San Jose Mercury News – Important Article on Implementing Principles Against Intolerance
What you can do –
The StandWithUs Anti-BDS Conference 2017
Opinion: It’s time for UC Regents to implement principles against intolerance they adopted
By: Tammi Rossman-Benjamin
March 9, 2017
In our nation today, we are witnessing an unprecedented unwillingness to accept, or merely recognize and respect, beliefs or behavior that differ from our own. It is the essence of intolerance, and it has unquestionably skyrocketed, traversing political divides, identities, ethnicities and nationalities.
This is particularly problematic on college campuses, as we witnessed when violence broke out recently at UC Berkeley and Middlebury College over the scheduled appearance of controversial speakers. In this climate of increasing polarization and hate, implementing policies that encourage tolerance and protect the right to free speech on campus — even speech we find hateful and offensive — couldn’t be more important.
Recently, 47 Jewish, Christian, civil rights, legal and education groups called on the University of California Regents to ask each UC Chancellor to implement the landmark “Statement of Principles Against Intolerance” that was unanimously passed last March in the wake of escalating anti-Jewish hostility.
Alongside a sharp spike in anti-Semitic activity reported nationally are hundreds of acts of hatred and intolerance targeting other vulnerable groups, including African Americans, LGBTQ community members, immigrants, women, Muslims and many others. We are also witnessing a sharp rise in hateful, intolerant acts directed at individuals holding divergent ideological and political viewpoints.
On too many campuses, one group’s freedom of expression has been used to denigrate, harass, intimidate and shut down the expression of another. A diverse array of students is feeling increasingly targeted by these acts of intolerance. This not only deprives individuals of their freedom of expression and social, political and academic rights but also undermines the very mission of the university.
Fortunately for the University of California, a policy document already exists for addressing this problem.
The Principles Against Intolerance rightly points out: “Freedom of expression and freedom of inquiry are paramount in a public research university and form the bedrock on which our mission of discovery is founded. …Acts of hatred and other intolerant conduct, as well as acts of discrimination that demean our differences, are antithetical to the values of the University and serve to undermine its purpose.”
Recognizing that each member of the University community “is entitled to speak, to be heard, and to be engaged based on the merits of their views, and unburdened by historical biases, stereotypes and prejudices,” the statement identifies those acts of intolerance and calls on UC Chancellors to address all intolerant behavior.
The Regents’ statement couldn’t be more relevant and important right now — but only if it is diligently implemented on each UC campus.
UC Irvine Chancellor Howard Gillman commendably became the first chancellor to commit his campus to a full implementation. It’s time the remaining UC Chancellors follow Gillman’s lead.
Every Chancellor should review, update and enforce campus policies and procedures to ensure the protection of all students’ rights to freedom of expression and a campus free from intimidation and denigration.
Every UC Chancellor should develop educational programs that help students recognize and avoid intolerant behavior, teach and encourage them to express their diverse views in a productive and respectful manner, and foster a tolerance and appreciation of diverse opinions and identities.
Educating our nation’s youth that it is okay to respectfully agree to disagree will not only help restore civility and respect to campus, it will benefit our nation for years to come.
Alarming Intolerance on UC Campuses: Sign the Petition
This video showcases a sampling of the types of intolerant behavior
Jewish students have been experiencing.
As the old adage goes, what starts with the Jews never ends with the Jews…
While Jewish students have been experiencing intolerant behaviors directed at them on campuses for a while, recently increasing levels of polarization and hatred have resulted in an uptick in acts of intolerance against other students as well.
In this time of unrest, the landmark Regents Statement of Principles Against Intolerance couldn’t be more relevant, timely and important for all UC students. Implementing these Principles would ensure that policies and procedures are put in place to safeguard all students’ rights to freedom of expression, and that educational programs are developed to help students identify and avoid intolerant behavior.
If you haven’t done so already, please SIGN & SHARE the petition to the UC Chancellors to implement the Principles Against Intolerance.
The petition is OPEN FOR ALL to sign, whether a UC stakeholder or not.
Please circulate the petition widely to your friends and family, as well as on Facebook and other social media channels.
Hate Spaces: Screening and Discussion with Tammi Rossman-Benjamin and Others
We are pleased to share with you that AMCHA Initiative co-founder Tammi Rossman-Benjamin will be speaking at a screening and discussion of Hate Spaces: The Politics of Intolerance on Campus with Producer Avi Goldwasser, and Stanford student Jacob Kaplan-Lipkin on March 13, 2017 from 7 pm – 9 pm at the Oshman Family JCC, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto CA 94303. Tickets are $15 for general, $20 at the door, and FREE for college students with ID and Club Z Teens.
The film illustrates how antisemitism is being made fashionable at many American universities through the on-going academic delegitimization of Israel and the normalization of hatred in the name of social justice.
An antisemitic message on a whiteboard inside a Jewish student’s dorm room. The message read “Nazi’s Rule,” and was accompanied by a swastika and a drawing of a concentration camp. Source Credit: Minnesota Daily, Feb 9, 2017
February 28, 2017 – UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI COLUMBIA – Two students harassed a Jewish student with antisemitic messages that were both oral statements and written notes, as well as an incident of physical assault. The harassment had been going on since August. According to an article in the Columbia Missourian, the Jewish student “was nicknamed ‘f—ing Jew’ by his roommate and another student and was harassed by them for months after asking them to stop…[the perpetrators] were arrested after posting anti-Semitic quotes in the room the victim shared…including on the ceiling [above the Jewish student’s bed]…in addition [the non-roommate perpetrator] is accused of throwing a water bottle from a vehicle at the [Jewish student’s] head as he was walking on a sidewalk on campus. The bottle hit the [Jewish student’s] head, and [the perpetrator] shouted a slur from the car window.” (TARGETING JEWISH STUDENTS AND STAFF: PHYSICAL ASSAULT; HARASSMENT)
February 27, 2017 – COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY/ BARNARD COLLEGE – As part of “Israeli Apartheid Week,” SJP held the event, “Zionists are Racists.” The description for the event demonized and delegitimized Israel, stating: “In November, 1975 the United Nations passed the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 3379, a resolution that declared ‘Zionism is Racism.’ With the support of newly liberated African nations, the bill recognized the supremacist ideology of the Israeli nation-state that had predicated its settler colony upon racial apartheid and ethnic cleansing. Come learn about Israel’s racist and imperialist policies and…discuss what the BDS struggle looks from the perspective of South Africa.” According to SJP, speaker Barney Pityana from the Black Consciousness Movement and the South African Students’ Organisation delegitimized Israel by falsely accusing the state of “apartheid.” (ANTISEMITIC EXPRESSION: DEMONIZATION; DELEGITIMIZATION; BDS ACTIVITY (BDS EVENT))
February 19, 2017 – DEANZA COLLEGE – Several posters and stickers espousing antisemitic messages were found in three locations, including the S Quad, two in the L Quad and one near the Campus Center. According to a letter by the President to the campus community, “A message on two of the posters repeated the historic lie that has long been the staple of white supremacists and anti-Semites: the astonishing claim that the Holocaust did not happen.” (ANTISEMITIC EXPRESSION: HISTORICAL; ACCUSING JEWS OF INVENTING OR EXAGGERATING THE HOLOCAUST)
February 19, 2017 – UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA TWIN CITIES – An antisemitic flier was found taped to at least three locations on campus. The flier, marked with two swastikas, read: “White man are you sick and tired of the Jews destroying your country through mass immigration and degeneration … join us in the struggle for global white supremacy at the Daily Stormer.” This is one of at least seven cases of antisemitic graffiti or propaganda reported to the university’s Bias Response and Referral Network since the beginning of December. (TARGETING JEWISH STUDENTS AND STAFF: GENOCIDAL EXPRESSION; HISTORICAL)
A vandalized pro-Israel education poster. The poster was vandalized when a man with a hoodie on ran up to the display, yelled “F*** you guys” at the Jewish students, ripped the poster and then ran off. The vandalism occurred the same week that an attempt to have the display removed from campus failed. Source Credit: IsraellyCool, Feb 19, 2017
February 17, 2017 – UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON – A pro-Israel education display promoting peace that was set up by the Coalition of Husky Allies for Israel (CHAI-UW) was vandalized when an individual with a hoodie on ran up to the display, yelled “F*** you guys” at the Jewish students, ripped the poster and then ran off. The vandalism occurred the same week that an attempt to have the display removed from campus failed. (TARGETING JEWISH STUDENTS AND STAFF: DESTRUCTION OF JEWISH PROPERTY; HARASSMENT)
February 16, 2017 – UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON – A student found an antisemitic flier in front of Magnuson Health Sciences Building that said “WE MUST BOYCOTT (((KOSHER TAXATION))). Avoid food brands with these labels [shows all Kosher symbols]. Should 98% of the population pay tribute to an overrepresented, elitist (((2%))) ?” (ANTISEMITIC EXPRESSION: HISTORICAL; BDS ACTIVITY (CALLS FOR BDS))
February 15, 2017 – UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA – A campus vendor on Trousdale Parkway was selling merchandise with swastika symbols. (TARGETING JEWISH STUDENTS AND STAFF: GENOCIDAL EXPRESSION; HISTORICAL)
February 13, 2017 – UCLA – A cartoon was published in the school newspaper, The Daily Bruin, that included demonization based on classic antisemitic tropes that Jews are inherently mendacious and blood thirsty and that suggested the Israeli government was willfully changing the tenets of the Jewish faith to promote its political agenda. The image said, “Israel passes law legalizing seizing any Palestinian land” over an image of the Ten Commandments with “6: Thou shalt not steal” having an “X” over the word “not” and “7: Thou shalt not kill” with a depiction of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying, “#7 is next.” (ANTISEMITIC EXPRESSION: HISTORICAL; DEMONIZATION)
February 13, 2017 – COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY/ BARNARD COLLEGE – In response to an SSI event with Danny Danon, Columbia University Apartheid Divest held a protest entitled “Racists Not Welcome: Protest the Israeli Ambassador at Columbia.” The description for the protest demonized Israel with false accusations of “savage ethnic cleansing of the original inhabitants” that “besieged and bombed the Palestinian people since its inception” and stated, “We do not welcome virulent racists on our campus.” At the protest itself, demonizing and delegitimizing chants of “Stop your murder, stop your hate, Israel is an apartheid state!” and “No peace on stolen land! Justice is our demand!” were heard as some protesters tried to, and eventually succeeded in, breaking into the lecture hall. They were later removed. Additional chants included, “Racists not welcome,” “Danny Danon you can’t hide, we charge you with genocide” and “One, two, three, four, occupation’s gotta go. Five, six, seven, eight, Israel’s an apartheid state.” One sign at the protest called for the right of return, which would effectively eliminate Israel as a Jewish state. According to the Columbia Spectator, Danon was interrupted seven times by protesters in the audience. Protesters stood and chanted phrases such as, “From Palestine to Mexico, border walls have got to go,” and “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” while holding signs reading similar statements. One group of protesters left the room with a large banner that read, “Boycott Israel.” (TARGETING JEWISH STUDENTS AND STAFF: SUPPRESSION OF SPEECH/MOVEMENT/ASSEMBLY; DENYING JEWS SELF-DETERMINATION; DEMONIZATION; DELEGITIMIZATION; BDS ACTIVITY (CALLS FOR BDS))
February 8, 2017 – UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA TWIN CITIES – A Jewish student at the University of Minnesota found an antisemitic message on a whiteboard inside his dorm room. The message read “Nazi’s Rule,” and was accompanied by a swastika and a drawing of a concentration camp. (TARGETING JEWISH STUDENTS AND STAFF: DESTRUCTION OF JEWISH PROPERTY; GENOCIDAL EXPRESSION; HARASSMENT; HISTORICAL)
February 8, 2017 – CENTRAL MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY – A Valentines Day card with antisemitic messages was passed out to students during and following a College Republican Meeting. A former student printed out a meme from online, and put them into Valentine bags of candies and messages that were distributed to members. One member later gave his bag away to other students, who discovered the message. The card had an image of Adolf Hitler and read, “my love for u burns like 6,000 jews [sic]” (TARGETING JEWISH STUDENTS AND STAFF: GENOCIDAL EXPRESSION; HISTORICAL)
February 7, 2017 – UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN – At least three antisemitic and racist emails went to students under a professor or his PhD student‘s name in an apparent hack. One email had the subject “Jewish Student Diversity” and read, “Hi you f—ing filthy jews, I just wanted to say the SS will rise again and kill all of your filthy souls. Die in a pit of eternal fire! Sincerely, Dr. Alex Halderman.” Another email titled “African American Student Diversity,” read: “Hi n*****s, I just wanted to say that I plan to kill all of you. White power! The KKK has returned!!! Heil Trump!!!!” (TARGETING JEWISH STUDENTS AND STAFF: GENOCIDAL EXPRESSION; HISTORICAL)
See all entries HERE with over 1000 antisemitic incidents recorded from 2015 to present.