Nine student groups at the University of California Berkeley Law School have banned any speakers that support Israel or Zionism, meaning that the overwhelming majority of Jews will be excluded from addressing those groups.
Civil rights attorney Kenneth L. Marcus noted in the Jewish Journal that the new “progressive” policy, on the campus that gave rise to the Free Speech Moment in the 1960s, amounts to an effective policy of antisemitism, and creates what are effectively “Jewish-free zones” at a public university.
Marcus wrote Sep. 28:
Nine different law student groups at the University of California at Berkeley’s School of Law, my own alma mater, have begun this new academic year by amending bylaws to ensure that they will never invite any speakers that support Israel or Zionism. And these are not groups that represent only a small percentage of the student population. They include Women of Berkeley Law, Asian Pacific American Law Students Association, Middle Eastern and North African Law Students Association, Law Students of African Descent and the Queer Caucus. Berkeley Law’s Dean Erwin Chemerinsky, a progressive Zionist, has observed that he himself would be banned under this standard, as would 90% of his Jewish students.
These exclusions reflect the changing face of campus antisemitism. The highest profile incidents are no longer just about toxic speech, which poisons the campus environment.
Now anti-Zionist groups target Jewish Americans directly.
A recent survey of the American Jewish Committee found that over 80% of American Jewish millennials believe that Israel is at least somewhat important to the survival of the Jewish people worldwide.
Some of the bans by anti-Israel groups are ironic. Israel is the only country in the Middle East to recognize LGBTQ rights, for example, and it is also the only country in the world to airlift Africans, en masse, to freedom and citizenship, as Israel has done with Ethiopian Jews.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.