Groups Urge University of California to Monitor SJP Actions at So-Called “International Day of Action”

Earlier today, fifteen national organizations urged Chancellor Dirks of the University of California at Berkeley to monitor the behavior of Students for Justice for Palestine (SJP) and other student organizations involved in the so-called September 23 “Day of Action.”  The 15 organizations, representing hundreds of thousands of members and supporters nationwide, expressed deep concern about the safety and well-being of Jewish students around these events.  In the wake of the Israel-Gaza conflict, global antisemitism has reached levels not seen since the Holocaust.  Jews throughout the world are being targeted for threats, physical assaults and murder, and Jewish property for desecration and destruction.  The groups emphasize that they fully support academic freedom and students’ freedom of expression, but nevertheless caution that “these types of demonstrations can result in antisemitic rhetoric and violent behavior, creating a hostile and unsafe environment for Jewish students.”   Just days ago, the groups observed, a Jewish student at Temple University was punched in the face and called “baby-killer, racist, Zionist pig” and “kike” as he stood next to a table run by the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP).  The groups’ letter is as follows:

Dear Chancellor Dirks,

We represent 15 organizations with hundreds of thousands of members and supporters nationwide, who are deeply concerned for the safety and well-being of Jewish students on campuses across the country, particularly in light of the current unrest in the Middle East. We would like to bring to your attention a matter that directly affects Jewish students at UC Berkeley.

Dr. Hatem Bazian, a UC Berkeley lecturer in Near Eastern Studies, has posted to his Facebook page an announcement of an “International Day of Action on College Campuses: Free Palestine and End the Siege on Gaza,” which is to take place on September 23.  The posting includes the following message:

A call for activists and organizations on campuses across the world to organize massive protests on every college and university campus. Make Free Palestine and Ending the Siege on Gaza part of campus education by holding teach-ins, rallies, sit-ins, civil disobedience, and push for BDS activities.

Brandeis Center Introduces Resource Guide for Identifying Anti-Semitic Behavior on U.S. College Campuses

As the fall semester begins, The Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law today introduced a resource guide to help promote civil discourse and prevent hateful and anti-Semitic activity on campuses. The LDB “Fact Sheet on the Elements of Anti-Semitic Discourse” was compiled in response to requests from U.S. university administrators who are seeking guidance…

Historians Against Isrel

Recovering leftist scholar Ron Radosh calls the new anti-Israel petition signed by hundreds of anti-Israel historians in the U.S., with an added list of “international” fellow travelers, “Historians for Hamas.” I recognized only about ten names, but I’m no longer really plugged into the organized profession, and I’m sure the signers are representative of a…

Organizations Sign Statement Against Assault on a Student at Temple University

  We are deeply troubled by the physical assault against a Jewish student at Temple University.  Daniel Vessal, a CAMERA Fellow and member of the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity, was punched in the face and knocked down and called “baby-killer, racist, Zionist pig” by individuals at the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) table that was part…

Brandeis Center Joins AMCHA Criticism of UAW 2865’s BDS Statement

Yesterday, the Brandeis Center joined the AMCHA Initiative and ten other groups writing to University of California President Janet Napolitano to condemn a statement by the joint council of the UAW 2865 union announcing the union’s intent to support the anti-Israel and anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The UAW 2865 represents teaching assistants, tutors and readers at the nine teaching campuses of the University of California. The joint council indicates that it will seek a full membership vote on the BDS statement in the coming year.

The groups especially criticized the unions’ statement that union members have an obligation “as educators” to teach “the social issues of our time, including pressing global struggles such as the struggle of the Palestinian people for liberation from settler-colonialism and apartheid.” LDB President Kenneth L. Marcus commented, “The union is effectively announcing that its members will abuse their positions by indoctrinating undergraduate students with blatantly politicized, intellectually dishonest, and extraordinarily biased propaganda. This is not what teaching assistants are paid to do, nor is it a proper function of the union. Instead of engaging in proper collective bargaining activity, the union is urging teaching assistants to misuse the classroom for political indoctrination.”

The groups’ letter cautioned that “if TA’s, tutors and readers feel free to ‘teach’ anti-Israel propaganda and promote BDS to their undergraduates, it can’t help but create a hostile, anti-Semitic environment for many Jewish students, who have already reported in the UC Jewish Student Campus Climate Report that campus-based BDS activities ‘project hostility, engender a feeling of isolation, and undermine Jewish students’ sense of belonging and engagement.'”

The letter urged President Napolitano to publicly reaffirm the university’s policy on course content, provide public assurances that she will not allow UAW 2865 members to promote anti-Semitic propaganda anti-Israel boycotts as part of their contractual teaching responsibilities, and instruct the university’s collective bargaining representatives to reject any UAW Local 2865 proposals which seek to inject their positions on Israel into the University’s dealings with the union. The groups also urged Napolitano to reject any effort by UAW Local 2865 that any pension fund provided by the University for its employees adhere to any policies of divestment or boycott of businesses that directly or indirectly have business, cultural or academic relations with Israel.

UC Santa Barbara: The Brandeis Center Helps Reverse a Hostile Environment for Jewish Students

As the University of California Santa Barbara’s student senate voted down an anti-Israel divestment measure in 2013, this campus seethed with anti-Semitic activity. The Student Advocate General – whose job is to educate students about their rights as members of the campus community – said on the floor of the student senate: “Israel is harvesting…

Updating Agathie Christie: It Was Twelve Jews on the Orient Express Who Murdered Cinderella, Presumably to Make Her Blood Into Matzah

From the “Forward”:

French Senator Nathalie Goulet of the Union of Democrats and Independents party made the endorsement on Twitter earlier this week, Europe1.fr reported, in posting on her account the images of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu bludgeoning a dying Pinocchio. The picture also showed Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni stabbing Cinderella and former Israeli president Shimon Peres choking Peter Pan.

“Very powerful campaign against children mass murder,” Goulet wrote about to the pictures. . . .

As other critics chimed in, Goulet apologized on Twitter, writing: “This tweet has been misunderstood and I’m absolutely sorry for that but I persist in saying that what’s happening in Gaza is a scandal. I revolt at the sight of dead children, and at the international community’s silence. The tweet may have been inappropriate.”

But before her apology, Goulet defended her actions, writing on Twitter that she had Jewish roots and adding: “I am not a self-hating Jew, but that’s nobody’s business.”

She also wrote: “Anti-Semitism is what they come up withwhen they have nothing better to say,” and, “I find it astonishing that the community is less shocked by images of dead children than by Disney characters. This is proof the campaign is working!”