Daily Israel Report

Op-Ed: Fascism on California Campuses

Two brave women lead the fight against anti-Semitism at USC and UC. You can help.
Published: Tuesday, June 25, 2013 6:37 AM


For people throughout the United States, particularly Jews willing to open their eyes, there is a daunting, insidious movement under foot reminiscent to Nazi Germany in the early 30’s.

On college and university campuses throughout the country, Jewish students, faculty, and guest speakers are being abused and intimidated by organized, Muslim and leftist groups, both verbally and physically.  Shockingly, this is being done with little ors no retribution from passive school administrations.  Under the guise of anti-Zionism and defending Palestinian rights, their actions support their true intent; classical anti-Semitism, pure and simple.

Spawned by terrorist organizations such as al-Qaeda, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and most prevalent of them all, the Muslim Brotherhood, these hateful campus groups, supported by Saudi money, go by countless, seemingly innocuous acronyms such as:

Association of Muslim Social Scientists-(AMSS)

Association of Muslim Scientists and Engineers-(AMSE)

Islamic Medical Association-(IMA)

Muslim Community Association(MCA)

Muslim Arab Youth Assembly(MAYA)

Muslim Youth of North America-(MYNA)

Islamic Society of North America (ISNA)

Muslim Student Association (MSA)

Muslim Communities Association (MCA)

Islamic Teaching Center (ITC)

However, most germane to this essay are the two most maleficent anti-Semitic groups on campus; the Muslim Student Association (MSA) and Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP).

Posing as just another cultural pride group, the Muslim Student Association was founded by members of the Muslim Brotherhood in the 1960’s and still remains in close affiliation with them today.  What’s wrong with that? 

The Brotherhood was founded in Egypt in 1928 by a fervent admirer of Adolph Hitler, Hassan al-Banna who in 1948 infamously stated:

“If the Jewish State becomes a fact, the Arabs will drive the Jews who live in their midst into the sea.”  This is still their goal, as well as the goal of their offshoot, the MSA,  and their genetically affiliated sister organization, Students for Justice in Palestine, whose oft expressed mantra is: “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”

Both these “cultural” campus organizations, have chapters throughout the U.S. which strongly adhere to an essay written by the father of Islamic radicalism, Sayyid Qutb, entitled:  “Our Struggle with the Jews” in which he states:

“Behind the doctrine of atheistic materialism was a Jew; behind the doctrine of animalistic sexuality was a Jew; and behind the destruction of the family and the shattering of sacred relationships in society....was a Jew.”

Likewise they also append to the Nazi doctrine teachings of the current spiritual leader of the Brotherhood, Skeikh Yusuf Qaradawi who proclaims:

“Throughout history Allah has imposed on [the Jews] people who would punish them for their corruption. The last punishment was carried out by Hitler.... Allah willing, the next time will be at the hands of the believers” (Muslims).

A bit different than the campus cultural clubs many of us remember from our under grad years.

A former FBI agent privy to the workings of both the MSA and the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) claims the MSA is a recruitment tool which brings Muslims into the Brotherhood and that the summer camps they sponsor are dominated by officers of two other Brotherhood front groups, Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA).  He goes on to say that since the main function of the MSA is recruitment, the more aggressive political activism on campus is left to the SJP.

The Students for Justice in Palestine is so radical and prone to violence they’re ranked as one of the top ten most anti-Israel organizations in the United States by the Anti-Defamation League.  With approximately 75 chapters throughout North America, this ubiquitous group along with other Muslim groups and their leftist allies are most responsible for the majority of anti-Israel/anti-Jewish violence on campus.

Activities such as staging mock funerals of Palestinian babies, creating apartheid walls, check point displays, disrupting pro-Israeli speakers and other stunts such as blocking entrance to publicly funded events and buildings to Jewish students and faculty have become common
place;  particularly throughout the University of California system.

Unsurprisingly, the first Students for Justice in Palestine chapter was founded at the University of California at Berkley and was shut down almost immediately after a year in which members were charged with assault, disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest.  After their reinstatement on campus, they immediately began verbally and physically assaulting both Jewish students and faculty members.

At a Berkeley “Rally for America” event jointly organized by campus Democrats and Republicans, members of the SJP showed up wearing Kaffiyehs (a cotton headdress worn by Arabs) and began waving Palestinian flags, and screaming profanities at those perceived to be Jewish, the least obscene being, “Go back to Israel.”

On Holocaust Remembrance Day, 2002, Jewish students gathered for a 24-hour reading of the names of the victims of the Nazis.  Students for Justice in Palestine countered with an anti-Israel rally featuring Israeli flags covered in swastikas and signs that read: “Magen David= Swastika” and “Israel lovers are the Nazis of our time.” Not quite done with their venom they then headed to Wheeler Hall ( a building of classrooms) for another takeover to demand that the university boycott Israel.

After a series of assaults around University of California campuses, including Berkeley, Davis and Irvine, during the third year of SJP’s activity, Jewish students were advised to walk in groups to and back from religious services.  But seemingly even group protection was not enough to safeguard Jewish students in Berkeley from those wishing them harm.

Jessica Felber, a former student, filed a lawsuit in the Northern District Court on March 4, 2011 almost one year to the day Husam Zakharia, the head of Berkeley’s SJP chapter allegedly rammed her with a shopping cart filled with toys, according to the suit.

Felber, then 20, was a member of the pro-Israel Tikvah group, which had often clashed on campus with the SJP.  What prompted the assault?   Felber was holding a sign stating “Israel Wants Peace,” on March 5, 2010 as part of an event for Israel Peace Week.  The rally had been called to counteract rallies held on behalf of Israel Apartheid Week.

The lawsuit contends that the University of California financially supported Students for Justice in Palestine and affiliate groups, such as the aforementioned, Muslim Student Association, while pusillanimously tolerating attacks on Jewish students expressing support for Israel.  As intolerant and unsafe the environment has become for Jewish students on California campuses, it’s no less perilous for faculty as well.

At the conclusion of the “Days of Remembrance of the Victims of the Holocaust event in Berkeley, the SJP held a counter demonstration.  They chained shut the doors to Wheeler Hall, barring entrance to anyone they deemed to be Jewish.  An 11 year, tenured Jewish Professor at Berkely, Mel Gordon attempted to enter the building and was surrounded by SJP members.  He was spat upon and beaten so badly he required immediate medical attention.

Despite these unnerving, non-academic conditions for Jews on California campuses, there are students and faculty with enough moxie willing to fight back.  Two such people are Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, a lecturer at UC and Leila Beckwith, Professor Emeritus, Department of Pediatrics, UC at Los Angeles.

Both these women are relentlessly courageous fighting the abject anti-Semitism on both the USC and UC campuses.  They created the  AMCHA Initiative, a non-profit organization dedicated to investigating, documenting, educating, and combating anti-Semitism at institutions of higher education not only in California but throughout America.

Since anti-Semitism is a broad term, the organization specifically accuses the universities of allowing the following 10 forms of anti-Semitism on campus:

Denying Jews their right to self-determination.

Using symbols and images associated with historical antisemitism.

Comparing Jews to Nazis.

Accusing Jews and Israel of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.

Demonizing Israel.

De-legitimizing Israel.

Holding Israel to a double standard.

Promoting Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions Against Israel.

Condoning terrorism against Jews by supporting terrorist organizations.

Targeting Jewish students for discrimination, harassment, and intimidation.

Needless to say, these campus bullies, re-collective of Hitler’s “Brown Shirts” counter Ms. Rossman-Benjamin arguments with prevaricate discourse along with their trademark threats and intimidation of her:

A defamatory on-line petition accusing Rossman-Benjamin of racism and censorship and calling on UC President Mark Yudof to condemn her.

Defamatory posters about Rossman-Benjamin widely posted on the UCSC campus.

Posting over a dozen videos on YouTube that characterize her as “hateful” and “dangerous.”

Instructing SJP students UC-wide to file hate/bias reports against her on their respective campuses.

Passing resolutions condemning her for “inflammatory, hateful, and racist assumptions” in the UC Berkeley, UC Santa Barbara, UC Davis, and UC Irvine student senates.

Working with groups sympathetic to terrorists (eg. the International Solidarity Movement) and associated on-line publications (the Electronic Intifada and Mondoweiss) to more widely circulate these defamatory materials about her.

This past May, undaunted, Ms. Rossman-Benjamin expressed her dismay in a letter to the President of the University of California, Mark G. Yudof. president@ucop.edu

Irrespective of today’s climate of political correctness, Jews and all people of goodwill must stand up to these fascist bullies and not allow them to hold sway on American campuses.  Anti-Semitism, like all other bigotry and racism, should have no place in 21st century America.  If the Chancellors and Presidents in California fail to recognize this, perhaps writing letters of protest to them will.

Here are some addresses: