Tammi Rossman-Benjamin will kick your ass in a New York minute... but that is why I like her.
She has alerted me to the fact, and wants me to alert you to the fact, that University of California officials will vote tomorrow, Wednesday the 23rd of March, to include anti-Zionism as a form of discrimination that is unacceptable on campus.
For us locals, if not for Jews everywhere, this is a pretty big matter.
According to Teresa Watanabe of the Los Angeles Times:
The inclusion immediately drew sharply divergent reactions, with pro-Israel groups hailing it as a needed step to protect Jewish students from hostility and those supporting Palestinian rights criticizing it as a naked attempt to suppress criticism of the Jewish state.The fact of the matter, as Tammi Rossman-Benjamin and her partners at the AMCHA Initiative have well demonstrated, is that anti-Semitic anti-Zionists on university campuses throughout the United States kick around Jewish students.
The reason that they do not like Jewish students is because they do not like the Jewish State of Israel or because they are racist against Jews.
If they despise Israel it is due to an acceptable and discriminatory racist double-standard that impales that country - the country of my people - as a terrible violator of human rights, while giving its far worse human rights violator neighbors a pass entirely. The truth is that California university students and professors generally do not care if ISIS buries Yazidi children alive or sell prepubescent girls into sexual slavery, but they very much care that the Jews of the Middle East dare to defend themselves against never-ending Arab-Muslim aggression.
For centuries Jewish self-defense has been seen, among westerners, as a form of aggression and continues to be seen as so on California university campuses.
The fact, of course, is that the Arab-Muslim world, surrounding little Israel, is rife with racism, homophobia, misogyny, and genocidal anti-Semitism, yet racist anti-Zionist students, with the encouragement of anti-Zionist professors such as Rabab Abdulhadi at San Francisco State University, just love to kick around the Jews within venues like "Israel Apartheid Week."
This is a fun-filled event wherein American Jewish students get spit upon by racists with the approval and acceptance of the university, itself, as a matter - much to my never ending astonishment - of social justice.
However, the University of California is set to to vote on a proposal that condemns both anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism as forms of discrimination.
According to Rossman-Benjamin:
If adopted, this will be a huge step forward for Jewish students on UC campuses, and its impact will be felt nationally.I tend to agree.
As someone familiar with California university anti-Semitism, I would very much like to see the UC Regents suggest that the movement to rob Jewish people of self-determination and self-defense stands in direct opposition to its own proposed standards of social justice and universal human rights.
Needless to say, anti-Semitic anti-Zionist students and professors claim that their hatred of Jewish people, via their hatred of the Jewish State, is a matter of free speech. They should be allowed to defame Israel, and thereby defame the great majority of Jewish people, as a matter of liberal democracy, despite the fact that such defamation tends to result in violence against the Jewish people and young Jewish students on campus.
They honestly seem to believe that kicking Jewish students in the teeth on a regular basis is a privilege of liberalism and perhaps they are right. If liberalism means anything it means that you have the right to offend anyone. If that defamation results in violence toward the Jewish people, as we are currently seeing with the Children's Intifada in Israel, so be it.
I tend to think, of course, that kicking around Jewish students on California university campuses is not such a good thing and that university officials should look into means of reducing it, if they honestly care... which I also tend to doubt.