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The last time I took off my Star of David necklace was this past summer as I walked through East Jerusalem to visit the Education Bookshop, a Palestinian "bookstore focusing on Middle Eastern culture and the Arab-Israeli conflict."

It was simply a matter of my safety.

Now, for their safety, my fellow Jewish college students are hiding signs of their Jewishness when on their campuses. Including in Minnesota, a state that views itself as a beacon of tolerance and acceptance in the Midwest.

In December, the United States' most prominent organization dedicated to tracking incidents of Jew-hatred, ADL, reported that antisemitism in the U.S. had risen 337% since Oct. 7. The antisemitism threatening American Jews is not just neo-Nazis marching in Madison or outside of Disney World, it is coming from the left and it is often disguised as criticism of the Israeli government.

Every community deserves to define their own experience and especially their own oppression. While individuals within a given community are entitled to their own perspectives, it is important to center the consensus voice of the community, not the community's outliers (data is helpful when determining where a community's consensus sits) and certainly not voices outside the impacted community who work in opposition to the consensus. Yet on the political left, an alarming double standard when it comes to Jews and antisemitism is gaining momentum.

Many non-Jews have been very publicly speaking over the Jewish community when it comes to the antisemitism we have been experiencing locally. There is a term for this among young internet-savvy Jews: goysplaining.

A phrase often employed to defend the actions of anti-Zionists is "criticism of Israel isn't antisemitism." However, you would be hard-pressed to find a Jewish Zionist who would have no criticisms of Israel.

Just this past summer tens of thousands of Israelis protested the proposed judicial reform by Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his right-wing allies, which would essentially remove the Israeli Supreme Court's ability to check the power of the Knesset. That is actual criticism.

So, if the consensus among Zionists is that criticism of Israel is not inherently antisemitic, why are anti-Zionists touting this phrase as if it is some sort of defense?

The defense strategy is a straw man that gives anti-Zionists the "antisemitism pass," whereby they can say whatever they want, even expressing Jew-hatred, without consequence.

Criticizing Israel is not antisemitism, so long as one does not use antisemitic tropes in their "criticism," Holocaust inversion to weaponize Jewish trauma, or uniquely denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination. Unfortunately, that is precisely what is happening on college campuses, in online discourse and in the media.

When the University of Minnesota's Gender Women and Sexuality Studies (GWSS) faculty released their "Statement on Palestine" less than one week after the Oct. 7 massacres by Hamas, they spoke over the Jewish community, incorrectly correcting us on what is and is not antisemitism. They furthermore failed to express even an ounce of compassion for the women murdered, kidnapped and raped by Hamas and the Gazan civilians that joined them on their genocidal massacre. Antisemitism blinds their obligation to support all women.

Other professors, rightfully, criticized the GWSS' use of a university platform to spread their Hamas-apologetic statement and intimidate students. Then another group of non-Jewish professors teamed up to goysplain what antisemitism is and is not, all while Jewish students on campus are being targeted for their Jewish identity and support for Jewish self-determination.

Why is it so difficult for progressive voices to understand that Jews, as a community, are the experts in antisemitism? We know the warning signs, the nuances and the dog whistles. It is not the place of non-Jews to explain to one of the most persecuted ethnic groups in human history what is and is not our persecution.

This week millions of Jews across the globe will sit around the table with their friends and family, for a Passover Seder. There, we will recount the stories of our ancestors as they fled slavery in Egypt and began wandering through the desert in search of the Land of Israel.

The Jewish people have maintained a connection to Israel for over 3,000 years despite colonization, imperialism, forced conversion and genocide. Yet when we acknowledge our culture and history, Jewish college students, like me, are called white supremacists, colonizers, genocidal maniacs and baby killers.

Jews know antisemitism; the thousands of Jews who make up the Jewish community in Minnesota can see very clearly that the antisemitic virus is infecting public opinion and progressive discourse.

Historically, the Jews who knew the warning signs, and left, are the ones that lived. The Jews of today are their descendants.

I have not taken off my Jewish jewelry, but if my fellow citizens do not learn from history, I fear the day I hide my Jewishness for my safety will be all too inevitable.

Naomi Breazeale is a graduating senior at Hamline University.