An alumnus of UCLA spoke up eloquently at a meeting of the student government last week that voted on a measure urging the UC system to sell off stocks of companies that do business with the Israeli military and profit from Israel’s “occupation” of the biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria, where the Jewish forefathers lived.
After a meeting that lasted until dawn Wednesday, the UCLA undergraduate student government voted against the measure.
The accompanying video shows the man, Ben Shapiro, Editor-in-Chief of TruthRevolt.org and host of a radio show, blasting both the student sponsors and those considering the anti-Semitic measure.
“My name is Ben Shapiro,” he opened. “I'm an alumnus of this university. I'm also a local talk show host on 870 [AM] in the morning, and I got out of bed and left my one month old baby there when I saw what was going on here tonight. I've never been more ashamed to be a Bruin. I've never been more ashamed to be an alumnus of this university than to see this divestment petition being considered at this level.
“To pretend this is about occupation, to pretend this is about peace, to pretend that this anything other than vile, spiteful Jew hatred is a lie!” he said, to the sound of cheering.
“There is only one reason we are discussing Israel and not discussing Saudi Arabia. There is only one reason we are discussing Israel and not discussing Iran. There is only one reason we are discussing Israel and not discussing Palestine. There is only one reason we are discussing Israel and not discussing the vast bevy of human rights violations that happen every day in the Middle East, exponentially worse that what happens in Israel.
“Any gay or lesbian that is targeting Israel in this room seems to have forgotten how high they hang gays from cranes in Iran. Every person of liberal bent who suggests that Israel is the problem in the Middle East seems to have forgotten that there is only one country in the Middle East that actually has any sort of religious diversity in it. The countries that are apartheid countries are those that are Judenrein – like, for example, Palestine.
“So, for us to sit here and pretend that Israel is somehow on a lower moral plane is a direct manifestation of anti-Semitism. And to hold Jews to a different moral standard than any other country or group on the face of the earth represents nothing but an age-old and historic hatred for the Jewish people. All the folks here who are pretending that the B.D.S is about anything other than that, I would like to see a poll of those folks, and see how many of them actually believe in the existence of a Jewish state, qua-Jewish state, not as a state like any other, but as a Jewish state. They don't. They don't acknowledge that existence. They don't believe in that existence. They don't believe in peace. All this is about, pure and simple, is a desire to target the Jewish people.”
The highly emotional issue attracted more than 500 people to the UCLA meeting and the public comment lasted nearly nine hours, according to campus newspaper the Daily Bruin. The council moved to a secret ballot and then voted 7-5 against the divestment measure.
Similar resolutions have been debated around the UC system over the past two years with various results. UC Riverside’s student government first voted for divestment and then reversed itself and rescinded its recommendation last spring. Student government panels at UC’s Irvine, Berkeley and San Diego campuses have approved pro-divestment resolutions.
Shapiro has written books and appeared on television as a spokesman for conservative issues.