A.S. resolution combats anti-Semitism, not free speech
March 16, 2017
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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.