What we’re reading:
Anti-Semitism on California Campuses
The problem on campuses across the country is that pro-Palestinian activists, in their zeal to seek self-affirmation, statehood, and "social justice," have waged an extremely caustic cognitive war against Israel and Jews.
Being pro-Palestinian on campuses today does not necessarily mean that one is committed to helping Palestinians be productive, live well, build a free and open nation or create a civil society with transparent government, a free press, human rights, and a representative government.
What being pro-Palestinian seems to have come to mean is continually denigrating and attacking Israel with a false historical narrative and the grotesquely misused language of human rights. What is claimed to be anti-Israel sentiment often rises to the level of raw anti-Semitism.
It is enough to make Jewish students, whether or not they care about Israel at all, uncomfortable, unsafe, or even hated on their own campuses.
Will free speech on Israel survive progressive censorship?
Today the ACLU and progressive farleft activists, many of them Jewish, fail to object to the assault on pro-Israel free speech on American college campuses and in the public arena, no doubt because the calls for denial of free speech come from their own ranks.
Pro-Israel speakers are now routinely shouted down, forced off the stage of public discourse by Palestinian and “social justice” activists. Just ask ambassador Michael Oren, or Palestinian human rights advocate Bassem Eid, whose crime was talking about co-existing with Israelis. At Brandeis University, Brandeis president Frederick Lawrence withdrew Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s invitation to speak there, because she speaks out against Islamic female genital mutilation and other human rights violations in the Islamic world...
They further claim that shouting down pro-Israel speakers is their form of free speech. George Orwell must be turning over in his grave.
Putting anti-Semitism on the radar at the University of California and beyond
Last week, the Regents of the University of California unanimously approved a landmark Statement of Principles Against Intolerance containing the following language: “Anti-Semitism, anti-Semitic anti-Zionism and other forms of discrimination have no place at the University of California.” Although the statement has been widely hailed within the Jewish community for its unprecedented acknowledgment of anti-Zionism as a source of anti-Jewish hostility, many have overlooked an aspect of the statement’s language every bit as significant when it comes to ensuring the safety and well-being of Jewish students: the Regents’ clear call for anti-Semitism, in all of its forms, to be treated like every other kind of discrimination at the University of California – no more, but certainly no less.
Why is this so significant? Because for far too long the problem of anti-Jewish bigotry has not been on the radar at the University of California...
Furthermore, when attempts were made to put anti-Jewish hostility on the UC radar, they were aggressively and successfully suppressed by the very groups most responsible for creating that hostility. For example in 2012, within days of the publication of a Jewish Student Campus Climate Report commissioned by then UC President Mark Yudof, which found that “Jewish students are confronting significant and difficult climate issues as a result of ... anti-Zionism and Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS)”, anti-Zionist student and community groups viciously attacked the report and demanded it be withdrawn.