Unlawful bigotry at Berkeley Law
For American Jews, the writing is now on the wall in neon lights
Anti-Jewish bigotry on American campus appears to have ratcheted up yet another notch. An anti-Israel by-law adopted by a handful of law-student groups at Berkeley even goes beyond support for the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign, whose goal is to destroy Israel through economic strangulation. These groups at Berkeley will no longer invite any speaker who supports the state of Israel or Zionism.
J:The Jewish News of Northern California reports:
The by-law statement, written by Berkeley Law Students for Justice in Palestine, goes beyond the now-familiar calls for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel, pledges that have become commonplace at U.S. universities (The campus advocacy group Amcha Initiative has tallied 28 such resolutions adopted since 2021.)
Rather, in addition to supporting BDS, groups that adopt the bylaw also pledge not to invite “speakers that have expressed and continued to hold views … in support of Zionism, the apartheid state of Israel, and the occupation of Palestine.”
The rule is in the interest of “protecting the safety and welfare of Palestinian students,” the provision says. As to how it will be enforced, the bylaw leaves that up to each group, though “suggested strategies can include publicly stipulating [each individual] organisation’s position of anti-racism and anti-settler colonialism to speakers, ensuring that proposals for speakers emphasise the organisation’s desire for equality and inclusion,” or “informing speakers of the event’s goals and mission values.”
For those who haven’t been paying attention over the years, Zionism is the national liberation movement of the Jewish people. Since the essence of Judaism is the unbreakable connection between the people, the religion and the land of Israel, the Berkeley law students are not merely singling out the Jews as the only people not entitled to their own homeland. They are not merely attacking the State of Israel. They are attacking Judaism itself.
They are also actively discriminating against Jews. As the lawyer and former assistant US secretary of education for civil rights, Kenneth Marcus, has written in the Jewish Journal:
It is now a century since Jewish-free zones first spread to the San Francisco Bay Area (“No Dogs. No Jews.”). Nevertheless, this move is frightening and unexpected, like a bang on the door in the night.
So bad is this situation that Berkeley Law’s Dean Erwin Chemerinsky, who considers himself a “progressive” Zionist because he supports Israel’s existence while condemning many of its policies, has protested that he himself would be banned under the terms of this statement, as would at least 90 per cent of his Jewish students.
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