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Jewish Advocacy Group: California Must Address Campus Anti-Semitism

AMCHA leaders will testify that students report they feel uncomfortable speaking freely about their support for Israel and have felt unsafe in their classrooms and on campus because they are Jewish.”

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Members of the General Union of Palestine Students made and used these stencils at a celebration on Nov. 7, 2013, at San Francisco State University.

Members of the General Union of Palestine Students made and used these stencils at a celebration on Nov. 7, 2013, at San Francisco State University.
Photo Credit: AMCHA Initiative

The leadership of the Jewish advocacy group the AMCHA Initiative, will testify on Friday, March 21, before a California Assembly Select Committee on Campus Climate.

AMCHA Initiative will be urging members of the state committee to examine campus antisemitism and to take the proper steps to ensure Jewish students feel safe and welcome at California’s colleges and universities.

“Unfortunately, antisemitism at U.S. colleges, and, especially, in California, is growing at an alarming rate,” stated Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, a UC professor and AMCHA Initiative cofounder.

“It is a concern we hear about daily from members of California’s Jewish community, including university alumni, rabbis, professors, religious school principals and, of course, students, parents and grandparents.”

“Students have reported to us that they feel uncomfortable speaking freely about their support for Israel and have felt unsafe at times in their classrooms and on campus because they are Jewish,” explained Leila Beckwith, a UC professor and AMCHA Initiative cofounder.

“In addition, we believe that a number of professors and departments are inappropriately using taxpayer dollars to promote their personal anti-Israel and antisemitic agendas, contributing to, and sometimes, inciting a hostile and potentially dangerous environment for Jewish students.”

Assembly Speaker John Perez (D-Los Angeles) announced the creation of the Select Committee in January. March 21 is the first of four public hearings the Committee will hold over the next few months. The Committee was tasked with investigating issues pertaining to student welfare on college campuses. Assemblymember Shirley Weber (D-San Diego), who worked as a San Diego State University professor, chairs the Committee.

Rossman-Benjamin and Beckwith will provide information to the committee members about the following recent incidents:

• UC Davis, February 2012: Students for Justice in Palestine interrupted, heckled and physically threatened speakers at a pro-Israel event, causing it to be shutdown. The attendees reported fearing for their safety at the event and for weeks after.

• UC Davis, November 2012: Forty protestors blocked Jewish students from entering a university administrative building and bullied and harassed Jewish students who slipped through the blockade.

• San Francisco State University, November 2013: General Union of Palestine Students (GUPS), hosted an event where participants could make posters that said, “My Heroes Have Always Killed Colonizers,” referring to Jews, as well as posters of the convicted hijacker Leila Khaled holding a gun. Leila Khaled is a member of the State-Department designated terrorist group, the PFLP, which is responsible for 159 violent terrorist acts.

• San Francisco State University, 2013-2014: The President of GUPS repeatedly threatened SFSU Jewish students, Israelis, and anyone who supports Israel. He also glorified the PFLP. For example, this student was shown wielding a knife on social media with the caption, “I love this blade…it makes me want to stab an Israeli soldier” and “the only peace I’m interested in is the head of this [expletive] scum on a plate, as well as the heads of all others like her, and all others who support the IDF.” He also stated that he hopes members of the SFSU student group Hillel “trip down the stairs and break their necks.”

• UC Davis, UCLA and UC Riverside, January 2014: Three University of California campuses hosted known anti-Semitic speaker Omar Barghouti. At the events, Barghouti spewed classic anti-Semitic rhetoric and lies.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is a contributor to the JewishPress.com. A graduate of Harvard Law School, she previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools. You can reach her by email: Lori@JewishPressOnline.com

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  1. This should be addressed on ALL campuses. What is going on in schools today is horrible and I’m afraid, just the beginning.

  2. Lisa Clem says:

    Rapture is going to happen very soon.

  3. That’s because Jewish Students study and seek to do Well, whereas the rest play Video Games and spend their time trying to figure out how to get out of Taking Care of Business. Then, they resent the other students’ Successes and want to blame it on them being Jewish instead of on themselves being Irresponsible and Lazy.

  4. Elmer Lee says:

    What you say might be true, but I think the main reason for this current ‘anti-semitism’ is the growing awareness of the situation in Palestine, where people’s rights are being violated.

  5. shameful and outrageous!

  6. I’ve had the Misfortune of working with some Modern Young People. They were a Nightmare who only care about themselves and couldn’t find Palestine on a map if their lives depended on it. They sure don’t give a Rodent’s Behind about anyone’s Rights but their own. I stand by my Original Comment.

  7. Les Martin says:

    Elmer Lee..lighten up and say what you mean..anti.

  8. Les Martin says:

    We have had the same here in the UK universities,nothing to do with Palestine for you antisemite out there,too many Muslims kids in universities who love to hate,and Jews are first on their agenda coupled with some antisemitic teachers fueling their stupid rhetoric.

  9. college is becoming the Jihad training grounds for our youth to become Islam lovers!! GAG!!!!

  10. Marc Heatherington says:

    What is sad is that this anti-Semitism is coming from the political left, which is being supported by American Jews.



  13. Israel should make a clean sweep of the muslims and give obama a heart attack. That would kill two birds with one stone.

  14. Les Martin says:

    How to stop it ..find the antisemite teachers fueling the hate and fire them.

  15. Elmer Lee says:

    Well, what I mean is that there is an occupation going on in the name of Judaism, that might cause some resentment among certain people.

  16. Elmer Lee says:

    Well, what I mean is that there is an occupation going on in the name of Judaism, that might cause some resentment among certain people.

  17. Dean Petree says:

    Why all the Anti-Semtism, they don’t bother anyone.

  18. Cary Cowell says:

    Start with removing the musilim . Most of those in college would rather hug a tree , smoke pot .

  19. Loren Renee says:

    Troll Elmer- I’m much more concerned with all the human rights violations from the spread of sharia. Women being burned with acid, gang rapes where the courts punish the Victems, marrying little girls to old men. Israel picks up and treats the injured Syrians who wander in while Palastinians shoot them. Israel could turn them away, the two countries are officially at war. But Israel doesn’t hate the Syrian or Iranian peoples. But they are not going to march into the sea either. If the Palastinians put down their arms there would be peace, if the Israelis put down their arms there would be no Israel.

  20. Les Martin says:

    Well said Loren and true but to antisemites like Elmer Fudd know only their own twisted hate and lies,most likely one of those anti teachers.

  21. That because marxist communist groups are welcome on campus but Christian and Jewish groups aren’t.

  22. I blame the ignorance of the professors. They have their heads in the sand ad do not live in the real world. They should stand near a border in Israel when the bombs come in or sit next to a bomber On a bus.

  23. i agree very much. the schools today brainwash children they took god out of our schools and they want them to be ungodly. california surely needs to address this anti semitism asap. i bet if it was about muslims they would have already did something.

  24. A few years ago at UC Irvine, the grads wore green arm bands over their robes. This has got to stop.

  25. Will it never end?

  26. No it will never end. They hate us everywhere we go. Don’t blame the professors and teachers, we do the best we can, but can’t overcome their parents and friends, and, unfortunately, in some cases, their churches.

  27. Anti Semitism, and Communism, seems to be the rule of the day in our colleges

  28. AC Stubbs says:

    shame of the UC system

  29. Chikamori Mukai is apparently unaware of what is being said by the people described in the article — which is that Jews should NOT be readmitted to Israel that those who have come back to their promised land are colonizer,and that they and the people who support and defend them should be killed. (It's a little odd that Chikamori Mukai is unaware of that, since the article describes it, but there you are.) These views are both anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist. Jews and Judaism have prayed for and revolved around the hope for the reconstitution of Jewish sovereignty, in what is now Israel, consistently for 2000 years, since the Jews were driven out of their country by the Romans. Being anti-Zionist is being anti-Semitic.

    Chikamori Mukai is apparently also unaware that the Arab "refugees" who had been in israel before 1948 and left, fled a war of their own community's creation, and they did so to make it easier for their brothers (and themselves) to kill Jews.

    No-one is calling for the reunification of greater India, realizing that Muslims and Hindus need to be legally separated in order for there to be anything close to peace. The same is true for Jews and Muslims.

    And the same is true of Muslims and Christians, in numerous African countries and probably soon in numerous European countries. And for that matter, the same is true of Shia Muslim and Sunni Muslims, not to mention either of those groups and several other flavors of Islam, all of which happily murder one another if there aren't any Jews or Christians around to slaughter or oppress.

    Can Chikamori Mukai spot a pattern here? And if that pattern is hard to find, spend a few minutes dipping into the river of hatred flowing through the Muslim world, on display at MEMRI and Palestinian Media Watch. Anyone who invited the people spewing this insanity into his their own country should have head examined — as the French will either learn, or be destroyed for failing to learn, and the residents of Belgium, and Sweden, etc.

  30. There is no lasting future of islam in Israel, never was, never can be. Judaism or Zion, there is and can be no real difference because either way we are Jews and 'they' are not, therefore: "They Must Go!"

  31. Alan Kardon says:

    We must stand strong and united. Only language these people understand is that we are prepared to defend ourselves. No more being pushed around by terrorist supporters. Report professors and administrators to authorities, police and media. Fight fire with fire. Use signs like "My heroes have always killed terrorists." Start by concentrating on campuses of UCLA DAVIS and San Francisco State University were the most incidents happen.

  32. Yes, a truly cowardly bunch that has kidnapped the Jewish voice and made all of us appear cowardly in the eyes of islam, something that must not be allowed to stand…they are the enemy and it truly is as simple as that. "They Must Go."

  33. Alan Kardon says:

    Why must they be separated? Is it ok to threaten and harass a group?

  34. Alan Kardon says:

    Also shame on us for letting it happen.

  35. Cody Flecker says:

    The Jews are their worst enemies. The only thing that could happen to improve the situation is for Jews to boycott the UC System by not donating any money or by sending their children to any UC campus. It seems by nature the Jews are Left Wing and stray towards groups that wish to destroy them. I guess they believe in martyrdom 24/7 and don't really care if there is another holocaust as they appear not to have learned anything from the recent holocaust.

  36. Ronny Mol says:

    Dear Cody Flecker ,
    Jews are NOT all left wing. Jew hatred is NOT normal because we look like the goyim (members of the nations). It is G-d forcing the US Jews to come home to Israel. The Golus (exile) is NOT supposed to be comfortable. So the US Jews who get the message will survive and thrive and the ones who don't, will not. As far as the college is concerned, sue them out of existence. How do you hurt a rich person? Take away their money.

  37. Joseph Colen says:

    My position is to get rid of all these muslims that have violent terrorist DNA. That is what Spain did with the Carib cannibals. The Tainos were happy for that. No one would eat them anymore.

  38. No appeasement will bring any peace with those who have sworn to destroy Israel. There are already over 22 Arab dictatorships, so we don't need another CORRUPT regime inside Israel. PLO Liars and criminals should have been destroyed. When Israel had that opportunity in Lebanon the U.S. Britain & Russia came in and threatrened Israel and they exiled the murderer Arafat to Libya until the traitors of OSLO brought them all into Israel in 1993 ( Thanks to Clinton). It is time for Israel to ANNEX ALL the territories re-captured from JORDAN in 1967, including the TEMPLE MOUNT.
    You cannot talk with your enemies who still want to destroy the nation given BY GOD to the 13 tribes of Jacob as a perpetual INHERITANCE

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