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May 11, 2015 4:23 pm

‘Unintended Consequence of Out of State Tuition: Antisemitism’

avatar by Eliezer Sherman

Antisemitic graffiti at UC Davis following the passage of a resolution urging divestment from Israel. Photo: Instagram.

An “unintended consequence” of bringing in greater numbers of out of state and foreign students who pay higher tuition into the University of California school system is a spike in antisemitism on campus, argued syndicated columnist Thomas B. Elias in an article published last week.

Elias drew a correlation between the number of reported antisemitic incidents on campus over the past few years — including student government votes over anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions measures — and an increase in the number of students the UCs have accepted from countries such as Iran, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia.

The rise in antisemitism “makes some wonder whether the upsurge of campus anti-Semitism is linked to greater numbers of students from strongly anti-Israel countries, including Malaysia, which sent 164 undergraduates to UC last fall,” he wrote.

“There is no doubt that as the number of foreign students at UC has risen, with administrators exploiting the $23,000 annual difference between out-of-state tuition and what California residents pay, the so-called BDS movement (boycott, divest and sanction) against Israel has become more active on many campuses,” he said.

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“Between 2001 and 2013, the number of UC graduate students from Iran – where a mantra in public schools reportedly has students daily reciting ‘Death to America, Death to Israel!’ – rose from six to 113. Plus, last fall’s enrollees included 74 undergraduates from Saudi Arabia, 53 from Turkey and 51 from Pakistan, to name a few countries where anti-Semitism is common,” he wrote.

Over the past several months, vandals have daubed swastikas on a fraternity house at UC Davis, a UCLA student government candidate said he was attacked for being Jewish and several UC student governments have voted to urge campuses to divest from Israel.

The UC central office responded to Elias that there was likely no link, but certainly the incidence of antisemitism cannot be denied. Indicative of this trend, a California state measure was introduced at the end of March that would urge all UCs to adopt a resolution condemning antisemitic and racist acts on campus.

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