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A.S. resolution combats anti-Semitism, not free speech

Talia Raoufpur, Staff Columnist

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A resolution has been submitted to Associated Students by the Jewish Student Union calling for the elimination of any form of anti-Semitic propaganda at San Diego State.

A certain student group has objected to the resolution, claiming it inhibits free speech. According to critics, the resolution condemns any form of criticism towards the nation of Israel.

This is untrue.

It does not discourage students from being critical of the Israeli government, but condemns students who make anti-Semitic claims in the process. It criticizes anti-Israel tactics used by certain groups on campus who support the anti-Semitic BDS movement.

The double standard applied to the state of Israel has never been more evident. Criticism of the country often results in the propagation of the anti-Israeli movement, which is founded on underlying ideas of anti-Semitism.

For example, the so-called “apartheid” walls previously displayed by the BDS campaign on campus used graphic images depicting Israelis and Zionists as murderers who terrorize Palestinian families. One wall equated Jews with Israelis.

If the BDS movement is not anti-Semitic, why would the Jewish people be included in this political and economic campaign against Israel?

Omar Barghouti, co-founder of the BDS movement, has used his platform to promote anti-Semitism and the elimination of a nation for the Jewish people.

Barghouti has said he opposes the state of Israel.

“(Only) a sellout Palestinian would accept a Jewish state in Palestine,” he said.

Barghouti has relentlessly promoted BDS’s ultimate goal — to eliminate the state of Israel and eradicate the existence of a Jewish nation.

The resolution before A.S. states that “its only purpose is to define the line between civil, academic debate and hate speech.”

There have been several anti-Semitic attacks against Jewish students at SDSU during the last few years.

A post on Yik Yak said “Israeli apartheid is far worse than Hitler’s regime. Hitler was trying to save his people from the horrible conditions laid upon them by the west. Israel blindly murders based on racist ideology.”

In October 2015, during the National Students for the Justice in Palestine conference, a Jewish woman was harassed on the bridge connected to the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union for wearing a Star of David around her neck.

In September 2016, author Miko Peled was invited to speak at SDSU by an anti-Israel student organization despite his public references to Jews on social media as “sleazy thieves.”

The invitation was rescinded under public pressure.

At the A.S. presidential debate, candidate Ben Delbick — who is Jewish, and serves as president of the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity —was describing his stance on BDS and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

A male can be heard shouting “bomb them!”

This resolution is to ensure that incidents like this should not occur on our campus again and that the Jewish community on campus feels safe and secure. It would help ensure the campus community understands how dangerous anti-Semitic undertones of the BDS movement are.

The issue here is not free speech. The issue is that too often, at SDSU and on college campuses, the BDS movement demonizes and holds the Jewish state to double standards. The movement functions as a vehicle for anti-Semitism.

The Jewish community understands the tropes that are invoked when Israelis and Zionists are categorized as blood-thirsty murderers who terrorize Palestinian families. It understands why the world’s only Jewish state is disproportionately condemned and delegitimized in the halls of college campuses and the U.N. They understand the terrifying, anti-Semitic subtext behind the slogan “From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be free.”

It is impossible to divorce the BDS movement from its anti-Semitic foundations.

After years of being ignored and unacknowledged at SDSU, anti-Semitism must be combated. This campus needs a resolution and greater attention towards an increasingly popular social issue now, at a time when anti-Semitism is being espoused by the political left and right. It is an issue concerning college campuses nationwide and SDSU must take a firm stand.

Talia Raoufpur is a third-year psychology major minoring in communications. Connect with her on Facebook.

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5 Comments

5 Responses to “A.S. resolution combats anti-Semitism, not free speech”

  1. Oday Yousif on March 16th, 2017 12:30 pm

    I think this opinion piece is as classic of an example of a logical fallacy as they come. Your opinion that BDS is anti-semetic is the assumption you made to justify the headline but the debate you have is about BDS, not the resolution. It’s like saying your article is titled “Why Global Warminh is Fake” by making the assumption that all climate scientists are liars because a couple of them forged data. The two aren’t compatible in what is meant to be a coherent piece of writing. Have a debate about wether BDS is anti-Semetic, but to make the assumption as a basis for the argument is not only logical malpractice, but a disservice to the debate that campus community should be having on the subject.

    [Reply]

  2. Jack on March 16th, 2017 3:45 pm

    Without a doubt, BDS promotes violent and regressive viewpoints, but the argument in this piece is very weak. There’s a general explanation of antisemitism on campus and a claim that antisemitic speech should be stopped, but zero acknowledgement of the opposition. The opponents of this resolution are not opposing it because they want to spread antisemitic hate, they oppose it because censoring free speech (even speech we all disagree with) is a slippery slope and leads to fascism. The author pushes a one-sided argument, associates the entire opposition with a single racist person in the crowd, and completely ignores the debate about free speech. Weak.

    [Reply]

  3. Theodore Herzl on March 16th, 2017 3:46 pm

    Calling an organisation full of semites, anti-semitic is a special kind of stupid.

    [Reply]

    robert carande Reply:

    Theodore,
    In the West “anti semite” means “anti Jewish”. Its not to be taken literally as being opposed to people who speak Semitic languages.

    [Reply]

  4. Nancy Havernick on March 24th, 2017 7:09 am

    I am a big supporter of free speech, which seems to be in peril on many college campuses, today, as it seems to apply only to the speech of some. The author is not asking to shut down free speech, only to refrain from threats and intimidation. Change the object in some of the threats hurled at Jews and Israel. We would not tolerate that behavior aimed at black students, students of color, or LGBT students, and rightly so. Why should Jewish students be the only un-safe group on campus?

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