This is both shocking and not-so-surprising. Shocking that smart, educated people can write things like this; not-so-surprising because I have seen so much on university campuses that is consistent with these results [via MA].
Prof. Monika Schwarz-Friesel of the Technical University of Berlin ... [studied] 10 years’ worth of hate mail–14,000 letters, emails, and faxes in all–sent to the Central Council of Jews in Germany and the Israeli embassy in Berlin. In an interview published in Haaretz yesterday, she said she fully expected to discover that most of it came from right-wing extremists. But in fact, right-wing extremists accounted for a mere 3 percent, while over 60 percent came from educated members of “the social mainstream – professors, Ph.Ds, lawyers, priests, university and high-school students,” she said. Nor were there any significant differences between right-wing extremists’ letters and those of the educated mainstream, Schwarz-Friesel said: “The difference is only in the style and the rhetoric, but the ideas are the same.”
To be clear, these letters weren’t just criticizing Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians; we’re talking about classic anti-Semitism–as evident from the samples Haaretz cited:
I don't always agree with Israeli policy, and I definitely have questions about the advisability of continued expansion of west-bank settlements. But to write things like those quoted above, or to blame Israel for "apartheid" when it is a far more open and democratic society than its Arab neighbours is incomprehensible.