Nine out of the 40 colleges named in a Jewish news organization’s list of the “worst college campuses for Jewish students in the nation” are located in California.
They are: UCLA (#6), San Francisco State University (#10), Unievrsity of California Berkeley (#12), UC Irvine (#18), San Diego State University (#19), Stanford University (#20), UC Santa Cruz (#24) and UC Davis (#29). New York’s Columbia University and Vassar College top the list in first and second place, respectively.
According to Algemeiner, their “goal in the publication of this list is first and foremost to draw attention to the problem of rising hostility faced by many Jewish students on campus today.”
The publication notes that “[i]nclusion on this list by no means stands as an indictment of the Jewish resources and often fine work being done by Jewish groups on many of these campuses. It indicates rather that these are the schools where antisemitic and anti-Israel hostility and intimidation have been greatest in frequency and intensity, posing the strongest challenges for Jewish students and faculty.”
Some of the antisemitic incidents which took place on California campuses include events earlier this month at UCLA. Algemeiner notes that the campus “Students for Justice in Palestine chapter screened a documentary that promoted ‘centuries-old antisemitic conspiracy theories’ about Jews and Zionists controlling the media.” In February 2015, a Jewish UCLA student, Rachel Beyda, was rejected from her candidacy for a student office by four of 14 members of the student council, allegedly based solely on her religious affiliation. After a faculty member intervened, Beyda was eventually elected to join the board by a unanimous vote.
This past April, anti-Israel activists at San Francisco State University prevented Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat from addressing an audience at the school.
In March 2015, Stanford University student Molly Horowitz was asked whether her Jewish faith would affect her ability to serve in the student Senate. “Given your strong Jewish identity, how would you vote on divestment?” she was asked.
At UC Berkeley, a student-run course advocating for the destruction of the state of Israel was suspended before being reinstated. The course was titled, “Palestine: A Settler Colonial Analysis.” Professor Hatem Bazian, “a well-known anti-Zionist activist who is also the chairman of American Muslims for Palestine” and a co-founder of the anti-Israel Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), is a senior lecturer at UC Berkeley.
In 2010, then-Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren was disrupted by Muslim students at UC Irvine who were looking to silence him, leading to several arrests. Breitbart News also broke a national news story about UC Irvine last year about members of the university’s student government voting to ban the American flag from their building’s lobby because it “triggered” hurt feelings among illegal aliens.
Breitbart News reported in June this year on a study released by the campus watchdog AMCHA Initiative that detailed an alarming spike in campus antisemitism during the first half of 2016, and specifically nearly 100 more additional incidents of anti-Zionism — hatred for the Jewish state of Israel — during that time period compared with the same period of time last year.
Despite these and other incidents, Michael Rabkin — who serves as the executive direct of San Diego’s local Hillel chapter — wrote on Facebook that the list was “absurd because there is no credible method for generating such a list. What purpose does it serve, I wonder?”
This past April, students bullied and trapped San Diego State University’s Jewish President Elliot Hirshman in a police vehicle and accused him of not doing enough to protect Muslim students on campus who were named in a poster as supporters of terrorism.
Some of the demonstrators performed Muslim prayers outside the police vehicle in which they had trapped Hirshman.
Algemeiner has also published a supplementary list of the “15 Best Campuses for Jewish Students.”
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