(Dean Erwin Chemerinsky, UC-Berkeley School of Law)
This time a Democrat has stepped forward on UC Berkeley’s Jewish Free Zones. He’s also pretty much the only pro-Israel Jewish Democrat left in Congress.
“This unacceptable decision comes at a time where antisemitic speech and incidents are on the rise in California and across the country – with antisemitic incidents in 2021 hitting the highest amount ever recorded in the United States. California ranked the third highest in number of antisemitic incidents last year, which of course includes the shocking incident in Spring of 2021 where several people waving Palestinian flags beat diners in a Los Angeles sushi restaurant while chanting “death to Jews” and “Free Palestine.” There have also notably been a flurry of antisemitic incidents across Los Angeles just this week and in Berkeley over the summer,” Rep. Brad Sherman’s statement reads.
“However, the adoption of this bylaw makes it so that many students, particularly Jewish students, will not be able to access student organizations that their tuition funds as a result of those students exercising their free speech rights. As a result, the funding and registered status that Berkeley provides to these student organizations must be made conditional on this discriminatory and antisemitic bylaw being revoked. At a time of rising antisemitism, we must stand firm against attempts to alienate and demonize the Jewish community. I urge Berkeley Law to stand with its Jewish students and cease funding to any student organizations that effectively bar Jewish speakers and students from participating,” his statement concludes.
It’s a strong statement, but avoids actually threatening consequences. Rep. Sherman urges UC Berkeley Law to cut off funding to the campus hate groups involved in this, but fails to do so himself.
And without a consequences process, it’s quite toothless.