This article was first posted on Eagle Rising.
For the past several years I have witnessed first-hand how the resurgence in anti-Semitism is linked to the well-financed and well organized pro-Palestinian movement on our college campuses. As a part-time teacher at the University of California at Irvine, I have regularly attended the anti-Israel events organized by organizations like Students for Justice in Palestine, the Muslim Students Union, as well as assorted UC professors who are dedicated to the destruction of Israel. Make no mistake: They will routinely deny there is any anti-Jewish sentiment in their activities and point to the fact that many of their supporters, leaders and speakers are themselves of Jewish heritage. Yet, the anti-Jewish sentiment is time and time again brought to the surface in the rhetoric of many of their speakers,
In recent years, the "Israel Apartheid" events have been augmented by the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions movement (BDS) on US campuses that seeks to force universities to divest from companies that do business with the state of Israel. Every year now, student governments are preoccupied with BDS resolutions that are passed or rejected only after long and strenuous debates in front of large crowds of those students involved in the issue on side or the other. Once passed, the university administration issues a statement that it will not change its investment policies making it largely symbolic.
Lately, various faculty organizations have gotten involved in the question of boycotting Israeli academics on their campuses, a truly scary proposition that seeks to drive any pro-Israel sentiment out of American academia.
It is all truly ugly. To make matters worse, it has led to an atmosphere of fear and intimidation for many Jewish students on campuses across the country, especially those who are proud of their Jewishness and those who support the state of Israel. There have been cases of assaults, insults, intimidation, and expressions of Jew hatred.
Now comes the latest case at UC Davis, where in the past week, another BDS vote was passed by the student government followed by two swastikas spray painted on a Jewish fraternity house.
As noted in the above link, UCD Chancellor Linda Katehi has condemned the act, and it is being investigated by local police as a hate crime. Yet, as in the past, there is the danger that this will all be forgotten within a week or so. The above link also has another link to an online petition that can be signed and sent to UCD demanding positive action to deal with this virus on the campus. I have signed it, and I hope the reader will also.
Today in Europe, the situation for Jews has approached the level of hate that existed towards Jews in the 1930s. We all know where that led. As a result, tens of thousands of Jews are emigrating from the continent. The situation in the US is nowhere near that of Europe-not yet, anyway. However, it is getting worse, and we have an obligation as Americans to stop this cancer here before it spreads any further.
Make no mistake: The focal point is on our university campuses. Unfortunately, our university administrators have shown themselves to be too cowardly to confront it. The case of UC San Diego in 2010 is illustrative. In short order, a fraternity held a tasteless "Compton Cookout" party with a theme of black inner city culture that offended black students-followed by the discovery of a crudely tied noose in the library. That resulted in the campus being turned upside down even though the actual persons involved were never really identified-at least publicly. (An anonymous female student came forward, identified herself as a minority, and gave an innocent explanation for the noose incident. She was suspended but not identified.) The chancellor and vice chancellor led a campus rally to show black students that they were welcome on the UCSD campus. All well and good, but when the same year, David Horowitz spoke on campus and was told by a female Muslim student that she agreed with the call of the leader of Hezbollah for all Jews to gather in Israel so the job of hunting them down would be easier, the story had no legs. The student "clarified" her statement, and the university closed the case. Nobody really cared. That kind of politically correct double standard is unacceptable.
Public awareness of incidents such as what happened at UC Davis are essential. Only then can universities be made to understand that the university must be a welcoming place for all, including Jewish students. Universities must also come to grips with the fact that the anti-Israel movement on campuses does have an anti-Jewish aspect to it.