On the heels of an incident that made national headlines, UCLA’s student government has adopted a resolution condemning antisemitism that has some Jewish voices on the left crying foul.
Jacob Manheim, a student organizer with Jewish Voice for Peace and UCLA, says, “The enforcement of this definition of anti-Semitism is part of long-term efforts on the part of Israel advocates to silence and intimidate supporters of Palestinian human rights.”
The resolution, which cites the U.S. State Department’s Definition of Anti-Semitism, is seen as conflating legitimate criticism of Israel with hatred of Jews.
Rabbi Jill Jacobs, herself a fearless but deliberate critic of Israeli policy, objected to JVP’s statement on Twitter, saying, “Disturbed by @jvplive statement here–resolution spec[ifically] allows criticism of Israeli policy while rejecting antisemitism.”
I disagree. Let’s take a look at page two of the resolution, shall we? I’ve enhanced the document with illustrations so that we can be very clear as to what we are reading.
Whereas, “the United States State Department acknowledges that anti-Semitism manifests itself with regard to the state of Israel and taking into account the overall context could include:
Demonizing Israel:
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Double standards towards Israel:
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Delegitimizing Israel:
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Whereas,
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Whereas,
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Whereas,
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I pretty much gave up there due to the boundless absurdity.
Speaking of which: Certainly Rachel Beyda’s impartiality should not have been questioned on the basis of her Jewish identity, and that has been rightly condemned. But what has remained unsaid in all the coverage of this issue is that, last year, a prominent right-wing pro-Israel donor (and convicted felon) was caught funneling money through UCLA Hillel to right-wing pro-Israel candidates for student council. Adam Milstein, the West Coast Chair of the Israel on Campus Coalition, through his shady conduct, fostered a culture of distrust and suspicion at UCLA, and he and his friends are crying antisemitism now that their chickens have come home to roost. It’s disingenuous at best.
And surprise, surprise: One of the students he funded, Avinoam Baral, is a sponsor of this resolution.