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May 7, 2015 7:48 pm

Chilling College Reports Highlight Rising Antisemitism on University of California Campuses

avatar by Eliezer Sherman

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The UCSB Divest group gathers on campus. Photo: UCSB Divest Facebook Page

As the school year nears its end, two articles concerning antisemitism on University of California campuses highlighted concerns of a growing trend.

The first article, published by The College Fix on Wednesday, documents instances of antisemitism at UC Santa Barbara, such as a protest wall that condemned so-called Israeli “apartheid,” which was constructed ahead of a student vote on measures to divest from Israel.

The report from UCSB also provided chilling testimony from one student, junior Margaux Gundzik, who was present at the run-up to the vote: “In those eight hours, I was told that Jews control the government, that all Jews are rich, that Zionism is racism, that the marginalization of Jewish students is justified because it prevents the marginalization of other minority groups, that Israel sterilizes its Ethiopian women (this is obviously not true), and that Palestinians in America who speak out against Israel are sought out by the IDF and denied entrance into Israel (also a ridiculous conspiracy theory).”

The Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law co-authored a report on antisemitism across U.S. campuses in 2014, and its president, Attorney Kenneth L. Marcus, told The Algemeiner that until the BDS measure, his organization had been “hearing very little from UC Santa Barbara.”

“Unfortunately, the [boycott, divestment and sanctions] resolution … changed all of that,” he said.

The UCSB report called the antisemitism on display on campus a “microcosm of sorts, of the larger issue at hand.”

That larger issue is highlighted by the second report, in UCLA’s Daily Bruin, which discusses the opposition to a State Senate bill aiming to condemn antisemitism and racism on UC campuses.

Certain groups, such as the pro-BDS Los Angeles chapter of the National Lawyers Guild and the Jewish Voice for Peace, criticized the measure for applying the State Department definition of antisemitism, which they said was too broad.

“Lumping criticisms of Israel with those who carry swastikas takes away the credibility of Israeli people when they are actually faced with antisemitic situations,” said John Lafferty, the head of the Los Angeles chapter of the National Lawyers Guild.

The issue appears to be the question of when anti-Israel political acts become antisemitism, and what the criteria would be for determining such situations.

“You have to have a careful test toward distinguishing between anti-Israel activity that is purely political and that which crosses the line into antisemitism,” said Marcus.

The State Department’s definition of antisemitism includes, “Applying double standards by requiring of it [Israel] a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nations” and “Multilateral organizations focusing on Israel only for peace or human rights investigations.”

The measure, proposed by Sen. Jeff Stone (R-Murrieta), passed the Senate Education Committee last week, and says antisemitism is on the rise both globally and on college campuses nationwide.

The Brandeis Center report on campus antisemitism, co-authored with Trinity College, said at least 54 percent of college students have experienced antisemitism on campus this past year.

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  • Considering that even mentioning Jews in a bad light will get you fired at any university in the US and Western Europe, I’d say that any backlash for the removal of freedom of speech is justified.

    Jews can say all they want about killing Arabs and others, but whites can’t say anything negative about the world’s Jewish Overlord King Bibi.

  • Aviva

    What about Israeli Jews, are we allowed to criticize our own government without being called Anti-Semitic? Your definition seems a little reductionist, and leaves me and whole lot of other Israeli’s who are unhappy with our government’s treatment of Palestinians. I hope that Jews in the U.S. join the rest of the us (Israeli Jews) who oppose human rights violations conducted by a country that purports to speak for every Jew (according to Netanyahu himself, no). From my anecdotal experience, those who cry Anti-Semitism in the face of political criticism are Islamophobic (Harold Hammer knows what I’m saying, right?), educated about only part of the story, and reactionist. I mean no one cried “white hater” when the West engaged in BDS against South Africa.

    I am truly sympathetic to people like Lauren Rivka Goldman who are heckled for being Jewish, and more so for those who feel their personal safety is threatened due to their religion. However, I think our shared experiences as oppressed minorities should bring us together, Jews, Muslims, Indigenous communities, Blacks, Latinos, and others, rather than make us fight for the crumbs we’ve been given by the privileged.

    • Mikey P


      You said ” I think our shared experiences as oppressed minorities should bring us together, Jews, Muslims, Indigenous communities, Blacks, Latinos, and others.”

      Keep dreaming.

      Jews not welcomed as Jews fighting for themselves.

      Jews only welcomed as Jews fighting against themselves.

      Your imagined “allies” will never attend a pro-Jewish or anti-anti-Semitism rally.

      In their mind, rich Jews and Jewish Israel, which in their mind equals all Jews, is part of the problem.

      Jews are welcomed only if they are helping to fight that combined Jewish problem, sort of like a whistle blower.

  • The state dept definition of anti-semitism is too difficult, so just disregard it ! Anti-Semites in the EU complain the EU agreed definition is too difficult to follow so they disregard it. It all reminds me of the famous case of the social worker who was asked by the judge why her teenage client had so long a criminal record. The social worker replied, ‘He wouldn’t have a crimial record if the police wouldn’t insist on arresting him whenever he breaks the law.’ Breaking the legal definition of anti-Semitism should be referred to a judge like any other violation of the law.

  • Paul

    The arabs have no problem equating anti-zionism and anti-semitism. They like to yell “Iybach al yahud” – which means “slaughter the jews”, not “slaughter the Israelis”.
    Simple, open and honest.
    Only in the West, it is not politically correct to admit to the no-no of antisemitism, so they claim to only be anti-israeli. Hypocrisy.
    I believe some European states have just stated they will stop paying reparations to Holocaust survivors who live in the territories. This suggests they feel that the reparations are being paid because of some deal with Israel – and I thought the reparations were paid because they slaughtered jews, and stole their property, and therefore wanted to make whatever amends could be made. Do they too like jews, only dislike Israel ? Some of their best friends are Jews ?

  • michael schuman

    Get out of Claifornia before it is too late!

  • E Pluribus Wombat

    I would say we’re about a year from one UC Campus formally expelling all Jewish students. In those words “Jews”. Other liberals will cheer.

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  • Steve Wenick

    When Israel is held to a higher standard of moral behavior, in regard to human rights, than any of the 22 Muslim and Arab countries in the world that is anti-Semitism.

  • Lauren Rivka Goldman

    Naturally, Jewish Voice for Peace is a major player in this (J Street is also probably involved in some manner). If this were a picture of a pro-Israel event, set up in the same way as the group in the photo, they would be surrounded by screaming pro-‘palestinian’ agitators, who campus security would allow to get close enough to make physical contact.

    A week ago, I was verbally accosted on the street because I wear a kippah, and a few months ago, I was riding a bus and high school kids were saying that “H-tler should have killed them all.” I live in San Francisco.

  • Stuart Hersh

    International Law considers any form of incitement to racism or antiSemitism to be a crime. This was the basis on which Nazi Jew-baiter Julius Streicher was found guilty and executed. He was part of a conspiracy against the Jews.

    The attorney’s argument that swastikas are anti-Semitic, and baseless “criticism of Israel” (not restricted to government policy, but directed against all Jewish citizens, and expats residing overseas)is not, cannot be deemed as credible. Such an argument is a covert attempt to deligitimatze Israel’s existential legitimacy. In other words, Palestinian nationalist demands negate the inherent rights of Jews to their hommeland.

    Thus, the attorney’s argument is merely an attempt to minimize anti-Semitism by restricting it to Nazism, when, in reality, a clear historically-based definition would be ‘the denial of rights for Jews that are advocated or demanded by others.”

  • The 2 reports cited in this article dont begin to touch the degree of academic, intellectual, and administrative corruption of many Univ of California campuses. Under the guise of freedom of speech, professors have been defaming Israel and jews who support it, mocking students who try to defend it in class and discussion sessions, allowing outright antisemitism to go unmarked and unadvised in campus wide student councils and services, and indifference to jewish protests against threats, violence, intimidation, et al by supposed minority freedom groups using color, gender, and palestinian suffering as cause to support and advocate oppression and dismissal of jewish viewpoints, and jews.

    All this has been well known for years at Irvine, Santa Cruz and Berkeley, and now seems to have infected the campuses of Santa Barbara and UCLA.

    I dont know what the UC Regents position is, except whatever it professes, if it does at all, it has done nothing to stop this disgusting behavior.

  • montlasky

    This is “old hat” when this whole issue has been throughly reported on and investigated by David Horovitz of the Freedom Center and on their publication Frontpage.
    Then question is, how are you going to overcome and defeat a bunch of anti Semtic biggots like the BDS organisation which is adding to the anti Semitism spike world wide The BDS movement here in South Africa has aroused tremendous anti Semitism amogst a population of largely non sophisticated people who don’t know what a Jew is ansd they think that `Israel is something to eat!The world must counter this by making this racialist organisation illegal where ever it raises it’s head.

  • Mireille Mechoullam

    I guess antisemitism will never die as long as the governments of all countries don’t get their act together and condemn it once and for all.
    To my Jewish brothers and sisters please stop throwing your money to Universities who promote that decease thru their progressive professors.

  • rulierose

    “You have to have a careful test toward distinguishing between anti-Israel activity that is purely political and that which crosses the line into antisemitism,” said Marcus.

    no you don’t. there may have been a point–sometime after 1947 and before 2015–where it was possible to be anti-Israel and not anti-Semitic, but it is not possible any longer. and anyone who says it is is fooling themselves.

    there are many other bits of disputed territory in the world. are these people fighting for the ‘indigenous’ peoples of any of them? of course not. is it just coincidence that the only “occupation” the world cares about is the one that involves the Jewish people reclaiming their 4,000-year-old land? I don’t think so.

  • Larry A. Singleton

    No offense, but get your head out of your ass and improve your print function.

  • Antisemitism can be very subtle and is pervasive in Western literature, even when written by Jews and their sympathizers. For instance, the Terror-Gothic style was a Tory protest against the “jewification” of modernity. The popular Showtime series PENNY DREADFUL embodies this ideology quite graphically. Eva Green is a femme fatale, a Wandering Jew variant, evil to the core. See http://clarespark.com/2014/06/25/penny-dreadfuls-sinister-significance/.

  • Carl

    BDS and the mantra of “anti-Zionism” are the gateway drugs to full-fledged Jew hatred. It is a very short step from disagreeing with policies of Israel to hating the state of Israel, its people and Jews everywhere.

  • Jack Thomas

    Perhaps students are ignorant of history, not knowing that there are consequences for standing and supporting invading forces. I.E. the Arabs supporting and fighting with Nazis. The result: Israel and the stone age people surrounding it. How long will it take for the Arabs to fight with ISIS? Yes, it will have consequences. However, it seems that they and the students equally share profound ignorance.

  • Harold Hammer

    This is what happens when a christian/Judaic nation such as ours allows Islamic savages into our country and foster the destruction of our great culture .

  • Paul Cerar

    Fight back – vote!