich aspects of this Palestine-Israel issue.”

“I stand on the side of open discourse. The inability of some individuals to sit and digest the other sides [sic] ideas is frustrating and indicative of a stubbornness that SHOULD be antithetical to academia,” Aszkenas concluded. 

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