Events at Berkeley Law Demonstrate a Campus Crisis on Antisemitism

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For all their righteous words about diversity and inclusion, some university administrators are finding creative ways to justify the exclusion of Jewish students.

Earlier this year, a Berkeley law student organization, Law Students for Justice in Palestine, called on other organizations to amend their bylaws to exclude those “in support of Zionism, the apartheid state of Israel, and the occupation of Palestine” from speaking at their events. Nine organizations followed suit. According to Berkeley law school dean Erwin Chemerinsky, this wasn’t an act of exclusion — notwithstanding the commitment to “not invite” Zionists; instead, the dean said, it was just criticism of Israel.

“Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt.” 1 Samuel 15:2

Students for Justice in Palestine - Wikipedia

Lamenting the widespread news coverage, Chemerinsky writes at the Jewish News of Northern California that it “hardly should be news that some students — including some Jewish students — are strongly condemning of Israel’s policies.” Later, he writes “it is no more antisemitic to criticize Israeli policies than it is anti-American to criticize the policies of the federal government,” as if anyone had been making this claim.

In the Jewish Journal, Chemerinsky even portrayed the issue as student organizations merely “condemning Israel.”

This is entirely a red herring. Here’s how the suggested amendment read:

In the interest of protecting the safety and welfare of Palestinian students on campus, [insert organization name] will not invite speakers that have expressed and continued to hold views or host/sponsor/promote events in support of Zionism, the apartheid state of Israel, and the occupation of Palestine. [Emphasis added]

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