In Their Own Words:UC Students Speak Out About Antisemitism
New AMCHA Website Created at Behest of Jewish Students
“I’m in a Jewish interest sorority and during divestment we’re encouraged not to wear [our sorority] letters because a few times people have come up to sisters during divestment and have started heckling them about BDS stuff.”
“During BDS I actually avoid Hillel, the quad, and even my sorority because I just really don’t want to have to deal with how unsafe campus feels during that time.”
“I have been called an ‘Israeli terrorist’ and ‘Dirty Jew’ many times.”
“I was physically assaulted in an elevator in 2013. I heard my friend get called a ‘Zionist kike’ by SJP. Today I was called a ‘kike’ on campus by SJP. My two female friends and I were shoved to the ground and physically assaulted at our own Israel event in 2014…I am afraid to be on this campus.”
“Any time a BDS activity occurs on campus, the amount of swastikas found in libraries has gone up.”
“Whenever BDS presents the divestment resolution on campus, the entire campus climate changes…My anxiety increases three fold and I genuinely experience PTSD after the meeting.”
“These activities introduce a bias in people’s views of Judaism and blame Jews for actions they aren’t responsible for. It’s the night of the broken glass all over again…”
As the University of California (UC) continues to grapple with how to address the recent rise of antisemitism on campus, AMCHA Initiative unveiled a website that chronicles the personal accounts of Jewish students’ experiences of antisemitism at UC.
AMCHA created the website at the behest of UC Jewish students. Many students reported not being able to attend the UC Regents working group public forum on this issue in October but wanted a way to have input into the Statement Against Intolerance being developed by the Regents.
The testimonials demonstrate unequivocally that all Jewish students are targeted, regardless of their feelings on Israel, and that anti-Israel and BDS campaigns have gone far beyond scholarly debate and criticism directly into hate and antisemitism.
More than 70 students have already submitted testimonials. A list of student quotes to date can be viewed here. More are being added regularly. The website will remain open to students who would like to share experiences.
TAKE ACTION: Please share this website with your family, friends and networks. Let these brave student testimonials be distributed widely in order that the Jewish community and its supporters can gain a greater awareness of the deteriorating campus climate for Jewish students at the University of California, and understand the importance of UC’s adoption of the State Department definition of antisemitism to curb the rise in anti-Jew hatred.
Campus Antisemitism Round-Up: Snapshot of Recent Incidents across the Country
11/10/15- JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY – About a dozen students signed a letter protesting an event with Alan Dershowitz specifically because of his support for Israel, asking the University to condemn his views and his support for Israel.
11/8/15 – UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA SANTA CRUZ – SJP interrupted a Slugs for Israel tabling event with a die-in, where cardboard signs read, “Why Can’t Israel Colonize Palestine in Peace?” and “Resistance is Not Terrorism.”
11/5/15 – GOUCHER COLLEGE – Anti-Israel protesters disrupted a Hillel event. One attendee posted about the disruption on Facebook stating, “We were attacked and we were bullied.”
11/3/15 – UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA – SJP conspired and successfully disrupted a talk by Israeli Professor Moshe Halbertal. Three protestors were arrested. SJP posted a message on its Facebook page making clear that it viewed the disruption as part of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.
11/3/15 – UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN – A vigil on campus included remarks encouraging vigil attendees to boycott Israel.
11/1/15 – UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS – UT’s Palestine Solidarity Committee posted a Facebook page, “Solidarity with the Palestinian Uprising: Call to Action!” to “defend the Palestinian homeland” which stated, “We affirm support for the Palestinian resistance, that it will ensure Palestine’s survival and will ultimately deliver the Palestinian revolution. Long Live the Resistance! Long Live the Intifada!”
11/1/15 – DUKE UNIVERSITY – SJP at Duke University participated in a rally in Durham with chants of “Free, free Palestine!” and “From Durham to Gaza, globalize the Intifada!”
10/30/15 – OBERLIN COLLEGE – Students for a Free Palestine asked the Board of Trustees to divest from companies invested in Israel. The board replied that they will not pass it because SFP failed to provide proof the student body was united on the issue.
10/29/15 – TUFTS UNIVERSITY – SJP disrupted a Friends of Israel “Taste of Israel” event with signs declaring “Taste of Israeli Occupation” and “Don’t dip into apartheid”. An SJP member claimed, “The disruption of this event is the purpose.”
10/28/15 – UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MILWAUKEE – A rally was held on campus, in which students then marched through the university’s student union chanting “Israel, Israel what do you say, how many kids have you killed today?” and “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!”
10/24/15 – UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI – Residential Life staff found feces smeared in the shape of a swastika on the floor and wall of a bathroom in Gateway Hall.
10/14/15 – UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA DAVIS – SJP coordinated an “International Day of Action for Palestine” which included chants of “Intifada, Intifada, we support the Intifada.”
10/14/15 – UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA BERKELEY – SJP coordinated an “International Day of Action for Palestine” which included chants of “Intifada, Intifada we support the Intifada”, “From the River to the Sea, Palestine Will be Free” and “Netanyahu what do you say? How many kids have you killed today?”
ARTICLES ABOUT OUR EFFORTS:
Algemeiner – 11/11/15 –
Campus Group Gathers Testimonials from UC Students Experiencing Antisemitism
Jewish Press – 11/10/15 –
New Website Chronicles Personal Accounts of UC Jewish Students’ Encounters with Anti-Semitism
LA Daily News – 11/9/15 –
Anti-Semitism issue becomes test for UC President Janet Napolitano: Thomas Elias
The Maneater – 11/8/15 –
36 organizations request Loftin to acknowledge anti-Semitism
Columbia Missourian – 11/7/15 –
MU chancellor: ‘We will not tolerate bigotry or hatred of any kind on our campus’
KOMU Channel 8 – 11/6/15 –
Loftin expresses “horror and anger” over swastika on campus
Jewish Journal – 11/4/15 –
The UC’s new dilemma: to name or not to name
Daily Nexus – 10/29/15 –
UC Regents Discuss, Define Anti-Semitism
600 KOGO – 10/28/15 –
Survey Finds That Majority of Jewish UC Students are Affected by Antisemitism
See a full list of articles HERE