Liberal California geographer Joel Kotkin warns that growing antisemitism at University of California campuses is part of a disturbing global trend towards increasing bigotry from the political left.
Though there is still antisemitism on the political right, Kotkin notes that “in recent years, anti-Semitism and, particularly, anti-Zionism have shifted ever more to the Left.” He adds: “Anti-Semitism on American college campuses, including those of the University of California, has become ever more evident.”
Several recent examples of campus antisemitism include the appearance of swastika graffiti at a Jewish fraternity at UC Davis, and the initial exclusion of a Jewish student from a UCLA campus judicial board solely on the basis of her religion. Often, discrimination and hatred towards Jewish students is associated with anti-Israel hostility on campus.
Kotkin notes that such incidents are part of a growing worldwide movement that goes far beyond criticism of Israeli policies and attacks Israel’s very existence, and Jews themselves. In Europe in particular, boycott and divestment movements are gaining steam, as political parties are increasingly under pressure to appease a restive and growing Muslim population. The British Labor Party recently elected Israel-hater Jeremy Corbyn as its new leader.
In the U.S., Kotkin predicts that Jews will become more conservative, although the Jewish vote will remain divided, rather than shifting to Republicans. Much, he says, depends on the growth of the Orthodox Jewish community, as well as the influence of non-Jewish spouses in intermarried families–an increasingly important demographic.
“Jews may never become a core constituency of the political Right, but the days when they automatically supported the latest fetishes of the Left may also be coming to an end,” he concludes.