Support for Anti-Semites on Campus

The American Association of University Professors’ latest newsletter features an attack by AAUP President Cary Neslon and the president of the American Jewish Committee, Kenneth Stern on Jewish students defending themselves from anti-Semitic attacks by seeking the protections of Title VI legislation.

According to these gentlemen,  the path these targets of anti-Semitic attacks have taken “undermines academic freedom” because it’s an attack on speech. According to Nelson and Stern — two Jews who are showing how much they care about “the Other” — these students “are making the situation worse by distorting the provisions of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and what has been called the working definition of anti-Semitism.” (Hat Tip: Benjamin Saidel.)

Opposing anti-Israel events, statements, and speakers, they believe the only way to “protect” Jewish students is by “imposing censorship.”

I don’t remember Nelson and Stern issuing a protest when Columbia university — and the campus left — reacted to a noose being tied on an African American professor’s office door at Columbia University or any of the campus incidents regarded as “racist” that were directed at speech or frat parties with poorly chosen themes. Apparently, only Jews can’t be offended by verbal attacks on them such as the anti-Israel and anti-Jewish hate weeks that have been sponsored by the Muslim Students Associations on campuses across the country.

However, in their haste to blame the Jewish victims, Nelson and Stern aren’t even accurate in their description of the cases that have been brought under Title VI. Here is a description of the Berkeley incident by Kenneth Marcus, the attorney for Jessica Felder, the student attacked at the University of California:

“One day last March Jessica Felber, then 20, a Jewish undergraduate at the University of California at Berkeley, was standing on her campus, holding a placard bearing the words: “Israel Wants Peace.”  At that moment, Husam Zakaria, a Berkeley student leader of Students for Justice in Palestine, reportedly rammed Felber from behind so hard with a loaded shopping cart that she had to be taken to the university’s urgent medical care facility.  This violent episode has become sadly emblematic of a wave of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic incidents that have rippled across the country, nowhere more so than in the “Golden State,” which has become an epicenter for the New Anti-Semitism in America.  What makes this case different is that Felber fought back, charging this month in a federal lawsuit that UC Berkeley has ignored mounting evidence of anti-Jewish animus and should be held liable for the injuries she suffered.  Her  suit also contends that “physical intimidation and violence were frequently employed as a tactic by SJP and other campus groups in an effort to silence students on campus who support Israel.”