Middle East studies in the News
From Berkeley To Europe: The Normalization Of Anti-Semitism [incl. Hatem Bazian]
by Abraham H. Miller
When French lawyer Alexis Dubruel attempted to disqualify jurist Albert Levy, because he is a Jew, from presiding over a case, the French Bar Association came down on Dubruel's naked anti-Semitism and disbarred him.
But in Berkeley, California, when Councilwoman Cheryl Davila required a litmus test on Israel from the city's Jewish Commissioner of Transportation — which he failed and for which he claims he was subsequently fired — there were no consequences. Councilwoman Davilla made some vapid comments about support for the Palestinians and that was the end of the matter.
Given the nature of Berkeley politics, there is little doubt that her decision was cheered by the city's progressive forces, which have discovered that cloaking themselves in the garb of anti-Zionism conveniently masks their anti-Semitism.
Just up the street on the University of California, Berkeley campus, lecturer Hatem Bazian, director of Cal's Islamophobia Project, had been tweeting anti-Semitic tropes reminiscent of Der Stürmer.
Days later, he issued an apology that to many sounded more like a justification.
Had any faculty member disseminated similar material about any other group, he or she would be facing a rather harsh conversation with a member of the administration and reminded of the institution's commitment to diversity and inclusion. But when it comes to anti-Semitism, such conversations seldom occur.
In 2015, UCLA student Rachel Beyda was initially turned down for a position in student government after questions were raised as to whether her Jewish faith and involvement in Jewish organizations would bias her decision-making.
Had such questions been asked of a Muslim student, the Muslim Student Association and its progressive allies would have screamed Islamophobia, and the administration would have been required to hold sensitivity sessions on the issue.
Across the globe, it is this green-red alliance that is the major purveyor of anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism — not Islamophobia — is the most common hate crime in America based on religious targeting.
The rising trend in European anti-Semitism correlates with the increased importation of Muslim migrants from North Africa and the Middle East, with survey after survey showing that the more devout Muslims are, the more likely they are to be anti-Semites.
In October of 2017, three students known for their pro-Jewish views were kicked off the board of Montreal's McGill University's student government.
In France and Italy, Jewish institutions now require military-style security. The Great Synagogue in Florence, Italy is surrounded by barbed wire, patrolled by military guards, and requires entrance through a security system common at airports.
In Malmo, Sweden, faced with abuse from Muslim migrants, half the Jewish population has emigrated. In Manchester, England, with the second largest Jewish population in the United Kingdom, terrorist attacks on the continent engender heightened security measures in Jewish neighborhoods and around Jewish schools. Throughout London and Manchester, incidents of anti-Semitism are rising to unprecedented levels. But in the U.K., there is a calculated and conspicuous reluctance to note that Muslims are responsible for this rise in anti-Semitism.
In Toulouse, France, Abdelghani Merah testified at the trial of his brother Abdelkader Merah, who murdered three Jewish schoolchildren and a teacher in 2012, that in his home he was taught to hate Jews and anything that was not Muslim. More astounding than the testimony was the joy that fellow Muslims expressed to the Merah family over the murders, regretting that Abdelkader had not killed more Jewish children.
Eventually hatred leads to incitement and incitement leads to murder. The normalization of anti-Semitism displayed in the last several months in Berkeley and elsewhere will inevitably have the same consequences for the Jewish community in America that it is having throughout Western Europe.
In the meantime, the American Jewish community is obsessed with associating anti-Semitism with the Right, forgetting that it is not French nationalists that are murdering Jewish children and having their crimes celebrated with the aspiration that past crimes will lead to greater crimes in the future.Note: Articles listed under "Middle East studies in the News" provide information on current developments concerning Middle East studies on North American campuses. These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch's critique.
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