Campus Anti-Semitism Flourishes at UC Berkeley
We know that university campuses throughout N. America and Europe are once again hotbeds of anti-Semitism. This isn't the first time. It got quite ugly for Jewish students in Germany during the 1920s and 30s.
These days, Jew-hatred is almost a graduation requirement, and in some departments a necessary line on a resume when considering new teaching staff.
How bad have things gotten? At UC Berkeley, Bears for Palestine put up a display honoring Palestinian terrorists.
Bears for Palestine has every right to honor Palestinian activists, and there are certainly many notable Palestinian figures to choose from; consider Bassem Eid, a prominent Palestinian peace activist who works diligently to call out human rights abuses in the Palestinian territories and bring both sides closer to a peaceful resolution. Unfortunately, instead of commemorating activists, BFP commemorated individuals whose reputations stem from their murder of Jewish people.
Rasmieh Odeh. Fatima Bernawi. Leila Khaled. What did these women do?
Rasmieh Odeh was sentenced to serve time in prison in connection to the 1969 Jerusalem bombings conducted by the U.S.-recognized terrorist organization Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine; the bombing of a SuperSol Supermarkets killed two Israeli college students shopping for groceries and injured nine others. Days later, Odeh attempted to bomb the British Consulate in Jerusalem — fortunately, this time no one was injured in the blast.
Fatima Bernawi made headlines two years prior for her attempt to blow up a movie theater in Jerusalem. She planted a bomb in Zion Cinema in 1967 in hopes of taking out viewers in order to protest a film detailing the events of Israel’s Six-Day War. Thankfully, the bomb failed to go off, and Bernawi was arrested, saving countless lives.
Leila Khaled rose to fame after two terrorist attacks in 1969 and 1970. She is a senior activist of the PFLP and was involved in the hijacking of TWA flight 840 from Rome to Tel Aviv and El Al flight 219 from Amsterdam to New York City. No one was injured in the first attack, and the second was foiled by Israeli sky marshals.
Therein lies the problem we see today and have seen throughout history: the justification and glorification of Jewish death and Jewish fear. When will we stand up as a society and condemn the killing of Jewish people for being Jewish? Whether these Jewish people are Israeli or American should make no difference.
But that was only the beginning.
Jewish students protested. They proposed a student government resolution condemning the display. The video below shows part of what happened at the first student government meeting to debate and vote on the resolution.
The resolution’s opponents — some of whom were holding Palestinian flags and wearing keffiyahs — were seen in the video repetitively clapping, chanting “Free, free, free Palestine,” and cheering as students walked out of the meeting.
“It was absolute mayhem as we were leaving,” said Moi Stern Weisleder, a junior and co-president of Tikvah. “They were celebrating, it was like a football game or something.”
“They were singing to our faces, they were insulting us, calling us Nazis, supporters of genocide, terrorists, child-murderers,” he told The Algemeiner on Wednesday. “It was terrible.”
“There was no dialogue between the two [sides],” Stern recounted. “Whenever a Jewish student would go up and speak, they would be interrupted, they would be laughed at.” Opponents of the resolution “would scream at them, that they were white supremacists and shouldn’t even be up there,” he added. “It was so uncivilized … I’ve never seen anything like that in my entire life.”
“I saw students flipping off the pictures of the victims,” Zerman added. The photos of Kanner and Joffe were later torn up by a student who opposed his resolution, Zerman said, bringing him close to tears.
The resolution was defeated in the end. The Jew-haters had the numbers and the tactics, including harassment of Jewish students, based on years of practice and molding the UC campuses into bastions of intolerance and Jew-hatred. They understand what Jewish students and organizations have yet to acknowledge. The BDS Movement, including SJP groups and Bears for Palestine are engaged in a war. Jews are still treating this as academic debate.
Using one tactic that has worked well in the past, SJP members have learned to gain sympathy by portraying themselves as victims:
“Being Palestinian at Berkeley, or anywhere else in the world, means we all live in constant fear,” the statement continued. “We have no safe space no matter where we go.”
“I am very disturbed, not just with this racist bill being considered, but I am also disturbed with the egregious acts of violence enacted by campus Zionists, attacks against not just the Palestinian students, but other students from marginalized communities,” Johnson alleged during the meeting.
Johnson went on to call the attacks “hate,” adding that hate in any form is unacceptable.
Look at the video again and tell me who is engaged in "egregious acts of violence."
Whenever Jewish students muster any kind of attack on campus Jew-haters, the haters immediately allege that they are the real targets of hatred and attacks and are now living in fear. And of course, anything Jews say in their defense when pointing out attacks against Jews and Israel is always labeled as "hate speech." In fact, this post, doing nothing but reporting and repeating facts, would be labeled as "hate speech." As Mohammed said, "War is deception."
This is nothing new. Cossacks, Nazis, and pogromists throughout Europe and the Islamic world, as they persecuted and murdered Jews over the centuries, did so as "victims" of imaginary Jewish crimes against them. Everyone who attacks Jews does so as a victim in their own minds.
Of course, the biggest problem facing Jews in general are the - what in Soviet Russia were called the non-Jewish Jews - who today take the side of the BDS oppressors. They are the "as a Jew" Jews.
Campus junior Ella Parker spoke about supporting the Palestinian cause.
“I’m a Jewish student here and I’m standing in complete solidarity with BFP and all the Palestinians in the room,” Parker said. “I stand with the Palestinian freedom fighters acting out of self-defense and am glad that the bill didn’t pass, but (I) am disgusted and disturbed that I have been here three times in one week.”
The UC Berkeley administration was worse than useless in this episode. According the Jewish News Syndicate, in typical academic mealy-mouthed fashion, UC Berkeley chancellor Carol Christ issued a statement, which said in part:
“We condemn and find intolerable expressions of racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, Islamophobia, misogyny, anti-Blackness, xenophobia and every other form of hatred that is based on an individual’s origins, identity or political viewpoint . . . We believe deeply in the importance of, and necessity for respectful debate.”
And the disruption by Bears for Palestine reflected:
“tension between free speech and our commitment to creating a campus environment where everyone must feel safe, respected and welcome.”
“Students who support the Palestinian cause have a right to celebrate those they see as fighters for that cause, and their rights to express that support are fully protected by our country’s constitution, . . . By the same token, Jewish students have a right to feel dismay and concern after seeing a poster they perceive as honoring those who killed, or attempted to kill, unarmed Jewish civilians. Each side has an equal right to express and have heard their perspective.”
I don't think she would have issued those sentiments had campus white supremacists celebrated their favorite klansmen in a public display. But there is a separate, lesser standard of care when it comes to anti-Jewish bigotry.
The big question, as always, is whether mainstream Jewish organizations are paying attention yet, or if they're still trying to pretend that white supremacists are the problem.