Dept of Education opens investigation into anti-Semitism at UC Santa Cruz following events protesting the occupation

Israel/Palestine
on 129 Comments

The Chronicle of Higher Education is reporting that the U.S. Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights will investigate charges of anti-Semitism at the University of California at Santa Cruz based on a complaint that the university ignored concerns that criticism of Israel was “creating a hostile climate for Jewish people on the campus.”

You can read a letter from the Dept. of Ed announcing the investigation here.  The move is the first such investigation since the Department announced last October that they were expanding federal anti-bullying guidelines to include religious groups with “shared ethnic characteristics.” Previously, the relevant civil rights statute, Title VI, did not explicitly cover religion. This was a move applauded by Israel supporters, such as the Zionist Organization of America, who saw it as a way to criminalize activism critical of Israel on campus.

The lecturer who brought the complaint is Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, who teaches Hebrew at the school. You can read Rossman-Benjamin’s complaint to the Education Department here. Among the events she sites as examples of anti-Semitism on campus was a screening of the film Occupation 101 and another event called “Understanding Gaza.” This event featured speakers from Jewish Voice for Peace which she characterizes as “an extreme and disreputable fringe of American Jewry.” The Chronicle quotes her letter:

The anti-Israel discourse and behavior in classrooms and at departmentally and college-sponsored events at [Santa Cruz] is tantamount to institutional discrimination against Jewish students, which has resulted in their intellectual and emotional harassment and intimidation, and has adversely affected their educational experience at the university.

Reading over the complaint, it’s hard to believe that anyone took it very seriously. Rossman-Benjamin’s ulterior motive of silencing criticism of Israel is obvious, and she has even written openly about it. In a piece titled “Anti-Zionism and the Abuse of Academic Freedom” that she wrote for Dore Gold’s neocon thinktank the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, Rossman-Benjamin laments:

The foregoing analysis has amply demonstrated that anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic discourse has found academic legitimacy on at least one major university campus and is allowed to flourish because faculty and administrators are unwilling to address, or even acknowledge, these abuses of academic freedom.

To answer how this case has found support at the highest levels of government it helps to look at who is helping push it forward, and how the Department of Education’s new policy was created in the first place.

The case is being heavily supported by an organization called Institute for Jewish and Community Research (IJCR) a San Francisco-based organization which is “devoted to creating a safe, secure, and growing Jewish community.” A large part of that work is focused on documenting and exposing “anti-Israelism and anti-Semitism.” This project is headed up by Kenneth L. Marcus, who incidently served as the Education Department’s assistant secretary for civil rights from 2002 to 2004, and was the Staff Director at the United States Commission on Civil Rights during the Bush Administration. In fact, Marcus helped lay the groundwork for the new Dept of Education bullying policy with a 2004 policy letter that advocated for the change.

Although Marcus must have been responsible for a wide array of civil rights concerns during his time in government, it seems there is one issue close to his heart. Here is a list of his publications as listed on his wikipedia page:

  • “The Second Mutation: Israel and Political Anti-Semitism”, inFocus Spring 2008 • Vol. II: No. 1
  • “Anti-Zionism as Racism: Campus Anti-Semitism and the Civil Rights Act of 1964″, February 2007 issue of the William and Mary Bill of Rights Journal (pp. 837-891, published by the students of the William and Mary Law School)
  • “The Resurgence of Anti-Semitism on American College Campuses”, Current Psychology, Vol. 26, Nos. 3 & 4, 2007
  • “The Most Important Right We Think We Have But Don’t: Freedom from Religious Discrimination in Education”. Nevada Law Journal, Vol. 7, p. 171, 2006
  • “Jurisprudence of the New Anti-Semitism”, Wake Forest Law Review, Vol. 44, 2009.

His IJCR also mentions his new book Jewish Identity and Civil Rights in America. Seems to be a bit of a one trick pony. Predictably, Marcus is celebrating the government’s decision and sees wide ranging ramification for the Rossman-Benjamin’s complaint. A IJCR press release quotes him as saying:

This case is extremely significant for four reasons. First, it is opened just as International Apartheid Week activities are being held around the world and illustrates the potential ramifications of extremist protest activities. Second, it follows right on the heels of a federal lawsuit alleging similar problems at the University of California Berkeley just a few days before and may illustrate a broad trend. Third, it is only the second major systemic anti-Semitism case that OCR has opened and may have important precedential value. Fourth, it is the first major case to follow OCR’s new campus anti-Semitism policy and may demonstrate whether OCR means what it says about its commitment to addressing hate and bias in federally funded higher education programs.

It’s hard to believe the complaint will be held up, but I also would never have thought it would go this far in the first place. Guess it helps to have friends in high places.

About Adam Horowitz

Adam Horowitz is Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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129 Responses

  1. Elliot
    March 17, 2011, 9:44 am

    “an extreme and disreputable fringe of American Jewry.”
    My comment is actually about the end of this silly sentence.
    This accusation has a Zionist context. A central tenet of Zionist ideology, form its inception, has been that the Jews of I/P are superior Jews to the Jews of the rest of the world. This dogma was re-articulated and enforced by David Ben-Gurion and continues to be mouthed by Israel’s official representatives to American Jews. Overall (ie, to the extent that they are Zionists), American Jewish audiences accept this hierarchy.
    American Jews, therefore, enter the conversation as inferior to Israelis. To be at the fringe is therefore, obviously “extreme and disreputable.”
    To make the point, consider trying to use the same language to attack progressive Jewish groups in Israel:
    “an extreme and disreputable fringe of Israeli Jewry”.

    • Potsherd2
      March 17, 2011, 10:43 am

      If you want evidence, you can read the poster eee’s comments here, calling Dispora Jews not really Jews and JVP the equivalent of Jews for Jesus.

    • seafoid
      March 17, 2011, 12:57 pm

      My good settler friend Yisrael Medad says
      .
      “The Diaspora lost itself when it refused to come on Aliyah, when the Reform movement deleted Zion, when Jews adopted communism, socialism and now, liberal progressivism. “

      • Elliot
        March 17, 2011, 1:12 pm

        Hannah Arendt and others have analyzed Jewish history, before the modern era, as avoiding history. To the extent that Jews had a hand in fashioning their reality, the ghetto was an escape from history. Rabbi Kook (the elder) writes that Jews chose to step outside “the evil business of governance”.
        Israel is the new ghetto and the darkest corners of that ghetto are the West Bank settlements where our friend lives.

        We lose when we accept the description “diaspora.” We are “Jews of the world”. To paraphrase (and turn on its head standard) Zionist rhetoric: when Israelis are ready to climb out of their self-imposed seclusion, we will welcome them.

      • seafoid
        March 17, 2011, 1:45 pm

        I think more US Jews need to know how the settlers feel about them

    • thetumta
      March 17, 2011, 10:48 pm

      200 A.D.?

    • jayn0t
      June 17, 2011, 12:28 am

      “American Jews, therefore, enter the conversation as inferior to Israelis”. One’s heart bleeds for them. How oppressed they must feel.

  2. Colin Murray
    March 17, 2011, 9:45 am

    It is illegal to call 911 except for a true emergency. It wastes taxpayer dollars and ties up resources that could have been used for people truly in need.

    This Rossman-Benjamin farce seems to me to fall squarely into the same category. I hope there are legal mechanisms akin to those for 911 abuse for punitive measures against Rossman-Benjamin and Marcus for wasting taxpayer money attempting to subvert Americans’ first amendment right to free speech.

    • Avi
      March 18, 2011, 12:08 am

      I wonder where this so-called Department of Education was when Zionist organizations and Islamophobes launched websites like CampusWatch.

      Since 9/11, Zionist organizations in the US, including Neoconservatives and Zionists in the academia, people like Daniel Pipes, have been on a witchunt.

      Professors of Muslim or Arab background have been fired, harassed or had false charges brought against them.

      This recent action by the Department of Education in California illustrates the extent of Zionist influence and control over American institutions. And with such abuse of power comes the risk of said institutions losing legitimacy, alienating an entire segment of the American population (Muslims and Arabs) and a blowback in the form of more anti-Semitism. So, not only is Israel abusing its relationship with the US on the global arena, its sympathizers and defenders are doing the same domestically.

      In short, Zionists and racist Jews have been abusing their standing within the American Establishment.

      • annie
        March 18, 2011, 12:27 am

        This recent action by the Department of Education in California illustrates the extent of Zionist influence and control over American institutions.

        this is not ‘ the Department of Education in California’, these are the feds. this is the ‘United States Department of Education’. check second link.

      • Avi
        March 18, 2011, 12:30 am

        annie,

        Had you slowed down a bit, you would have noticed that I didn’t write, “The California Department of Education”. I specifically wrote, “This recent action by the [DoE] in California”.

      • annie
        March 18, 2011, 12:45 am

        whoops!

      • fuster
        March 18, 2011, 12:39 am

        there were right in the same place that they are now.

        CampusWatch violates what US law?

      • annie
        March 18, 2011, 12:51 am

        CampusWatch violates what US law?

        if they aren’t at present I hope there are legal mechanisms akin to those for 911 abuse for punitive measures against Rossman-Benjamin and Marcus for wasting taxpayer money attempting to subvert Americans’ first amendment right to free speech.

      • fuster
        March 18, 2011, 12:58 am

        annie, if people can’t peacefully attempt to subvert first amendment rights, then they aren’t there anyway, and neither are the rights.

        I wrote that just to impress you and nobody else should read it!

      • annie
        March 18, 2011, 1:02 am

        you? impress me? in your dreams maybe.

      • Citizen
        March 18, 2011, 7:34 am

        Atta boy, fuster, keep up that flawless logic.

  3. Richard Witty
    March 17, 2011, 9:54 am

    Knowing Jewish students at Hampshire College, I can declare that Adam’s example is not so simple.

    Free speech is to be protected. But, when free speech devolves to harrassment of others, then it isn’t only free speech anymore.

    Verbal assault is free speech, but it is also criminal. Its individual actions though that are criminal, not suppression of opinions.

    Where to draw the line? Grey.

    • Philip Munger
      March 17, 2011, 10:24 am

      During the Q & A session after a lecture I gave at the University of Alaska Anchorage in April 2004, a young Palestinian American was booed by Jewish and Christian Zioinists in the audience, merely for recounting his own observations from visiting relatives in the West Bank. When one of them shouted at the courageous young man “Shut the fuck up! You’re not even human!” several in the audience applauded, including a GOP member of the Alaska State Legislature and the former treasurer of the Alaska GOP. I have it all on videotape. Others laughed and jeered at him when he was called a “raghead.”

      Versions of this have happened countless times at campuses around the USA. I suppose they still do.

      You state “Verbal assault is free speech, but it is also criminal. Its individual actions though that are criminal, not suppression of opinions.” Would that include such encounters as the one I just described, Richard?

      • Ellen
        March 17, 2011, 10:48 am

        Observing Richard’s history of posting here, I doubt he will ever answer you.

        Your account sounds horrifying. It was painful to read.

        As for the topic of this report. Filing claims to charge that any criticism of Israel is anti-Jewish and creates a hostile environment for Jews on campus is the standard tactic. This is not the first and will not be the last. But is shows how weak, pathetic and insecure the Zionist enterprise must be.

        And then to label Jews who criticize Israel as “an extreme and disreputable fringe of American Jewry…” discredits Tammi Rossman-Benjamin and the phalanx behind her as reactionary dishonorable heels.

      • Richard Witty
        March 17, 2011, 11:34 am

        Phillip,
        I’m not sure where the line is.

        There are two pieces to the problem:
        1. Assessing whether an action is criminal (assault must include a threat or an active prohibition of another’s civil rights – say to walk forward, this is beyond an insult, even an idiotic and hateful one)

        2. The obligation of a university/college administration to preserve an environment in which education occurs, in which ALL students are permitted free speech without assault. The university itself has a desire and responsibility to maintain its facilities as places that are inviting to attend.

        At demonstrations in Amherst that I attended personally, and was reported to me by my wife and a couple students at presentations at Hampshire (I went to one by Amira Haas which was entirely civil, but one by an IDF soldier was not), there were incidents of intentional harrassment of individual Jewish students, verbal and written threats of harm, and physical assaults.

      • Cliff
        March 17, 2011, 11:39 am

        Give some evidence Richard Witty. Until then, you’re just spamming as usual.

      • Chu
        March 17, 2011, 11:53 am

        Is the harassment based on attacking ones religion, or is it the policies of the IDF that are being harassed?

        If Jewish Americans support the IDF, which is directly enforcing apartheid, you’re damn straight people are going to show anger toward the students that support it (Jewish or non Jewish).
        How can you tell who is being harassed is exclusively Jewish?

      • Donald
        March 17, 2011, 12:20 pm

        “incidents of intentional harrassment of individual Jewish students, verbal and written threats of harm, and physical assaults.”

        If that’s true, Richard, then yes, that would violate the law and those incidents should be investigated. (Not that I’m a lawyer, but common sense suggests laws were broken.) Your account of this seems to get more dramatic each time–I don’t recall you mentioning assaults or threats of harm before. But supposing it is true, there are laws against this and I would want those laws to be enforced.

        But what Adam is writing about seems to go well beyond investigating any cases where people were threatened–it sounds very much like an attempt at defining anti-Zionism as anti-semitism and legally suppressing it.

      • James North
        March 17, 2011, 12:25 pm

        Richard: If you didn’t report “written threats of harm, and physical assaults” to the Amherst police, then you are complicit. Surely the “written threats of harm” still exist, as evidence?

      • Richard Witty
        March 17, 2011, 1:15 pm

        The point is that dissent can and periodically does reach a point where it is not the speech being suppressed, but the effort that suppresses others’ speech.

        It takes attention to that possibility to avoid doing what one is objecting to.

      • Donald
        March 17, 2011, 1:26 pm

        “he point is that dissent can and periodically does reach a point where it is not the speech being suppressed, but the effort that suppresses others’ speech.”

        No Richard, that’s only one of the points here–it’s the point you want to make if pro-Israel speakers are suppressed. I’m waiting to see what you have to say about the complaint of Rossman-Benjamin, which goes far beyond any concern that some Jewish students might or might not have been threatened. She clearly wants to suppress speech and use the government to do it.

        And I never hear you complain about the one-sided nature of the debate in the press or amongst our politicians. It’s obvious you prefer it that way.

      • Richard Witty
        March 17, 2011, 1:32 pm

        Thank you for earlier acknowledging my point.

      • Donald
        March 17, 2011, 3:23 pm

        “Thank you for earlier acknowledging my point.”

        Who is this for? I acknowledged Richard’s point a couple of times in this thread, so I’ll assume it could be for me and ask again. What do you think, Richard, about Rossman-Benjamin’s attempt at suppressing dissent?

        Possibly it’s just that he’s not gotten around to it–I can’t tell for sure yet–but it looks like we might have an(other) issue that Richard wants to dodge.

      • Richard Witty
        March 17, 2011, 3:44 pm

        I don’t support suppressing dissent.

        Whatever norm of the room dissent is addressing.

      • Donald
        March 17, 2011, 5:17 pm

        “I don’t support suppressing dissent.”

        Okay that’s good. So you don’t approve of Rossman-Benjamin’s complaint? Because she’s clearly going way beyond legitimate concern for the rights of Jewish students not to be personally harrassed or threatened into the territory of censorship.

      • James North
        March 17, 2011, 5:39 pm

        Donald: Richard is hiding again. And he’s complicit in the Hampshire “written threats of harm,” because he didn’t report it to the police.

      • Richard Witty
        March 17, 2011, 5:50 pm

        From the article, I couldn’t tell if I would support it or reject it. Adam once posted a video of Hampshire pro-Palestinian students describing their harrassment at not being permitted to harrass an IDF speaker (my wife was at the presentation).

        Her description of the events did not even remotely resemble the pro-Palestinian descriptions.

        There is a lot of self-talk.

      • Donald
        March 17, 2011, 5:54 pm

        “Richard is hiding again”

        Possibly. I’m going to try to go back to what I did when I first saw him here–take him at his word and press him when he seems inconsistent either with his own professed values or with human rights standards.

      • Donald
        March 17, 2011, 6:01 pm

        Richard, you don’t have to rely on the article–there’s a link to Rossman-Benjamin’s letter in the article and you can start reading it. She is clearly trying to use charges of anti-semitism to suppress criticism of Israel she doesn’t like. She cites the claim that Israel is guilty of ethnic cleansing as an example of anti-semitism.

        This isn’t some dispute about whether or not someone was harassed at a public function–you can read her words for yourself.

      • Mooser
        March 17, 2011, 6:02 pm

        “Possibly. I’m going to try to go back to what I did when I first saw him here–take him at his word and press him when he seems inconsistent either with his own professed values or with human rights standards.”

        Remember that fantastic Aston-Martin James Bond drove? It could lay down a smoke screen, spew tacks on the road to flatten an opponents tires, or dispense oil so pursuers will slide off the road. Expect pretty much the same treatment from Richard. With plenty of screeching, as he complains about being held to his words. We’ve seen it a bunch of times, but go ahead, suit yourself.

      • James North
        March 17, 2011, 6:11 pm

        Donald: Good luck with your worthy attempt to take Richard seriously. I gave up after a couple of years. If anything, his views have gotten worse — as you point out, he now contends that removing any of the 500,000 Israeli “settlers” in the West Bank would be “ethnic cleansing,” a truly Orwellian analysis. And when he is confronted with the inexcusable — the Mavi Marmara — he hides for a couple of weeks.

      • Donald
        March 17, 2011, 6:15 pm

        And one other thing Richard. Some of what she claims really would be anti-semitism if it happened as she alleges. But much of it is just an attempt at censorship on her part. Make the distinction, please. I await your analysis.

      • Donald
        March 17, 2011, 6:17 pm

        To James and Mooser–

        I’m not terribly optimistic, but thought I’d give it another shot. The James Bond escape moves should be fun to watch, if that’s what it comes to.

      • annie
        March 17, 2011, 6:21 pm

        there’s no allegation of assault richard. as the very first link from the chronicle of education explains

        ‘Harassment and Intimidation’

        The new investigation is in response to a June 2009 complaint sent to the OCR by Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, a lecturer in Hebrew on the campus. In her letter, she describes several incidents in recent years in which administrators there rejected demands that the university drop its sponsorship of events focused on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that she regarded as one-sided attacks on Israel and Zionism. In some cases, she said, all that resulted from such complaints was that the people who brought them were villified by faculty members as threatening academic freedom.

        “The anti-Israel discourse and behavior in classrooms and at departmentally and college-sponsored events at [Santa Cruz] is tantamount to institutional discrimination against Jewish students, which has resulted in their intellectual and emotional harassment and intimidation, and has adversely affected their educational experience at the university,” Ms. Rossman-Benjamin’ letter said.

        tho no ‘behavior’ was articulated or singled out. it sounds like ‘criticism of israel is harmful to the emotional well being of jewish students’

      • annie
        March 17, 2011, 6:26 pm

        Is the harassment based on attacking ones religion

        first link in the article:

        Under the agency’s changed approach toward such complaints, announced in October as part of a broader effort to crack down on forms of student bullying and harassment seen as violating antidiscrimination laws, the OCR made clear that it intends to investigate charges of anti-Semitism where the discrimination might be based partly on ethnicity, and will be less likely to assume that anti-Semitic incidents are the result of religious discrimination, which falls outside its purview.

        The Santa Cruz investigation “is a really important signal from OCR that they may be taking their new approach to anti-Semitism as seriously as we wanted them to,” Mr. Marcus said. “There is still a big question as to how vigorously they will pursue cases that involve a mix of anti-Israelism and anti-Semitism. This suggests a willingness to go forward.”

        sounds like ‘anti israelism’ is the new anti semitism, according to some.

      • Avi
        March 18, 2011, 12:16 am

        Mooser,

        That Aston Martin also had a nice feature where with the push of a button in the dashboard, Jame Bond could flip the license plate, thus changing the car’s registration from Italian to French.

        richard does the same, he tries to change his cloak from time to time, but still manages to get caught.

        Not very James Bondy — 00.007

      • Citizen
        March 18, 2011, 8:01 am

        How many of the assaults inhibiting free speech, whether they come from a pro-Israel audience segment or an anti-Zionist segment, are due to the speaker(s)/panel verbally conflating the state of Israel with all or most Jews everywhere? Neither side has a monopoly on truth, or being Jewish. How can one side claim to be harrassed as Jews and not allow the other side the same claim? Is being Jewish always a shield, and never a sword? What about the Jewish tradition often bragged about, of two Jews, two opinions? Is that harrassment per se? Or Sheeple people by force of law? Or by academic institutional rule? Where does calling somebody a “raghead” fit into this picture of harrassment? How about “anti-semite?”

      • Shmuel
        March 18, 2011, 8:13 am

        What about the Jewish tradition often bragged about, of two Jews, two opinions?

        That’s two Jews, three opinions :-)

      • Richard Witty
        March 18, 2011, 8:34 am

        It is true that the charge of anti-semitism can be intimidating in ways, and certainly exagerated for political purpose.

        Thats why we are asked to exercise judgement, not only politically motivated rationalizations.

        I don’t know about Santa Cruz. I know that there are instances of harrassment at Hampshire that contribute to an environment of some harrassment. The dividing line is far to the left. Even liberal Zionists that are sympathetic to Palestinian condition are castigated.

        I don’t think truth is served by the zealous.

      • James North
        March 18, 2011, 9:02 am

        Richard is hiding from Donald again. Why didn’t he report the threats at Hampshire to the local police?

      • Richard Witty
        March 18, 2011, 9:21 am

        You really seem to enjoy baiting. Odd. (I guess we are all co-dependant addicts of this site).

        The threats were reported by the students that received them to the Hampshire administration. I don’t know what they did about them.

        I believe that the student in question dismissed them as actual threats of bodily harm, but did take them instead as intentional harrassment to scare her. (Somehow that is imagined as an approach that will change her thinking.)

      • RoHa
        March 18, 2011, 9:29 am

        Co-dependEnt.

        Definitely a slow learner.

      • James North
        March 18, 2011, 9:31 am

        Richard: I don’t fully understand your convoluted comment, but here is what you wrote earlier about the Grave Danger at Hampshire:
        “there were incidents of intentional harrassment of individual Jewish students, verbal and written threats of harm, and physical assaults.”
        Now, you downgrade your indictment: “the student in question dismissed them as actual threats of bodily harm.”
        And, you add that you “don’t know” what the Hampshire administration did about the “threats.”
        In other words, you care enough about the alleged “threats of harm and physical assaults” to exaggerate them and then to spam up this thread with them, but not enough to find out what actually happened.
        Your credibility approaches zero.
        And you haven’t answered Donald yet.

      • Richard Witty
        March 18, 2011, 9:46 am

        Enough baiting North.

      • annie
        March 18, 2011, 9:56 am

        who’s the baiter richard? you don’t mind dangling your alleged student ‘victims’ all over this thread.

      • annie
        March 18, 2011, 10:04 am

        The threats were reported by the students that received them to the Hampshire administration. I don’t know what they did about them.

        The alleged threats were reported by the students that allegedly received them to the Hampshire administration.

        the student in question dismissed them as actual threats of bodily harm, but did take them instead as intentional harrassment to scare her.

        the student later admitted there were no actual threats but later claimed harrassment instead. of course by then the student, like you, lost credibility.

        sounds more like a witch hunt to me designed by some jewish organizations as a way to impede critics of israel on campus. tasking jewish students with coming up with false claims to get national attention and sympathy.

        so who’s the baiter? just say it richard.

      • annie
        March 18, 2011, 10:09 am

        i recall the leaked ‘memo’ instructing pro israel jewish students to go for the emotional hook/angle at the berkeley divestment vote at the student council. this MO has already been outed.

      • Shmuel
        March 18, 2011, 12:03 pm

        who’s the baiter richard?

        But who’s the better baiter and who’s the bitter baiter, and should the better baiter bait the bitter baiter to make the bitter baiter better?

      • annie
        March 18, 2011, 12:06 pm

        should the better baiter bait the bitter baiter to make the bitter baiter better?

        bwwwwaaaaahhhhh

        ;)

      • James North
        March 18, 2011, 12:14 pm

        When Richard does it, he is engaging in “dialog,”(sic) or asking for clarification.
        When we do it, it is “baiting.”

      • MHughes976
        March 18, 2011, 12:19 pm

        …or perhaps should batter the bitter baiter with logical banter but – but! – never butter the bitter baiter up.

      • thetumta
        March 18, 2011, 2:17 pm

        I believe the line was drawn at ” yelling fire in a theater” Speech which immediately poses a threat to the lives of others un-neccesarily. There is no exception to the First Amendment baring telling someone they are a creepy asshole whose opinions have no value! And no hurt feelings aren’t a physical threat.
        Hej!

      • Kathleen
        March 17, 2011, 11:54 am

        Great that you have this on tape. I witnessed a very similar situation at the Univ of Colorado World Summit conference at an event focused on the I/P issue where a Palestinian man stood up and shared his experiences living in a refugee camp. Several older Jewish women (talked with them after conference) started screaming several racist remarks “you are not human”, “murderer” and then booed the man. Several of us turned to these women and told them to shut up and let the man speak and “finish”. They did shut up and the man finished but the crowd was shaken up.

        I went up to these women after the conference and they let me know they were Jewish. I said “that’s great but why the hell did you start screaming like that” They clearly thought folks would back down…That is not the case.

        This new effort to shut down discussion and debate on college campuses about the facts on the ground is not going to work. The dam has broken.

      • chet
        March 17, 2011, 12:54 pm

        The “New Anti-Semitism” includes any criticism of Israeli actions and policies as anti-semitic behaviour – is the definition now going to be expanded to include any vocal or written support of the Palestinians as being anti-semitic as well?

    • Colin Murray
      March 17, 2011, 10:32 am

      If any Jews at UCSC have been harassed for being Jews, then I support the FBI being involved, not the DOE. However, I have not seen a shred of evidence that that is the case. What we have here are American Zionist extremists who want to enforce (at US taxpayer expense) Israeli standards of political censorship onto American citizens in violation of our sacred constitutional rights and in service to a foreign nation. Leave Israeli anti-Americanism in Israel, thank you very much.

      • Ellen
        March 17, 2011, 11:01 am

        The Anti-Semitism industry and machine to fight the phantom has to be fed.

        Years ago I read a report in the Washington Post. The reporter was writing about an older neighborhood in the area and said that the first charter stated that “Hebrews” were not allowed to purchase homes. The BS radar went off. As I was very familiar with the neighborhood, and we had original property covenants, I asked him to source that claim.

        I never heard back as he could not find any support of that dig. And it is through reporting like that that these things are accepted as truth in the culture. It then became clear to me how inherent it is to to nurture the phantom ideas of Anti Semitism (Anti Jewish) as an enduring and unending threat. It supports the cause, the industry of persecution that would put resources into a claim like this.

        Trivia: There were Jews in Congress before Catholics could ever be accepted by the public. The first Senator of Florida, Levy, was Jewish. Also known as the “Florida Fire Eater” for his rabid support of the Southern Cause. Sorry, I digress.

      • Richard Witty
        March 17, 2011, 11:42 am

        If individuals are harrassed for their peacable political beliefs, intentionally, overtly, that is also a violation of their civil rights.

        Please, the significance of law is that it protect all, not just those that you agree with.

        We are not in Israel, so invocations of ‘what do you think about tear gas cannisters to the head’ are really not relevant to this content.

        Thank you for acknowledging that harrassment does enter into some dissent, and that the issue of harrassment is not black/white, not simple.

      • Donald
        March 17, 2011, 12:39 pm

        “Thank you for acknowledging that harrassment does enter into some dissent, and that the issue of harrassment is not black/white, not simple.”

        Okay, Richard, your turn. I hope all of us agree that actual intimidation or threats towards any student is wrong. You say it’s not a simple issue, so now is your chance to distance yourself from the complaint of Rossman-Benjamin. She clearly isn’t writing simply to complain about alleged acts of intimidation–she thinks that criticism of Zionism or criticism of Israel beyond a certain point is a violation of the civil rights of Jews. So do you think that the government should step in and suppress criticism of Israel simply because it hurts the feelings of some Jewish students, for whom Israel has evidently become an object of worship?

      • eljay
        March 17, 2011, 12:44 pm

        >> We are not in Israel, so invocations of ‘what do you think about tear gas cannisters to the head’ are really not relevant to this content.

        1. I didn’t ask you what you thought about it.
        2. I find it to be pretty relevant, actually. Regardless of where it happens, assaulting unarmed, peaceful protesters who are exercising their right to free speech is not a “grey” area – it is one where a line between legal and criminal actions can be drawn, so that individuals who cross it can be held accountable.

        But you choose not to draw that line when your co-collectivists commit criminal and immoral acts. Your supremacism and hypocrisy shine brightly.

      • Citizen
        March 18, 2011, 8:21 am

        Good question, Donald. Now we will see if Dick Witty responds to you. Somehow, I doubt it.

      • James North
        March 18, 2011, 9:02 am

        Richard is still hiding.

      • Richard Witty
        March 18, 2011, 9:16 am

        James,
        To confront the accusation of “hiding”, I’d have to be here 24/7. I thought that you preferred that I only post here occassionally, rather than dominate the posting stats.

        I responded elsewhere in the thread to the thesis of the article as a whole. Its not proved to me that there is harrassment of dissenters at U Santa Cruz. Are you sure?

      • James North
        March 18, 2011, 9:19 am

        Richard: ‘Hiding’ means you won’t answer Donald, above. Instead, you wasted a comment on me.

      • Richard Witty
        March 18, 2011, 9:22 am

        Wierd James.

        Donald can ask me a direct, non-baiting question if he wants my response.

        When a question is presented as polemic, I assume that it does not seek a sincere answer.

        What was the question that he asked, specifically?

        I’m going to be in meetings for most of the rest of the day. This is your opportunity to accuse me of “hiding”.

      • Donald
        March 18, 2011, 3:27 pm

        Richard, my question is “What do you think about Rossman-Benjamin’s letter of complaint?” It’s linked in the article.

        But I can summarize the contents. You can read the letter for yourself to check my summary, but here it is–

        Some of her complaints are legitimate, if the facts are as she described them. That’s a whole other question–politically motivated students have been known to exaggerate. But assume some of the incidents occurred as she described. For instance, a student was called a Nazi in class and bullied and the professor stood by and did nothing. I’d say that professor did a very poor job and that sort of thing should not happen (even if I happened to think that the student’s opinions were loathsome). If it happened on a regular basis to Jewish defenders of Israel at this school, then maybe it would be a civil rights violation, but I’m not a lawyer. At any rate, professors should prevent classroom discussions from turning into bullying sessions.

        So complaints about that sort of incident are legitimate (assuming that they really happened as described, which is a big assumption). What is not legitimate is the way Rossman-Benjamin points to harsh criticisms of Israel as evidence of “anti-semitism. She thinks that saying that Israel is guilty of ethnic cleansing is anti-semitic–we are supposed to conclude that because this upsets the pro-Israeli Jewish students, there is a hostile anti-semitic environment on campus. Do you think there is any merit at all to this?

        I don’t. Actual incidents of harassment are one thing, but obviously Rossman-Benjamin is trying to use the government’s power to censor statements about Israel and Zionism which she finds offensive.

        You may not see this particular question, Richard, but I’ll ask it again. And I don’t consider it rhetorical or unfair to ask you until you answer, because you obviously care about freedom of speech for pro-Israel students. Does that concern extend to critics of Israel?

      • James North
        March 18, 2011, 3:43 pm

        Donald: By my rough count, this is the tenth time you’ve posed this question to Richard — you’ve been clear and polite at every stage. He averages 14 comments a day; surely he will find the time to respond?

      • eee
        March 18, 2011, 4:10 pm

        Let me dive in. Is saying African Americans score 100 points less than whites on SAT tests racist? As a pure fact it is true. But stating the fact, without any context around it is racist. Imagine a campus campaign by white people to bring awareness to this bare fact. Imagine daily demonstrations with the following signs:”African Americans score 100 points less than whites on SAT tests”. Would African Americans find this campus racist?

      • Donald
        March 18, 2011, 5:00 pm

        “By my rough count, this is the tenth time you’ve posed this question to Richard ”

        Could be. I’ll keep asking. It’s a legitimate question and I’m sure RW will continue to express concern over the free speech rights of pro-Israel students at colleges and universities, so there will continue to be opportunities.

        Unless you see this now, Richard, and want to answer.

    • eljay
      March 17, 2011, 10:40 am

      >> Free speech is to be protected. …
      >> Its individual actions though that are criminal …
      >> Where to draw the line?

      How about at high-velocity tear-gas canisters – ones that maim or kill – to the heads of an unarmed, peaceful protesters? That seems like a good place to draw the line.

      Or maybe at the burning of olive groves, destruction of wells and spilling of raw sewage onto farmlands?

      Or, better yet, at Israel’s ON-GOING aggression, opppression, theft, colonization, destruction and murder. That’s a great place to draw a line and hold people accountable for actions that are criminal.

      Nah, too many “nuances”. Too “grey”.

    • James North
      March 17, 2011, 12:16 pm

      Richard: Mavi Marmara? No one was shot in the head at Santa Cruz, right?

    • Mooser
      March 17, 2011, 5:57 pm

      “Where to draw the line? Grey.”

      Grey? Why it’s bright as day, so clear and natural! After all, hasn’t this comment section shown us that Zionists never, ever engage in debate except at the highest levels of civility and respect for facts?

  4. bob
    March 17, 2011, 10:22 am

    “an extreme and disreputable fringe of American Jewry.”

    Comments like this are always annoying to me. Sometimes I have to assert that there is no “collective hivemind” of Jews. Yet, when I run into these terms, it makes it much harder for me to make this argument. How do I assert to people there is no lockstep when this concept of lockstep us used as an argumentative bludgeon to silence dissent?

    • piotr
      March 17, 2011, 8:44 pm

      I usually like such comments. Bernard-Henri Levy (sp.?) wrote about BDS people “calumnious agitators”. “Self-hating Jews” is getting stale, and inaccurate (some of these people seem to enjoy it!). “Blasphemers, heretics and idolaters” seems to be wrong in that context. “Lumpen intelligentsia” would probably more puzzling than insulting. A good phrase is “radical leftists and extreme Islamists” (or is it “extreme leftists and radical Islamists”

      Should Federal government sort it out which fringe is disreputable, and which is not, just fringy?

      • bob
        March 17, 2011, 9:35 pm

        You’re more positive than I am. I like the perspective adjustment you bring.

  5. pabelmont
    March 17, 2011, 10:35 am

    Colin Murray hs it right: “It is illegal to call 911 except for a true emergency. It wastes taxpayer dollars and ties up resources that could have been used for people truly in need.”

    Further, in this blast of psycho-semitic disease at UCSC, they are ignoring that a principal function of education is to open minds to facts not previously known, to modes of thinking not previously practiced, and to opinions not previously heard — not as dogma, mind, but all to encourage thought (and discourage know-it-all-ism).

    Perhaps the good Jewish students (for whose protection against psycho-somatic disease Professor Tammi Rossman-Benjamin created this great and undeserved hoo-haw) might learn something about Israel, its history, its deeds, and how it is seen by others. It is then their own choice whether to become ill (as they might do if they have learned something they believe and which undercuts their earlier education) or to fight back with events and classes and books and so forth of their own. Their choice (as the overly-solicitous professor seems to suggest) to identify with Israel and take anti-Israeli facts and opinions as personal harms is an error of thinking, an example of psycho-semantic disease.

    • pabelmont
      March 17, 2011, 11:54 am

      What if White-Christian students grew peaked because the UCSC taught that, once upon a time, (gasp) SLAVERY was practiced by White-Christian people in the American South.

      Should they be able to [1] sue the UCSC and [2] close down the teaching about slavery?

      The purpose of teaching about slavery would not be to make these students (those who grew peaked, I mean) uncomfortable. And the purpose of teaching about Zionism’s crimes is not to make Jewish (or any other) students uncomfortable, but to attempt to stop the crimes.

      How they feel is their own business. JVP and other “not in my name” organizations show them the way to dissociate themselves from Israel’s crimes (or from Israel altogether, if they so choose).

  6. annie
    March 17, 2011, 11:09 am

    maybe the government should just cut to the chase and criminalize criticism of israel.

    • Chu
      March 17, 2011, 11:20 am

      This use of anti-Israelism is just nonsense. It’s a trick.
      What if I’m anti-British? Should I be investigated by the state
      for my misgivings about the British flag. Come on, these fascists need to get a clue. So what if I’m against Israel – I’m against apartheid and that is what is happening there. When they change their f’king rotten policies, I will reconsider my attitude toward the state. Until then, no deal. These cheap tactics inside the US are only prolonging the inevitable.

    • Kathleen
      March 17, 2011, 12:24 pm

      hit the nail on the head again

      • Kathleen
        March 17, 2011, 12:25 pm

        annie

    • Sumud
      March 17, 2011, 1:58 pm

      The more they try to repress respectful free speech about Palestine on campus, the greater will be the repercussions when the students finally rebel. Ignoring/suppressing legitimate grievances is a great way to create a pressure cooker situation, and the results may potentially be dangerous and unpredictable.

      • annie
        March 17, 2011, 2:14 pm

        i agree. they are in denial and perpetuating a myth jvp is somehow a ‘fringe’ element on campuses across the country and not representative and thousands upon thousands of jewish youth won’t gain them much traction imho. jvp membership is exploding. all the publicity it’s getting from these freakish silencing reactionaries is helping to facilitate that explosion and spread awareness of israel’s intransigence.

    • thetumta
      March 18, 2011, 2:36 pm

      Some European governments already have! It’s not too far fetched here as well. I don’t believe there’s any limit to what’s next with these people. We all may become acutely aware of the Palestinian reality soon. Witty et. al. are just more polished versions of the racists of my past, growing up in the “Jim Crow” south. The slanders are the same, their tactics are the same. Their incorrigible. Perhaps Mondoweiss should have it’s own BDS action. Turn your back on them and don’t respond, ever. Love to see what would happen then.

  7. Chu
    March 17, 2011, 11:19 am

    Sounds like a national racket. but the Office of Civil Rights “noted in its communication with the campus, that office’s decision to review an individual’s allegations in no way implies that the agency has determined that the allegations have merit.”

  8. annie
    March 17, 2011, 11:53 am

    This event featured speakers from Jewish Voice for Peace which she characterizes as “an extreme and disreputable fringe of American Jewry.”

    it just goes to show you how jvp has thoroughly infused itself with american jewish youth on campus. obviously if it represented the extreme fringe of american jewry there would be no need to even refer to them at all for no one would have even heard of them. an example of the extreme end of american jewry is the massively funded radical right.

    jvp is likely the most popular jewish organization of american jewish youth in many areas of the country including santa cruz. simply labeling it ‘fringe’ and ‘extreme’ won’t make it go away or become less popular. maybe Rossman-Benjamin hasn’t gotten the latest messaging coming out of the israel action network..which is the de jewing of jvp…something blogged about yesterday…the allegation they aren’t even jewish!.

    but help is on the way!

    help young people work through the process of becoming comfortable with Israel as a democratic and Jewish state.

    being “comfortable with Israel as a democratic” state is like being comfortable seeing a glorious flowing robe on a naked emperor.

  9. Kathleen
    March 17, 2011, 11:56 am

    Folks might want to go to the BDS site and If Americans Knew website and access the brochures etc and hand them out on their local campuses, churches, anywhere you go. If Americans Knew has great info to hand out. Get the information out

  10. seafoid
    March 17, 2011, 12:07 pm

    Classification of criticism of Israel as antisemitism has a strong smell of the boy who cried wolf. Israel can no longer control the narrative on apartheid.

    • Chaos4700
      March 17, 2011, 12:14 pm

      But they can apparently control the US government. Torturers and assassins on the US government payroll walk away with bonuses and repeat business, but rumors of somebody maybe saying something mean about Jews gets federal attention?

      • Ellen
        March 17, 2011, 12:45 pm

        And rumors of people saying “bad things” about Israel get more federal attention and tax payers resources than the execution or wounding and maiming of American citizens by the IDF or Israeli Police.
        Think about that.

  11. Jim Holstun
    March 17, 2011, 1:04 pm

    Ms. Tammi Rossman-Benjamin says a UCSC instructor had used the class email list to encourage students to participate in a demonstration against Israel’s ‘destructive actions’ in Lebanon and Gaza outside the Israeli consulate in San Francisco.” If the instructor had done that, then it would have been bad teaching and bad politics.

    But just follow the links and you’ll see quickly that it is a forwarded email from three groups: Break the Silence, Jewish Voice for Peace, Jews for a Free Palestine. There is NO endorsement by the instructor. There is no encouragement to attend, and the characterization of “destructive actions” is in the original email, and is not the instructor’s phrase, as is implied. It’s the sort of thing that a good teacher might forward just to let people know about contemporary, passionately-held incidents of the subject matter.

    I have to keep reminding myself: always, always, always check the evidence (we might call this “the Norman Finkelstein watchword”). Desperate, cornered Zionists will lie and mislead like there’s no tomorrow, and like we’re too tired or lazy to check them out.

    • RoHa
      March 17, 2011, 8:16 pm

      “always, always, always check the evidence ”

      But if we do that, how can we maintain our prejudices?

  12. Les
    March 17, 2011, 2:50 pm

    Obama’s concern for California and Hollywood extends to sending Homeland Security agents to shut down web sites that are accused of copying movies. Doesn’t this make us all feel safer against our evil “terrorist” enemy?

  13. pabelmont
    March 17, 2011, 3:01 pm

    Here’s the commission itself talking. (Gag!) (I think).

    “It is important to remember that the Office for Civil Rights’ jurisdiction is based on ancestry or ethnic characteristics, since it does not have jurisdiction to investigate claims of religious discrimination per se. Hon. Stephanie Monroe, Assistant Secretary of Education for Civil Rights, has recently stated that the Office for Civil Rights will not investigate allegations of anti-Semitic harassment unless the allegations also include other forms of discrimination over which the Office for Civil Rights has subject matter jurisdiction.”

    ETHNIC GROUP (wiki): “An ethnic group (or ethnicity) is a group of people whose members identify with each other, through a common heritage, often consisting of a common language, a common culture (often including a shared religion) and an ideology that stresses common ancestry or endogamy.[1][2] [3], “…in general it is a highly biologically self-perpetuating group sharing an interest in a homeland connected with a specific geographical area, a common language and traditions, including food preferences, and a common religious faith”.[4]”

    Will Santa Cruz’s Jewish students claim a common ancestry (Khazar? Spain? Ancient M/E)? Or merely that they like to eat hummus (An Israeli food !?!)

  14. LeaNder
    March 17, 2011, 3:04 pm

    Reading over the complaint, it’s hard to believe that anyone took it very seriously.

    You have to read to whole complaint to understand. It starts with Occupation 101 and ends with Breaking the Silence (page 17f) or Hedy Epstein, who it feels is somehow singled out to make the point: “who identifies herself as a survivor of the Holocaust …had demonized the Jewish state.” page 24f

    Did Hedy really compare Israel to the Nazis? They claim she did.

    Unfortunately I can’t cite, copying and downloading is always restricted in these matters. But I have no doubt that versions are freely distributed to relevant people that matter.

    What I found interesting is that of the people that were booked for events to provide a balanced view on Israel (founded for this task page 24) only one is mentioned: Dennis Prager. As far as balance is concerned this is curious. We are given all the names in the University and the name of people or institutions present at anti-Israeli events but only from the balancing perspective Dennis Prager. There is a professor from Boston university speaking on Islamic terrorism, and there is an event that shows that Palestinians train their children for suicide bombing, but we never are given a single name of any of these people to check on their expertise.

    The first thing we would need is an open source copy of Tamara’s complaint and it is very, very detailed with the exceptions mentioned above.

    • Citizen
      March 18, 2011, 8:34 am

      Hahhah. Dennis Prager preaches everyday on his talk radio show that Israel is the apple in the eye of the West, the key itself to Western civilization, founded by the lights to the world. He delivers his sermon in a down-home folksy manner, and always in the tone of a most reasonable man. Call-ins who question what he says so smoothly are usually easily handled by him as they seldom have their facts in front of them, already totally internalized–when that happens, Prager cuts them off, switching in a velvet red herring while he changes topics or goes to a commercial.

  15. fuster
    March 17, 2011, 3:18 pm

    this is all just so disgusting. it’s just horrible that the government would even consider looking into a complaint of anti-Semitism….

    terrible, terrible thing..,

    there has never been any anti-Semitism in the world or in this country and just alleging it is horrible.

    and most certainly the government must be rebuked for following mandated guidelines rather than simply dismissing the complaint.

    perhaps the law should be rewritten to make alleging anti-Semitism to be an offense against the sensibilities of the anti-Zionist community which, in it’s wisdom, is best qualified to decide these things.

    god bless America (except when it offends the anti-Zionist community).

    • Donald
      March 17, 2011, 3:34 pm

      I guess you didn’t look at the Rossman-Benjamin letter, because it’s pretty stupid. Complaints about actual harrassment or threats made towards Jewish students should be investigated. Comparisons of Israel to apartheid South Africa might hurt someone’s feelings, but that’s not anti-semitism. She actually says that a claim that Israel is guilty of ethnic cleansing is false. What is that doing in a complaint about supposed anti-semitism?
      It’s there because this is an attempt at censorship.

    • annie
      March 17, 2011, 3:41 pm

      this is all just so disgusting. it’s just horrible that the government would even consider looking into a complaint of anti-Semitism….

      especially in light of the heavily laden islamophobia permeating our discourse. when the government can invest funds for macCarthy tactics dealing with arabs and muslims and then people can complain about more funds defending that poor maligned discriminated segment of our society, jewish americans. no fair!

      i think we should put separate funds aside perhaps to match the 3 billion to protect our poor little maligned state of israel, we could put equal funds aside domestically to protect the discrimination of jews here at home.

      and as we spend billions bombing arabs and muslims in the middle east we could also set aside billions to make sure they are treated poorly in america too. more congressional panels!

      all and all this seems more than fair, don’t you think? basically it comes down to protecting one ethnicity and discriminating against another which is so very american, just like our special friend israel. actually, that’s sort of a coincidence don’t you think? gee, i never thought of that before.

      • LeaNder
        March 17, 2011, 6:24 pm

        The interesting thing, Annie, is that islamophobia , or a point of view that helps support it seems heavily represented in their balancing lectures/events.

        The events and speakers should be easily available from e.g. the Jewish and non-Jewish extreme fringe groups at the University. Can we have a closer look?

        Can’t you invite someone of them that tells us a bit about the fair balancing event the group organized on campus?

        A wish I had a usable copy of the complaint. One thing is obvious this group is very, very anti-open-source.

        Given the many, many names of deans, supervisors, and profs listed, the university must be a real antisemitic hotbed.

    • Cliff
      March 17, 2011, 3:44 pm

      the frog is just ignoring the actual details of this ridiculous allegation by the usual suspects and skipping to issuing sweeping generalizations (oh the horror of antisemitism!!!)

    • seafoid
      March 17, 2011, 4:05 pm

      link to nybooks.com

      “The sisters Renia, Rosalie, and Chanka Laks, from a prominent Jewish family in Wierzbnik, Poland. Rosalie Laks—whose testimony appears in Christopher Browning’s Remembering Survival—said that when their father was pushed into a gutter and kicked repeatedly by a German during the early days of the Nazi occupation, ‘This was the first time I understood what the war was all about.’ All the sisters survived the war and are still alive.

      In 1942, in Operation Reinhard, the Germans deported some 1.3 million Polish Jews from ghettos in the General Government to death factories at Treblinka, Bełz˙ec, and Sobibór. ”

      Criticising Israel isn’t antisemitism.

      • LeaNder
        March 17, 2011, 6:48 pm

        something similar was on my mind as a response to pseudo-funny fuster, I guess that’s what he needs the Avatar for. I almost wrote something like this, echoing his cynicism:

        Obviously the Jews are the most persecuted group today. The only ones that without any qualifications would support such a claim are the victims terrorized and killed by the Nazis. Unfortunately they can’t.

        That said, the graffiti they present is clearly antisemitic, and I wouldn’t say that antisemitic voices weren’t present in the larger debate. The problem is the whole field of critic of Israeli policies the group would like to exempt from criticism and label antisemitic.

      • RoHa
        March 17, 2011, 8:19 pm

        ‘This was the first time I understood what the war was all about.’

        World War 2 was all about him?

    • Mooser
      March 17, 2011, 6:22 pm

      “there has never been any anti-Semitism in the world or in this country and just alleging it is horrible.”

      Please, fuster, can you tell us the main incidents of anti-semitism in America? Can you tell us which laws were made to discriminate against Jews? Can you tell us how the government of the US makes Jews second class citizens?
      You are lying fuster, and insulting a country which has been the best for Jews, ever.

      That is what is so contemptible about Zionists. If anti-semitism did not exist, they would invent it. How low does a Jew have to be to exploit anti-semitism, instead of working to ameliorate it, and all forms of bigotry.
      Zionists are parasites on Judaism, sucking the heart and life out of it.

      • fuster
        March 17, 2011, 7:13 pm

        holy fisting shuck Mooser, you must have had your antlers over your eyes when you pretended to read my comment.

        read it again, there’s nothing in it that insults the US.

        and your thought that anti-Semitism can only occur through force of law rather than through the actions of private citizens is specious at best.

        but, for the halibut, go see US Grant’s General Order #11 (12/17/1862)

        bad, bad Mooser.

      • Chaos4700
        March 17, 2011, 7:28 pm

        Why don’t you explain to us why at one point Jews, as a 2% minority, held fifteen seats in the US Senate where as African Americans, 15% minority, has only ever held one at any time in history? Could you maybe put your “sky is falling” insistence on the prevalence of anti-Semitism in that context, fuster?

      • ToivoS
        March 17, 2011, 7:37 pm

        Your sarcasm does not disguise your intent. This is so disingenuous as to be downright dishonest.

      • fuster
        March 17, 2011, 7:49 pm

        Chaos, I’m pretty sure that all the people in the Senate are, with few exceptions, are elected by secret ballot.

      • Citizen
        March 18, 2011, 8:44 am

        Grant issued the order because some Jews were selling military supplies to both sides. They followed both camps and were also conduits for information as they individually decided at any given time. Lincoln forced Grant to take his order back because, although it was effective to achieve Grant’s ends, directly protecting the obvious, it was a high political matter to Lincoln because Jews were an important cog in the Union industrial war machine.

    • Sumud
      March 17, 2011, 11:56 pm

      this is all just so disgusting. it’s just horrible that the government would even consider looking into a complaint of anti-Semitism….

      terrible, terrible thing..,

      there has never been any anti-Semitism in the world or in this country and just alleging it is horrible.

      straw man-iac

      • annie
        March 18, 2011, 12:17 am

        it’s just horrible that the government would even consider looking into a complaint of anti-Semitism….

        what’s mindboggling is the feds having their own special department for it AS IF it’s some massive problem. AS IF adl isn’t doing it already. AS IF we had one JUST for african americans or arabs or hispanics or asian americans. or AS IF was anti semitism was so prevalent, more prevalent than racism against other ethnicities, that it deserved it’s very own permanent federal overseers. oy vey, just when they were about to loose their favored victim status. he’s come to save the day.

      • annie
        March 18, 2011, 10:59 am

        yes, the feds having their own special department for it called Office To Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism

        The Office To Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism is a part of the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Affairs (DRL) at the United States Department of State. It is headed by the Special Envoy To Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism (SEAS). The office “advocates U.S. policy on anti-Semitism both in the United States and internationally, develops and implements policies and projects to support efforts to combat anti-Semitism.”
        The Office was created by the Global Anti-Semitism Review Act of 2004. Gregg Rickman was sworn the first SEAS on May 22, 2006.[1] The office has remained opened since the beginning of the Obama administration.[2] On November 23, 2009 a new special envoy, Hannah Rosenthal was sworn into office by Obama administration.[3] Rosenthal is former head of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, and former executive director of the Chicago Foundation for Women.[4]

        st dept’s website here

  16. ToivoS
    March 17, 2011, 4:46 pm

    It’s hard to believe the complaint will be held up, but I also would never have thought it would go this far in the first place. Guess it helps to have friends in high places.

    Actually an action of this kind coming from this office was predicted by Paul Craig Roberts over a year back (relying on memory here).

    He has warned for years against the different hate crime legislations that are popular with the left. Basically assault is a violent crime and adding a hate enhancement to it is unneeded. Roberts saw that this office was being set up to not only define hatred of Israel as an enhancement to real crimes but to make hatred of Israel a crime in itself.

    Of course defining “hatred” is the problem since that requires the thought police. But, nevertheless, this very dangerous office was established (and promoted by Obama) to regulate the debate on US support for Israel. It is not enough to lament that it could “go this far in the first place” because it has. We should recognize that this is the result of well laid plans by pro-Islraeli supporters that have achieved high government position. Tammi Rossman-Benjamin is not the problem, she is just a foot soldier involved in executing this plan.

  17. Linda J
    March 17, 2011, 7:14 pm

    These people are forum shopping. They’ve lost the world (even Haaretz admits that — see below link); now they’re trying to find a judge on their side.

    link to haaretz.com

  18. RoHa
    March 17, 2011, 10:32 pm

    Whine, whine, and bloody whine.

  19. thetumta
    March 17, 2011, 11:21 pm

    Phil,
    I think you should declare a timeout on Witty. He’s seriously struggling!
    Hej!

  20. lyn117
    March 18, 2011, 3:37 am

    Rossman-Benjamin complains that the University is supposed to foster civil discourse and shouldn’t be “demonizing” Israel, but also complains that some faculty member was tearing down flyers for a talk on Palestinian children being trained as suicide bombers. As if those flyers weren’t demonizing a cultural group? Unlike the anti-Israel talks, which pretty harshly criticize a state, not a people. She complains that the University shouldn’t be sponsoring political talks or “indoctrination,” as if Dennis Prager which her organization sponsored, would give a talk without political bias or attempts at indoctrination? Rossman-Benjamin is throwing out as much dirt and vitriol as she can (did you actually read the emails she solicited from Jewish students to the College 9&10 administrator? Bordering on hate mail, in fact) hoping something will stick. Sadly, there’s a lot of gullible people even in acadamia.

  21. VR
    March 18, 2011, 4:44 am

    I can remember writing about this years ago, few wanted to listen, in fact some started to make jokes about my “alarmist” view in regard to what was occurring on campuses. This was back in 2007, here is an excerpt –

    “Please do not mistake what I am telling you as a joke, they fully intend to have this move from the recommendation form to a piece of legislation. The machinery that you see cropping up, like Campus Watch, this Commission, the vetting of teachers for the tenure track, the divesting of teachers through the administrative process on campuses, the publicity of this will be used as Exhibits A, B, C etc. of a mushrooming “problem.”

    These are merely the investigative bodies that have been empowered in a clandestine manner to deliver a body of “proof” to the legislative bodies on the United States government, coupled with the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights recommendations. They want to make their definition of antisemitism as an example, if you were in a university classroom, and the teacher who begins to talk about the plight of the Palestinians and identifies the evils of Zionism, as if he/she proceeded to call all the students of color “niggers.” They want to inflame it to this point, this is their goal.

    Understand this, that it is the failure to assess your enemy that is the greatest cause for defeat. Do you think that these “representatives,” that scramble to every whimper and demand of the AIPAC lobby will hesitate to pass legislation? They will “purge” the campuses of the United States of any dissenting voice – if they cannot accomplish it by grass roots means, they will do it by legislative means.

    So you see, our collective failure to realize the critical nature of what is going on on campuses across the country – to even make jokes about it (etc.) is to not recognize the SERIOUS nature of what is taking place right before our eyes. Do you think this is merely a sterile web-internet war? This is why we should all be on our feet to support men, as an example, like Norman Finkelstein. This is why droves of people, who care should be on the march right now on campuses across the country! If this is not done, and if people fail to understand the serious nature of what we are dealing with, you will be caught up short and jailed before you can blink your eyes! Time to wake up, NOW!”

    So here we are today, and it is getting much worse than earlier, you will find a couple of links here (in link) to more information which dovetails perfectly with what is being described in this post –

    ACADEMIC FASCISM

    I recommend reading the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights On “antisemitism,” and note that Zionism will try to act as if this is a matter of Civil Rights – supporting a murderous colonial settler state. That it is a matter of “self-determination,” ethnic cleansing and apartheid walls. The sad fact of the matter is that the systemic power structure in the USA is more than willing to accommodate these perversions.

  22. pjdude
    March 18, 2011, 5:29 am

    if jewish students are uncomfertable with Israel being exposes for what it is that’s their problem. punishing people for stating facts because jewish students don’t like it is doing the very thing they say they are stopping harrassing people over their beliefs

    • fuster
      March 18, 2011, 10:37 am

      pj,

      of course, stating facts is important and objecting to them is wrong. though when the Polish people were oppressing Jews, they still might have complained about it if the Jews did.

      sometimes facts annoy people and they complain. they’ve that right in this country. what is important, is that the US government doesn’t participate in the harassment of people stating facts. When Polish government willfully harassed Jews and engaged in anti-Semitism that was very wrong and made the problem much worse.

      nobody should support the US government if it tries to oppress the people fighting against the oppression of the Palestinian people by stating facts.

  23. Linda J
    March 18, 2011, 12:12 pm

    France is further along in their persecution of Palestinian solidarity folks.
    link to gilad.co.uk

    Although we have the FBI/DOJ subpoenas for the Chicago/Minnesota activists. stopfbi.net

  24. lyn117
    March 18, 2011, 5:11 pm

    What do you think of this logic:
    Hypothetically, accept Rossman-Benjamin’s premise:

    stating Israel/Zionists committed ethnic cleansing is equivalent to anti-semitism, i.e., stating that Jews in general are evil. (If you read her complaint, that’s the gist of it: that the pro-Palestine crowd is stating facts about Israel that show it in a very poor light. Rossman-Benjamin has a whole litany of such statements regarding Israel that are equated to anti-semitism – but let’s just use the ethnic cleansing)

    Israel and its founding Zionists did in fact commit commit ethnic cleansing, so the first statement is true. Therefore the equivalent statement, that Jews in general are evil, is also true.

    So if you accept Rossman-Benjamin’s equivalence, you are stating Jews in general are evil. Rossman-Benjamin is pretty anti-semitic (in the common sense of the word).

    Of course, I don’t buy for one moment that being anti-Israel is being anti-Jew, and I don’t really get why American Jews, or Jews in other countries who have a choice in the matter, want an identity bound up with a state founded on deliberate, premeditated mass murder, terror and expulsion of the native people of “their” land, such a strong identity that in some cases i.e. Rossman-Benjamin’s it’s more or less a religious belief.

  25. jayn0t
    June 17, 2011, 9:47 pm

    Most of the commenters here agree that claims of anti-Semitism and harassment of Jews in educational institutions are, to put it mildly, exaggerated. But this argument assumes that the basic framework of “federal anti-bullying guidelines” against “creating a hostile climate” is valid. True, Zionists expertly manipulate anti-racist ideology. There are two ways to oppose this. 1. Stop them manipulating it. 2. Stop it.

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