Photo Credit: Kefr4000 via Wikimedia.
Students hold up anti-Israel signs and Palestinian flags at an anti-Israel protest in front of Sproul Hall at the University of California, Berkeley, on Oct. 25, 2023

The home of the free speech movement has long since become the home of the anti-free speech movement. University authorities are calling what happened shocking and a red line, but it’s a continuation of a trend.

Woke violence and anti-Israel discourse have been so normalized on campuses that is not shocking or a red line, it’s not even much of an aberration. Not at UC Berkeley, not in the University of California system, or at American universities. The ugliness should be a wake-up call to a systemic problem not some sort of aberration.

A mob of hundreds pro-Palestinian students and non-students shut down an event Monday evening at University of California, Berkeley featuring an Israeli soldier, forcing Jewish students to flee to a secret safe room as the protestors overwhelmed campus police…

During the infiltration of Zellerbach, one of the mob — which was assembled by Bears for Palestine, which had earlier proclaimed its intention to cancel the event — spit on a Jewish student and called him a “Jew,” pejoratively.

“You know what I was screamed at? ‘Jew, you Jew, you Jew,’ literally right to my face,” the student who was attacked said to a friend. “Some woman — then she spit at me.”


Another student described being choked to the Jewish Journal.

The student recalled being “mushed in with a group of three people” while holding onto the door handle to keep it shut. The Jewish students repeatedly told the protesters, “you guys can’t come in” but one of them shouted, “Yes we can!” and yelled to the protesters outside to come in through that door. “The second that happened, I froze, and I’m just holding on to the doorknob trying to shut it close, and some girl to try to get me out of the way or try to stop me from closing the door… was to grab my neck and keep it open,” the student claimed. “Mind you, I was in shock. I didn’t fight back, I didn’t react, I pushed against this door yelling, ‘No no no.’”

Eventually, a police officer pushed all of the protesters and the student outside; the student broke free from the protesters and “ran away.” “People were crying left and right. Everyone was scared,” the student said. She also observed the protesters chanting, “We won! We won! We won!” when the event was ultimately canceled; Bar-Yoshafat and the Jewish students inside were escorted safely out of the building through underground tunnels.

And yet, “the event continued on successfully at Chabad,” Sobkin said.

The student said that she was “shaking and crying” after the events of Monday night and that her neck hurt. “I never have felt scared to be a Jewish student on campus until last night,” she said. The student has filed a police report.

UC Berkeley was clearly aware that it was bad out there.

Senior Vida Keyvanfar, a co-president of Tikvah, was responsible for checking student IDs against a list and stood outside the entrance to Zellerbach…

“They were surrounding the table that I was standing at, yelling and screaming. There was spit flying left and right,” said Keyvanfar, who described herself as a “small girl.” “I was pretty nervous, surrounded by this crowd, but I was going to keep doing my job.”

She said a university administrator advised her to shut her laptop, worried that the protesters would take a photo of the RSVP list. “They’re looking at the names,” the administrator said, according to Keyvanfar.

There are condemnations from administrators, but no meaningful action, especially against Bears for Palestine, the hate group behind the protests.

 “We want to express our deep remorse and sympathy to those students and members of the public who were in the building, fearing for their safety,” Christ and Hermalin said in their campuswide message. “Today, like last night, our colleagues in Student Affairs are reaching out with offers of support and we are urging students to report what they witnessed and experienced to UCPD and/or our Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination. We share your anger and concern, and we understand that we must do all that we can to prevent anything like this from happening again.” They added that they “worked with the hosting organization to move the event to a different location, one that was believed to be more secure. We also stepped up security and sent a team of UCPD officers to the event. We approach events like this with two priorities: to do what we can so that the event can go forward, and to do what we can to safeguard student safety and well-being. Last night, despite our efforts and the ample number of police officers, it was not possible to do both given the size of the crowd and the threat of violence.”

Christ and Hermalin concluded their message by saying that the university will “decide on the best possible path to fully understand what happened and why; to determine how we will address what occurred; and to do everything possible to preclude a repeat of what happened” and called the events of Monday night “an attack on the fundamental values of the university.”

Again, no mention of action against the groups behind the violence. Just sympathy for some of the students who were targeted and promises of more security in the future. Some possible investigations against individuals responsible for a few assaults which will be difficult to implement since many of the perps were wearing masks and because there are likely to be zero consequences in that area for anything short of major violence.

UC Berkeley could step up and punish the groups and the general mob involved in the violence, but it’s not.

Meanwhile, Bears for Palestine is accusing UC Berkeley of racism.

Bears for Palestine, in a subsequent statement, said it was “unfortunate” that a window had been broken during the protest, but described it as an isolated incident out of step with the group’s “intent on prioritizing community safety and explicit instructions of non-violent protest.”

The group said that when the university was notified of plans for the protest, it “preemptively heavily militarized the event location with at least 20 armed UCPD officers, who used excessive force to barricade the building and barre pro-Palestinian entry.”

Bears for Palestine called Yoshafat “a dangerous war criminal” and accused the university of protecting him “at the cost of student safety.”

This was “an exemplary act of UC Berkeley upholding their values of deeply systemic anti-Palestinian racism that permeates within this institution,” the group said.

And so a pogrom, far from the first on campus, will play out the same way.

Let’s go back to 2010.

Jessica: Our student group, Tikvah Students for Israel, held a pro-Israel event called “Path to Peace” at the same time as an anti-Israel demonstration in the middle of the U.C. Berkeley campus. I was holding a sign that read “Israel Wants Peace.” “Students for Justice in Palestine” (SJP) was supposedly collecting toys to donate to children in Gaza. They used large shopping carts to collect and store the toys. On their way out, one of the leaders of SJP who was rolling one of the shopping carts away purposefully sped up behind me and rammed it into my back. I went to the police immediately and they arrested him shortly thereafter. After the police station I went to the University’s Urgent Care with a cut and bruises, where they prescribed me pain medication for pain that lasted over a month. I was also harmed emotionally, and received counseling for the remainder of the semester.

14 years later nothing has changed.

UC Berkeley remains a safe space for violence and hate. As long as it’s coming from the right side.

{Reposted from FrontPageMag}


Previous articleNo Israeli Delegation to Cairo Talks Without Answers from Hamas
Next articleAbbas’ Advisor Prays for U.S. to be PUNISHED…
Daniel Greenfield is an Israeli born blogger and columnist, and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. His work covers American, European and Israeli politics as well as the War on Terror. His writing can be found at These opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press.