Berkeley Hillel’s Betrayal of Israel

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Some may view the attitude of the Berkeley Hillel leadership as cowardly, but the campus chapter has a long history of disdaining pro-Israel activism while leaving an open door for left-wing anti-Israel activism. Kesher Enoshi meetings within Hillel have included Students for Justice in Palestine activists, and the former director of the Berkeley Hillel discouraged students from participating in pro-Israel rallies and even displaying the Israeli flag.

Photos taken this year during Israeli Apartheid Week show Naftalin in conversation with Husam Zakharia who later would go on to assault a pro-Israel student and who had earlier attacked Jewish students during a concert. A number of Berkeley Hillel student leaders, including Avital Aboody and Itamar Haritan, have turned into rabidly anti-Israel activists, with Haritan working together with a major Students for Justice in Palestine figure on a blog demonizing Israel.

Newspapers and magazines have run vocal condemnations of the Jewish Student Union for refusing to bring J Street into the fold. An editorial in the Jewish Weekly called it a hit for democracy, even though the denial of membership was based on a democratic vote and the attacks on it are actually an attack on democracy. At The Atlantic an indignant Jeffrey Goldberg blasted the decision as “appalling” and huffed, “Would the Berkeley Jewish Student Union prefer that they join anti-Zionist organizations?”

But assuming, for the sake of argument, that J Street is not an anti-Zionist organization, the same pipelining that allows Students for Justice in Palestine to use Kesher Enoshi to show up in Hillel and Jewish Voice for Peace to show up at J Street means that the line cannot be drawn only at organizations that actually call for the destruction of Israel, but also at organizations that collaborate with them.

A campus organization that repeatedly collaborated with the KKK and included KKK members in its events would not be able to hide behind the flimsy excuses that J Street, Kesher Enoshi and the Berkeley Hillel use to defend their pipelining of radical anti-Israel extremism to Jewish students. While left-wing pundits bemoan the shrinking “big tent” and wage war on the student democracy of the Jewish Student Union, a tent which includes Kesher Enoshi, J Street and their Jewish Voice for Peace and Students for Justice in Palestine partners, is not a pro-Israel tent. Not by even the lowest standards.

At Haaretz, Bradley Burston complained that the Berkeley JSU has sent the message that “You can be welcomed as a Jew, or you can speak your mind on Israel.” But why shouldn’t there be a consensus that Jewish identity is incompatible with the rejection of the Jewish State? Identities may be diverse and pluralistic, but they cannot be inconsistent with their own nature.

Hillel’s failure to stand up for such a Jewish identity denotes its own failure to come together around a meaningful and consistent Jewish identity. And that failure represents a betrayal of its mission and of the students that depend on it. By endorsing Kesher Enoshi and J Street, the current Berkeley Hillel leadership has shown itself to be as bankrupt as the previous leadership.

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  • Fred Dawes

    That is normal after all our government wants to become part of the muslim world, that is what the one world guys want above all other things.

  • Nakba1948

    Treason to Zionism is loyalty to humanity. The rest of the world sees you people for what you are: the modern incarnation of the Third Reich.

    • River to River

      If Hitler had won, the Mufti was ready to holocaust every Jew from Casablanca to Calcutta. You delude yourself in respect of your level of support. Empty vessels make the most noise.

    • stern

      Ah yes, Nakba1948, we know exactly what you mean. I mean, we see pictures of Palestinians being bundled into trains headed towards concentration camps. We see the selection committees deciding who will live and who will die. We see the poor women, children and men too weak to work, being herded into gas chambers. We watch the bodies of slaughtered Palestinians being piled up awaiting cremation.

      Hang on, what's that you say? How can this be? How can the Palestinian population be one of the fastest growing in the world if Israel is committing genocide and ethnic cleansing against them? How can the Palestinian economy – in the West Bank – be one of the healthiest in the world right now if israel is depriving them of a livelihood? How can Gaza marketplaces be overflowing with fruit and vegetables and Gaza malls be crowded with shoppers if Israel has turned Gaza into "the world's largest open-air prison"?

      It just doesn't make sense, does it Nakba1948? I mean, you'd have to be a raving anti-Semite to claim, against all evidence, that Zionists are "the modern incarnation of the third Reich". So, Nakba1948, are you a raving anti-Semite? Or did you just choose that moniker by mistake?

    • pagegl

      More accurately, treason to Islam is loyalty to humanity.

    • Ted G

      Well I guess your moniker says it all eh! But really, this kind of revisionist propaganda I know does pretty well in the predominantly illiterate islamic countries, but here where people know how to read and research real history it just doesn't wash.
      So based on the fact that you can actually put a sentence together means to me that you are a rabid anti-semite, a liar and a complete fool. And in this case all of these are not mutually exclusive IMHO

    • UCSPanther

      If standing up for Israel makes me a traitor to Humanity as you put it, then so be it.

      Id' rather be a "traitor" than be a latter-day antisemite…

    • jmz

      nakba you are a fool. you are no friend humanity by supporitn islamic terroism. you know NOTHING of anything you speak. the reich was supported by the islamists, so your comparison is laughably ignorant of reality. i stand and fight FOR Israel with pride even as an athiest. you can come and join the right side and the winning side or you can stay in the islamic sewer and remain there with the rest of the sub human palestinain gutter trash you love. either way WE will prevail and you will be relegated as a footnote in history as 1 more evolutionary mistake that was rectified. god bless Zion, God bless Israel!!

  • Northanhymbre Heathen

    Nakba1948 you clearly know nothing about the Third Reich, which is why you're able to make such an outrageous slander against Israel! Fact is that the PA is more like the Third Reich, right down to its support of the fraudulent "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" and desire to exterminate Jews. I swear if I was an Israeli right now I'd be living in a settlement with lots of guns, rocket launchers, gas masks, whatever the hel I could get my hands on to defend myself against these genocidal maniacs!

    • mlcblog

      The Grand Mufti was hooked up with Hitler and designed the concentration camp idea. That is the crux of the Third Reich's force, a part of history that seems to be missing from oh, say the Wikipedia article about the Third Reich. So, I just suggest you do more deep research before you spout off. That old terrorist and Jew hater loved the Protocols.

      • UCSPanther

        I think if it was 1920s right now, we would see Nakba1948 openly rooting for the Nazis.

        They are playing that game now, because Hitler has since been destroyed and exposed for the highly destructive murderer he was, and openly wishing to finish what Hitler started would drive away the useful idiots they rely on so much.

        Its all about optics for these anti-Israel nutters.

  • Dshap

    Interesting the hatred toward Israel. Why is it that ALL of the hateful rhetoric comes from the Palestinian and it's supporters side, and never from the Israeli or it's supporters side? Yes those Zionists must be so evil… I am proud to be Jewish, Zionist, and hopeful of a better world in which my people can someday, live without fear of terrorist bombs falling in their land, Israel The Nation State Of The Jewish People.

  • coyotecanyon

    I gave up trying to understand the whole Jews against Jews bit. I do believe that the ones who are actively helping the bloody hamas or palestians who lost their land through the wars declared against Israel. That's backing the wrong horse..History proves them to be You are like liberals who despise their country and are working to destroy America. with the help of C.A.I.R and academics who wear a mask of intellect. Behind the mask the mind is weak and mean. That's what being passed to our college kids, the occupiers who think they're hot stuff. Some brain cells should occupy their skulls. Jews who support the Palestinians are making their own shackles.

    • mlcblog

      I know, huh? what is with all these young women wearing black and white checkered scarves that resemble terrorist scarves, as if they want genital mutilation and so forth. Ignorant!! and foolish.

  • mlcblog

    What? I think you've got it all backwards. Do some studying, then write here.

    This is to nabka48.

  • Ben

    poor Jewis students intimidated by Muslims,lefists,corrupt Jewish prophessors and charmed with gedonist dreams of the happy future-what he can do?

    • john in cheshire


  • guest

    These cowardly Jew haters don't have the guts to protest against the real evils in the world, so they go after an easy scapegoat – the Jews.

  • Danny

    Anyone can see the current upswing of anti-Semitism and evil in the world today. Academia too appears as the bandleader here in America of anything anti- Israeli. I can't shrug off the apocalyptic vibrations I encounter when I witness this as a Christian. Equally, I cannot disavow my feelings of solidarity for Israel. How, in her wars for independence, been able to resist enemies on all sides, outnumbered, under armed and still be victorious to this day since 1948? As a Christian I see God's plan in this.

  • steven l

    Berkeley Hillel is adopting Islamic modus operandi: Taqiyya.

  • steven l

    Lots of Soros's $ must be flowing into Berkeley.

  • crypticguise

    Doesn't ANYONE in the Jewish Student Community at Berkeley know ANYTHING about Jewish History or the History of Israel? What a bunch of moronic jackasses the Secular Jews of Berkeley and California and the United States have become.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      As the article points out, the Jewish Student Union voted to keep J Street U out

  • BS77

    After 9/11. I saw a guy standing on the off ramp of I -80, the exit that leads to Berkeley and he was holding a sign that read: You are about to leave the United States. It could have just as well read: You are about to enter the twilight zone.

  • UCSPanther

    Berkeley is pretty much the festering hive of where all insane leftist zealotry congregates.

    If you are looking for communism, environmentalism or left-wing antisemitism, you will be sure to find it in Berkeley, California.

  • FriendofGaryCooper

    The Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity Movement? What's that? Isn't Sheikh Jarrah the place where 80 Jewish doctors and nurses were murdered, on their way to the Hadassah hospital, in April 1948? Yes, it is. And to think now that there is a JEWISH group that says Jews don't have a right to live in Jerusalem. According to J Street, Jews should go back to living in European ghettos, at the mercy of every corrupt ruler that comes down the pike. I have a suggestion for them–go live in Egypt or Turkey, and see how long they stay; and see if they don't gain an appreciation for Israel.

  • BS77

    Bezerkley, home of the far left has not changed much…..street people, the occupy movement with their little dirty tent villages, bongos and bongs, hippies , pierced and tatooed wacko activists, nut cases, loony Marxist professors…'s a buffet of everything the left stands for…..anarchy, disorder, unemployment, entitlements, freebies, loitering, vagrancy, idiocy…..etc etc