UC Berkeley's Jewish censorship – at taxpayer cost - The Jewish Voice
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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

UC Berkeley’s Jewish censorship – at taxpayer cost

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It is so frustrating to live in California and know that the state is using my tax money to discriminate and, in fact, to indoctrinate our children. California schools, at every level of education, are filled with far-left indoctrination – our children are the innocent victims, and we’re paying for it.

The latest revelation of what they’re doing is the report that the University of California at Berkeley has nine student groups that have adopted a policy that prohibits people who support Israel from speaking at any of their events, whether on or off campus.

Given that the campus was the home of “free speech” for years, since the riots of the ’60s, it’s not only surprising this has been announced but that it has the support of many faculty members.

So much for the historic demonstrations in support of free speech.

According to Robert Spencer, the director of Jihad Watch, the dean of Berkeley Law, Erwin Chemerinsky, responded to the announcement and report in the media by carefully saying, “It is troubling to broadly exclude a particular viewpoint from being expressed.”

No kidding.

The bylaw, adopted by a pro-Palestinian campus group involving the nine campus organizations, aims to stop the spread of Zionist beliefs. The goal is to end invitations to speakers “who have expressed interest in views that support Zionism, the apartheid state of Israel and the occupation of Palestine.”

It’s interesting that they feel they have the right to decide what other people have a right to know.

Given the way conservative speakers have been treated on the Berkeley campus – if they even get an invitation to speak there – it shouldn’t surprise anyone that if you are a conservative of any stripe, you are not welcome. Not only can’t you speak there, you’re not invited in the first place.

What is most surprising to the public is that while these are not the official positions of the faculty, the university has not taken a position on the situation. In other words, by ignoring it, UC Berkeley avoids any involvement in the decision. The problem is basic: Pro-Israel speakers are shut out, anti-Israel speakers are OK.

Given that the Berkeley campus is part of the University of California system – a state supported educational facility – it is a real problem that it openly is supporting what amounts to anti-Semitism.

Are they creating “Jewish-Free Zones”? Chemerinsky says “no” because so far, it is only words; no one has been excluded. In fact, he claims that the students are just declaring their free-speech rights.

Apparently, it is being accepted that anti-Semitism is OK on campus because students, and faculty who agree with them, are just speaking “freely.” It is their right. It makes you wonder what other groups they could exclude that would be seen as permissible.

The bottom line to all of this that can’t be avoided is that they are doing this on a campus that is supported by taxpayer money. One wonders how California citizens feel about this tax-supported anti-Semitism. I doubt it would be approved if put to a vote.

While most would think that this decision is the result of just a random group of students, it is more than that. Kenneth Marcus, in the Jewish Journal, pointed out that the decision is supported by a group of campus organizations across a wide area of interests – and I might add, political views. Among them are “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.”

The diversity of these groups shows the kind of political thinking behind the decision to ban Israeli supporters as speakers on campus. What’s interesting is that the pro-Israeli groups do not have a right to free speech but the anti-Israeli groups do. How does that work?

None of this should surprise anyone who is concerned about the influence of the left in teaching our children on the college campus – or any campus, for that matter. Some might say they are being brainwashed, and that’s not far from the truth.

In fact, in my opinion, they are exactly right.

It’s too bad that the reality of what is happening on campuses is not given more publicity in the media. But then, the media are trapped on the left as well, so the result is virtual silence.

It’s an educational tragedy that comes at a high price.

Follow Barbara Simpson on Facebook.


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