On Tuesday night, UC Berkeley’s student government was scheduled to vote on a resolution that condemns anti-Semitic incidents on campus, reporter Yoni Michanie tweeted. Alas, the entire event was taken over and crashed in the very manner described in the resolution.
The incidents condemned by the resolution have been perpetrated by a new group calling itself “Bears for Palestine,” which describes itself as “a student organization designated to enlighten, educate and raise awareness about Palestinian culture, values and history; with an overall goal to share the Palestinian story with the campus community through activism.”
Well, as it turns out, there’s a whole lot of meat and bones in that vegetarian dish… Maya Reuven, a sophomore studying economics and data science at UC Berkeley, described life on campus after the appearance of the “Bears” in a letter to The daily Californian, the school’s newspaper:
“It’s hard to feel completely safe as a Jewish person anymore. I find myself second-guessing attending the concerts of Israeli artists, and I never sit by the street window during Shabbat dinners at Chabad. Watching security pile up at the Jewish spaces I call home breaks my heart. Is it really so much to ask that we don’t idolize those that cause this fear and pain in a university building? How can Jewish students feel supported during these dark times when we walk through a campus every day that has posters of our murderers in its buildings?”
Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC) Senator Milton Zerman sponsored an ASUC resolution titled “Condemning Bears for Palestine for Their Display in Eshleman Hall Glorifying Violent Terrorists,” which was going to be debated Tuesday night.
The resolution asks Bears for Palestine to “significantly alter” or take down the photographs of “Palestinian leaders” posted on the group’s cubicle, located on the third floor of Eshleman Hall. The display includes images of “Palestinian leaders” Fatima Bernawi, Rasmea Odeh and Leila Khaled – who is pictured holding an AK-47 rifle. The ASUC resolution cites Odeh’s role in multiple bombings, including one in February 1969 that killed two people.
“Instead, Jewish students were silenced and abused,” Yoni Michanie tweeted, and added: “Still wonder why anti-Semitism is on the rise in America? Take a minute, and watch this.”
Last night, UC Berkeley’s student government was supposed to vote on a bill that would condemn antisemitic incidents occurring on campus.
Instead, Jewish students were silenced and abused.
Still wonder why antisemitism is on the rise in America?
Take a minute, and watch this: pic.twitter.com/oTbeY5hqTK
— Yoni Michanie (@YoniMichanie) February 4, 2020
Now that you’ve watched the nauseating evidence, here are—I kid you not—the musings of the BfP following the same event:
“We would like to begin by thanking everyone who put themselves on the line last night to protect our freedom of speech & resistance on this campus.”
“We know many of you were heavily threatened, photographed, and were on the receiving end of slurs. So far, we have reports of Senator Milton himself threatening a student, along with one of our Black allies being called several racial slurs. Two women also reported being groped by one of the Zionist students. After leaving the meeting, pro-Palestine students were followed home and harassed.”
There’s some more lies and other drivel, and then:
“Yesterday wasn’t just a harassment of Palestinian students. Every marginalized group on this campus was threatened, and ASUC chose to adjourn the meeting before each of those threats was accounted for. ASUC is complicit in not only the infringement of our First Amendment rights, but in Senator Milton’s threats against a student, in allowing all the harassment that occurred last night to happen, and in seeking no accountability for these harms. Senator Milton Zerman also consistently used intimidation tactics, interrupting our speakers, calling them cowards, and getting in the faces of students who were doing nothing but listening. ASUC also allowed for photographs to be taken of our students when we explicitly did not consent to photography or videography for our safety on and off-campus. When these rules were violated, they only took action after the whole room’s consistent pressure.”
And the pièce de résistance of this revolting self-congratulation:
“Anxiety is running high among all the Palestinian students and allies on campus, but we know yesterday was a win for us.”