Education

Anti-Semitism Is Running Rampant At California’s Elite Public Universities

Anti-Jewish agitprop has been appearing with alarming frequency on the prestigious, taxpayer-funded campuses of the University of California (UC) system this academic year.

“Unfortunately, anti-Semitism has become fashionable again,” said Joseph Potasnik, a rabbi and the executive vice president for the New York Board of Rabbisin a statement to the Times of Israel.

“It’s not a big deal to hate the Jews,” Potasnik added. “The first group to get attacked is the Jews.”

Some observers believe the instances of rank anti-Semitism are related to a campus climate which is favorable to boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement campaigns and various advocacy groups which criticize Israel and promote a free and sovereign Palestine. This atmosphere, those observers say, could be creating the intellectual conditions necessary for the acts of anti-Semitism to occur.

“There really is an egregious double standard that, from the perspective of many Jewish students, is perceived as discriminatory towards them,” Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, a Jewish Studies professor at the University of California, Davis and founder of the pro-Jewish AMCHA Initiative, said in an interview with The Daily Caller.

The line at which propaganda against Israel became anti-Semitism may at times be a blurry one. Pretty clearly, though, several incidents on the taxpayer-funded campuses of the University of California system this academic year have crossed well into the realm of hostility against Jews.

University of California, Berkeley. In March, someone spray-painted “Zionists should be sent to the gas chamber” in a university bathroom. And shortly thereafter, a swastika was found on a university-owned building.

This incident ensued amidst a contentious BDS campaign targeted against a Berkeley student group, “Tikvah: Students for Israel.” The group openly states its aim “advocating for Zionism.”

Berkeley student senator Ori Herschmann, the author of a student government bill that called upon UC Berkeley to condemn antisemitism, spoke about these incidents with The Daily Caller.

Anti-Semitism “is brushed off,” Herschmann said. He meant that statement literally.

“A lot of times,” “students don’t even know about [the antisemitic graffiti] because it’s just scrubbed off.”

University of California, Los Angeles. In February, a student government member interrogated a UCLA Judicial Board candidate on whether or not she was qualified for the position and if she was capable of being impartial as a Jew.

The UCLA Council Meeting in which council members questioned Rachel Beyda about her legitimacy on the basis of her Jewish religious affiliation

via live stream of the UCLA council meeting. Beyda is at the front

A video clip of the strange line of questioning was posted to YouTube after judicial board the elections. “Given that you are a Jewish student and very active in the Jewish community, given that recently [inaudible] has been surrounding cases conflict of interest,” the council member interrogated, “how do you see yourself being able to maintain an unbiased view?”

As the Los Angeles Daily News has noted, no member of any other group at UCLA except for a Jewish person has faced questions about whether a particular ethnic characteristic would unduly influence what amounts to actions on a student council.