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Anti-Semitism Is Running Rampant At California’s Elite Public Universities

Swastika-and-UC-by Emmakristina Sveen

Anti-Jewish agitprop has been appearing with alarming frequency on the prestigious, taxpayer-funded campuses of the University of California (UC) system this academic year.

“Unfortunately, anti-Semitism has become fashionable again,” said Joseph Potasnik, a rabbi and the executive vice president for the New York Board of Rabbis, in a statement to the Times of Israel.

“It’s not a big deal to hate the Jews,” Potasnik added. “The first group to get attacked is the Jews.”

Some observers believe the instances of rank anti-Semitism are related to a campus climate which is favorable to boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement campaigns and various advocacy groups which criticize Israel and promote a free and sovereign Palestine. This atmosphere, those observers say, could be creating the intellectual conditions necessary for the acts of anti-Semitism to occur.

“There really is an egregious double standard that, from the perspective of many Jewish students, is perceived as discriminatory towards them,” Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, a Jewish Studies professor at the University of California, Davis and founder of the pro-Jewish AMCHA Initiative, said in an interview with The Daily Caller.

The line at which propaganda against Israel became anti-Semitism may at times be a blurry one. Pretty clearly, though, several incidents on the taxpayer-funded campuses of the University of California system this academic year have crossed well into the realm of hostility against Jews.

University of California, Berkeley. In March, someone spray-painted “Zionists should be sent to the gas chamber” in a university bathroom. And shortly thereafter, a swastika was found on a university-owned building.

This incident ensued amidst a contentious BDS campaign targeted against a Berkeley student group, “Tikvah: Students for Israel.” The group openly states its aim “advocating for Zionism.”

Berkeley student senator Ori Herschmann, the author of a student government bill that called upon UC Berkeley to condemn antisemitism, spoke about these incidents with The Daily Caller.

Anti-Semitism “is brushed off,” Herschmann said. He meant that statement literally.

“A lot of times,” “students don’t even know about [the antisemitic graffiti] because it’s just scrubbed off.”

University of California, Los Angeles. In February, a student government member interrogated a UCLA Judicial Board candidate on whether or not she was qualified for the position and if she was capable of being impartial as a Jew.


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