Sunday, August 31, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Stop whitewashing anti-Semitism

TomEliasW

By
From page A10 | December 27, 2013 |

Less than two years ago, Palestinian students and sympathizers on the University of California’s flagship Berkeley campus dressed up in combat fatigues, “armed” themselves with genuine-looking mock firearms and set up “checkpoints” where they demanded that students attempting to pass tell them if they were Jewish.

There was no immediate outcry on campus, nor any response from administrators or campus police, as there surely would have been if students set up similar “checkpoints” to determine whether students with dark complexions are really African-Americans or whether students conversing in Spanish are undocumented immigrants.

When Jewish groups later sought a court order against similar demonstrations in the future, U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg of San Francisco said any attempt to ban them would “raise serious First Amendment issues.”

So, he implied, campuses can ban “hate speech” like the N-word and anti-gay smears, but outright physical intimidation of Jewish students and impinging on their walking space are OK.

In August of this year, both the U.S. Department of Education and the Berkeley administration exonerated the demonstrators of anti-Semitism charges, and found that two other incidents to which Jewish students objected on the UC campuses at Irvine and Santa Cruz also were just fine.

At the time, the Amcha Initiative (Amcha is Hebrew for “your people”) against campus anti-Semitism and other Jewish groups warned that these decisions might lead to an escalation. The whitewashings may not have condoned campus anti-Semitism, but they certainly promised to enable it.

This appeared to come true in November at San Francisco State University, where a student group called the General Union of Palestinian Students set up tables in Malcolm X Plaza featuring messages like this: “My heroes have always killed colonizers.”

Later, Amcha uncovered a since-removed picture on the Tumblr website allegedly posted by the president of the Palestinian student group, showing him brandishing a knife, with the caption saying, “I seriously cannot get over how much I love this blade. It is the sharpest thing I own and cuts through everything like butter and just holding it makes me want to stab an Israeli soldier …”

Palestinian student groups say they differentiate between Israelis and Jews, but most Jews are skeptical of that claim. Key Palestinian groups like Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip and won the last major Palestinian election, make no such distinction. Says that group’s covenant, “Our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious.”

And the mufti of the Palestinian Authority has issued a fatwa forbidding sale of land to Jews (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racism_in_the_Palestinian_territories). So it’s no wonder many Jewish students feel targeted when Palestinians refer to killing “colonizers” or knifing Israelis.

University officials who may believe Jews have little reason to feel this way and that such references are constitutionally protected free speech might want to look at some once-popular Nazi German anthems that also referred to knifing Jews.

“Sharpen the long knives on the pavement, let the knives slip into the Jew’s body,” goes the lead verse of “Blood Must Flow,” theme song of the S.A. (full name in German: Sturmabteilung, or Assault Division), Adolf Hitler’s notorious “Brownshirts.” “When Jewish blood spurts off the knife, things will be twice as good,” says the “Fighting Song of the S.A.,” another Brownshirt anthem.

To his credit, when San Francisco State’s president, Les Wong, heard of the Palestinian group’s words, he issued a statement saying, “The university is a place where dialogue, debate and the marketplace of ideas are cherished. We must also maintain a safe environment. Engaging in expressions that threaten and intimidate are counter to these goals…”

If Berkeley officials had reacted similarly to the Palestinian mock checkpoints, the San Francisco State incidents might never have occurred. But unless Wong follows through, preventing a repeat, and officials of other campuses react as strongly, there will be more intimidating demonstrations and Web postings.

And soon they may not merely target Jewish students. Example: An investigation is now underway of an alleged anti-black hate crime at San Jose State. Jews have long been like a canary in a coal mine: They are often the first targets in waves of discrimination and hate, but those waves almost always wind up washing over plenty of others.

— Reach syndicated columnist Tom Elias at tdelias@aol.com

Comments

comments

.

News

Davis audience hears from civil-rights hero

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
 
Legislators wrap up with water, ethics, guns bills

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
Bob Dunning: This new kid might have a future

By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

Five U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State fighters

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
EU threatens Russia with more sanctions

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Robbery, pursuit in Central Davis lead to one arrest

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A3

 
Rotary clubs offer Davis High students some life lessons

By Evan Arnold-Gordon | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Yolo Federal to hold photo contest

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Katehi will speak at Chamber’s community luncheon

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Bean Feed supports for Yolo Democrats’ activities

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Bauer garden marks one year

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Dinner will raise funds to help farmers in Burkina Faso

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Walkers welcome to join Sierra Club outings

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Beamer Park featured at Stroll Through History

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Tuleyome Tales: Be safe on wilderness trails

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Small wineries suffer big losses in quake

By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Grande site has been a convoluted saga

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A7

 
Say goodbye to summer with a ‘Final Blast’ at Explorit

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
Bay Bridge project’s rainy-day money is nearly gone

By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A15 | Gallery

.

Forum

Already made herself at home

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
How to make a good living

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Nate Beeler cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

 
Changing local election dates benefits Democrats

By Tom Elias | From Page: A10

Ad-free email? You can still find it at Davis Community Network

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

 
Keep our green waste piles

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Speak out

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
City panel working to tighten scrutiny of taxpayer dollars

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

Try round-robin storytelling at crafts fair

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

 
This epidemic should scare us

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A14

Health problems mean he’s checked out

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A14

 
Marriage doesn’t mean we agree on everything

By Marion Franck | From Page: A14

.

Sports

Coach likes what she sees from Devil field hockey squad

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
UCD notebook: Coaches positive about FCS schools ‘playing up’

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Devils open with an impressive volleyball victory

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Stanford scores early, often in opener versus UCD

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

New coach, new tougher league for DHS football

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Sports briefs: Aggie harriers secure season-opening sweep

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Baseball roundup: Cats win late to pull even with Aces

By Staff and wire reports | From Page: B8

 
.

Features

.

Arts

.

Business

Comings and Goings: Is fro-yo craze melting?

By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A13 | Gallery

 
Sutter Davis Hospital honored again as a ‘best place to work’

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A13

Engage3 attracts investment for shopping app

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A20

 
California growers can use MBI’s new bioinsecticide

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A20

Sudwerk, Davis Food Co-op join for ‘co-hop-eration’ brew

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A20 | Gallery

 
Community pools its purchasing power to reduce the cost of solar

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A20

.

Obituaries

Wanda P. Daley

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Comics: Sunday, August 31, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B8