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July 17, 2015 4:52 pm

California Lawmakers Approve Legislation Urging UCs to Adopt State Department Definition of Antisemitism

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California State Senate chamber. Photo: Wikipedia.

California State Senate chamber. Photo: Wikipedia.

A Jewish watchdog group that monitors antisemitism on college campuses welcomed news on Friday that the California senate approved legislation calling on the state’s public universities to adopt resolutions condemning antisemitism, as it is defined by the State Department.

“We commend the California Assembly and Senate for recognizing the alarming and frightening rise of antisemitism on campus and using the State Department definition to properly identify and address it,” said Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, co-founder of the Amcha Initiative, which was established in response to the recent uptick in antisemitic incidents on college campuses countrywide over the past few years.

“A critical step to fixing [the problem of antisemitism] on campus is for students and faculty to accurately comprehend contemporary antisemitism. We need a school-wide standard, a universal tool, for understanding antisemitism and preventing it. We look forward to working with the University of California to formally adopt the State Department definition of antisemitism across all 10 campuses,” said Rossman-Benjamin.

The State Department definition of antisemitism includes violence against Jews or stereotyping Jews as a group or collective. But it also includes efforts to demonize Israel or hold it to a double standard, or to delegitimize the Jewish state’s right to exist.

The UC regents are expected to discuss the issue of antisemitism on campus during their meeting late next week.

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  • Please stop using that stupid, politicized and over-exploited word, antisemitism. There are two far more accurate (and honest) words that can and should be used instead – anti-Jewish and anti-Jewarchist. Racists who hate all Jews are anti-Jewish. It’s easy to spell, easy to remember, and it means exactly what it says. People who are opposed to corrupt Jewish groups or excessive Jewish control and manipulation (e.g. “Jewish bankers,” the Jewish Mafia, Jewish control of Hollywood, etc.) are anti-Jewarchist. Anti-Zionists oppose Zionism but, by definition, aren’t necessarily concerned about other corrupt Jewish organizations.

    Anti-Jewism, anti-Jewarchism and anti-Zionism are words intelligent people should be using. Antisemitism actually impedes rational discussion – which is precisely why it’s favored by the ruling class.

    Learn more @

  • staffsgt7

    I need to know before I sign it whether or not it includes the idea that no one should criticize islam. Basically, the concept of islamophobia was included in a speech by protesters at the Capital awhile back and that is the most inane idea that I ever heard. It is due to the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood front group, the MSA, on the campuses and other front groups that anti-Semitism is happening. AND criticism of an ideology should NEVER be banned! Instead all we hear is that we are islamophobes or racists (remind me what race islam is?!?!)

    BUT if the word is research you will find it was a made up word BY the Muslim Brotherhood – the International Institute for Islamic Thought (IIIT), which is based in Northern Virginia…

    Abdur-Rahman Muhammad, a former member of the IIIT who has renounced the group in disgust, was an eyewitness to the creation of the word. “This loathsome term,” he writes, “is nothing more than a thought-terminating cliche conceived in the bowels of Muslim think tanks for the purpose of beating down critics”…

    and this is what he said on Hannity:

    Abdur-Rahman Muhammad, former IMA on Hannity 7 September 2010 said, “Islamophobia is nothing more than a thought terminating cliche conceived in the bowels of moslem think tanks for the purpose of beating down critics”. He also went on to say, “They study such movements as the gay movement and modeled islamophobia after homophobia and they use it like a bat to beat down the critics and to stifle any kind of debate and to stymie their critics.”

    So, if this is included in the bill – I will never support it.

  • Peter

    It’s a step in the right direction. People must not say that all Jews are Zionists.

  • duPont

    About Time! I am very disappointed in the generation of students who espouse these kinds of biases. They are bigots at the very least. Universities have to set higher standards than the gutter sniping they are allowing. Sure is far different from my generation’s university standards, both academically and socially.

  • irving katz

    AMCHA is to be thanked-also Rabbi Avi Weiss-He is a great Jew and a proud Jew-Thank you again Rabbi Weiss

  • enufizenuf

    If they are smart they will adopt this definition.

  • Otto Schiff

    It is about time for the recognition that not the victims
    but the perpetrators are the problem.