Over the years, we have brought our readers numerous posts about the anti-Israel movement at UC Irvine, UC Berkeley and recently UC San Diego. These movements are typically led by those schools’ Muslim Student Association or branch. The students at these organizations are organized, well funded and appear to have a network that not only provides them with necessary materials and programs, but also has a circuit of professional anti-Israel speakers. Here’s one:
You’ll note he doesn’t bother with the word “Zionist” at the end when he calls the Jews in the audience the “New Nazis.”
Let’s make no mistake, it is not unusual for the terms of the debate in many of these on-campus activities to shift from anti-Israel to anti-Jew. Usually, the manner in which this happens is that the speaker, student or the material that is being distributed will slip up and instead of qualifying a statement by prefacing the word “Jew” with “Zionist,” will omit the adjective.
Of course, another way to consider this, one which many Jewish students and faculty on campuses across North America (no, I am not referring to the small minority that sides with the Muslim and extreme-Left students) have been well aware for years is that qualifying all statements with the term “Zionist” is sleight of hand. The speakers and organizers mean Jews.
As I was going through some recent news about what is happening at some UC schools, I came across two parallel stories that provide an interesting and telling indication of the obvious, in plain sight, devolution of campus life for many Jewish members and particularly on those campuses where the administrators have permitted the anti-Israel forces to push their agenda: bathroom graffiti.
Here’s Berkeley’s (do read the comments following that article):
John Efron, Koret professor of Jewish history, said the drawing of swastikas on campus is a common problem that has only recently been addressed because of the Clark Kerr incident.
“All anyone has to do is go into one of the bathrooms in Berkeley,” he said. “There are swastikas everywhere. People don’t know about it because, until this demonstration, Jewish students have been reluctant to file complaints and let the administration know what anti-Semitism means for them and how it creates a hostile environment.”
Here’s UC San Diego:
I regularly spend days in the library, mostly either in S&E or upstairs on the 7th and 8th floors. Since I started here in fall 2000, I have grown accustomed to seeing bathroom graffiti that called for boycotts of Israel or condemning Ariel Sharon. To be honest, this never bothered me. Since the start of this quarter, I have several times found swastikas drawn in the men’s bathrooms. In one case, the swastika was drawn rather large and followed by the phrase “3rd Reich m**** f****!” In the other incidents, a swastika would be placed on one side of a =, with the drawing of an Israeli flag on the other. If this were an isolated incident, it would not bother me, but I have seen this repeatedly over the past month and half, and it seems that the number of incidents are increasing in frequency.
Now you might think that I’m going to come up with some clever toilet quip, but I’m not. This is not funny.
This is not funny because none of the chancellors in the UC system can claim ignorance. None of the student associations which help to fund anti-Israel activities can claim to be ignorant about these things. The professors who defend the students who bring these activities to campus, like Andrew Gutierrez at UC Berkeley, Mark LeVine at UC Irvine (click on that link to see how LeVine uses the term “pound of flesh” to describe Jewish groups’ actions when they seek to address the problems on his campus) and Luis Martín-Cabrera at UC San Diego, are fully aware that these events are rightfully construed by Jewish students as incitement against the Jewish student body on their campus. Finally, the students on these campuses, since even the ones who don’t care or ignore the anti-Israel activities sit in bathroom stalls, know what is going on.
Nobody is doing anything about it, though.
No, there is nothing funny here. There is a reason for deep concern.
Here is my theory: Jews are an affluent, well-educated group in North America. We are well represented in academia, in the administrations of university campuses and in the donor groups that contribute handsomely to many universities, including those in the UC system. As such, it is difficult for many, including Jews themselves, to view Jews and Jewish students as victims, particularly on these campuses.
Well, things are changing. University administrators would do well to read the writing on their campuses’ bathroom walls.