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Sunday, August 5, 2018

A Salute to College Republicans

Full disclosure: I write this as an independent voter who routinely votes for Republicans simply because they more represent my conservative point of view. I have never joined any particular party.

But the case of the Stanford student, Hamzeh Daoud, who made written threats of physical violence against "Zionists" on the Stanford campus, has once again pointed out the fact that many College Republican (CR) chapters, especially in California, are taking the lead in standing up, not only for conservative values and free speech issues, but also standing up to campus anti-semitism.

During the years I was teaching part-time at UC Irvine (1998-2016) and getting involved in anti-semitism issues, the CR chapter was fairly dormant. That has changed in recent years as they have become more assertive in standing up for free speech issues and defending Jewish students under assault by the pro-Palestinian brown shirts. Probably the most significant figure has been Ariana Rowlands, a past president of the UCI CR and a recent graduate.

In May 2016, it was College Republicans, who by chance, witnessed an SJP disruption of a pro-Israel event on the UCI campus and videotaped it. They also stood up for free speech in inviting conservative pundit Milos Yiannopoulos to speak, which led to protests and an attempt by the UCI administration to discipline them. The CR stood their ground and forced the administrators to back down. More recently, the CR hosted a group of Israeli reservist soldiers to speak at their weekly meeting in May 2018, an event, which was predictably disrupted by outside agitators invited by who knows who. (Actually, I  have a good idea.)

Also at UC Berkeley. the CR chapter has stood for free speech. Their 2017 invitation to Yiannopoulos to speak led to an actual riot by Antifa type thugs, who by their actions forced a cancellation of the event.

Now comes the ugly incident at Stanford, where Daoud posted social media messages promising to (physically) fight "Zionists" on campus. It was the CR chapter at Stanford who put themselves out front by calling for the administration to take action. (To this date, we don't know what that action is.) Not surprisingly, the campus newspaper, The Stanford Daily, shamelessly stood up for Daoud and his anti-Israel cause, filling the pages of their publication with denunciations of Israel and the CR. Daoud has now resigned his position as a dorm resident assistant, but we do not know what if any punitive action will follow from Stanford. That is covered by state privacy laws.

Of course, one cannot speak for every CR chapter in the nation. Clearly, some are more active than others. All I can say is that it is heartening to see certain chapters actually stand up for their values in the face of the politically-correct climate on most every campus. If this is the future of the Republican party, I cannot wait to see them replace many of the current crop in Congress. We need to support them.


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