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April 28, 2016 8:06 am

Stanford University Excludes Demonization of Israel From Resolution Against Antisemitism

avatar by Lea Speyer

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Stanford University. Photo: Website.

Stanford University. Photo: Website.

A recent Stanford Undergraduate Student Senate resolution condemning antisemitism excluded any clause against the demonization of Israel, a Jewish student senator told The Algemeiner on Wednesday.

“It was a long process of writing the resolution and editing it into a version that would likely pass,” Molly Horwitz, who authored and introduced the bill, said. “I was extremely frustrated when the senate voted to remove the State Department 3Ds definition of antisemitism [delegitimization, demonization and double standards]. For me, that is a very strong definition, and the version that passed did not include a clause regarding the demonization of Israel, because of its Jewish nature, or the use of antisemitic tropes in the demonization of Israel.”  

According to the text of the resolution, “Criticism of Israel cannot be regarded as inherently antisemitic.” The motion states that it “does not represent any political position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” and its sole purpose “is to define the line between civil, academic debate and hate speech.”

According to a JTA reportlast week’s unanimous decision by the undergraduate senate to pass the resolution came two weeks after a similar bill was declared pointless when opponents were allowed to add additional amendments that watered down its meaning. The motion was debated four times before passing. Gabriel Knight, a Stanford junior on the senate, said at the April 5 debate that it was not antisemitic to say Jews control the media, government, economy and social institutions. Knight later apologized for his comments.

“I’m happy that at least some form of the resolution passed in the undergraduate senate. Any version of the resolution is better than not having one,” Horwitz told The Algemeiner. “Senator Gabriel Knight’s comments during the debate on the resolution clearly signal the necessity of increased antisemitism education.” The student senator added that she will be working with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to plan “teach-ins,” for the purpose of educating people on the root causes and effects of antisemitism.

Major Jewish groups at Stanford, including Chabad at Stanford, Cardinal for Israel, Jewish Students Association, J Street U Stanford and Alpha Epsilon Pi, co-sponsored the bill.

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