Op-Ed: Fascism on California Campuses
Jerry Sobol, Israel AdvocateThe writer has a B.A. Degree in 20th century European History and a Masters in International Relations from The City College of New York. He is a staunch Zionist and has been writing articles on Israel and Jewish concerns for 40 years, blogs at Israeli Advocate.
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.
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).
The Brotherhood was founded in Egypt in 1928 by a fervent admirer of Adolph Hitler, Hassan al-Banna who in 1948 infamously stated:
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:
Likewise they also append to the Nazi doctrine teachings of the current spiritual leader of the Brotherhood, Skeikh Yusuf Qaradawi who proclaims:
A bit different than the campus cultural clubs many of us remember from our under grad years.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: