Alarming antisemitism on campus as a UC Santa Cruz Stevenson College Elected Representative, Daniel, was asked to "abstain" from voting on a BDS resolution because he is President of the Jewish Student Union and was "elected with a Jewish agenda." The original message is in the photo.
We call on the UC system to immediately take action against the unacceptable antisemitism running rampant on California college campuses.
Here is Daniel's statement:
"About two days ago, I received a Facebook message from someone I won't name, instructing me to abstain from the vote about the divestment issue because I am the Vice President of the Jewish Student Union. Furthermore, I was told that members from the Stevenson College Council were concerned that I would be biased because I was elected with a "Jewish agenda," as if my involvement in and passion for the wellbeing of the Jewish community, MY COMMUNITY, is something that I should be ashamed of, and something that will hold me back from representing my constituents fairly in the greater student assembly.
The implication that I, as a Jewish student and leader in the Jewish community, should not be allowed to vote on an issue that so deeply impacts the Jewish community, and that I should abstain because I cannot be trusted due to an alleged, “Jewish agenda,” echoes the racism Jews have faced all over the world throughout our history. I wish that me being subjected to anti-Semitism was a shocking new occurrence. But the truth is that I’m not shocked. I’m not shocked because this hatred and ignorance has followed me everywhere. I'm not shocked because Jewish students have been targeted with this vile racism all over the UC system for years, and especially since BDS became a major issue of discussion. Anti-Semitism today may not be the same as it was in the 1930s. But it has clearly evolved to become an inseparable part of campus politics right here at UC Santa Cruz and across the UC system.
This was evident when Rachel Beyda, at UCLA, was denied a position on the Judicial board because of her identity as a Jew, it was evident when my fellow AEPi brothers had swastikas painted on their house in Davis, and now I have had a firsthand experience that this volatile bile of racism is evident at UCSC.
The only "Jewish Agenda" I care about is keeping my community safe and making it so we can coexist peacefully among the other 15,000 students on our campus. I want my community to have a normal learning environment, free from hate speech and harassment, where we can enjoy college without being discriminated against. If people here see that as a legitimate reason to distrust me, to stop me from voting my conscience on issues that matter to the Jewish community, or even to remove me from positions of leadership, then so be it. But they should know that they will never silence me, and they will never stop my community from fighting for the rights and protections that we deserve on this campus.
I am calling on the leadership at UC Santa Cruz, from the student level on up to start taking concrete action to get the anti-Semitism at this campus under control. Student governments at UCLA, UCSB, and Berkeley addressed this issue last year, and the UC Regents are addressing it now. If we stand idly by in the face of this racism, we are sending a clear message that Jewish students cannot expect to be treated with a basic level of fairness and respect at this university. It’s time for the student leadership and the administration here to make a decision: are we going to ensure the fair and equal treatment of all students on this campus, or not? For the sake of future generations of Jewish students here, for the sake of the Jewish community as a whole, and for the sake of everyone on this campus, I hope that we make the right decision."