Sunday, March 17, 2013

Anti-Semitism at UCSD

by Peggy Shapiro

On Wednesday night, March 13, the Associated Students at U C San Diego held a secret vote to divest from Israel, and in that action, perhaps ignorantly, took us back in shame almost 80 years to the date (April 1, 1933) when the Nazis came to power and carried out the first nationwide planned action against Jews: a boycott of Jewish businesses. On the day of the boycott, Storm Troopers stood menacingly in front of Jewish-owned shops. The six-pointed "Star of David" was painted in yellow and black across thousands of doors and windows. Signs were posted saying "Don't Buy from Jews" and "The Jews Are Our Misfortune."

The Judenboykott, which kicked off the process of eliminating Jews from German business life and then life itself, began with a campaign of demonization. The Nationalsozialistiche Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (NSDAP) launched propaganda targeted against the Jewish population and the parallels between this Nazi propaganda against the individual Jew is hauntingly similar to the propaganda hurled today against the Jewish State. The Nazi imagery was of diabolic Jews, usurpers of "Aryan" rights, killers of babies and intent on global domination. Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), the group which led the divestment move at SD and other campuses, vilifies Israel as "occupiers" who are waging a "siege" within "Palestinian territories" and targeting Palestinian civilians willfully and with no cause. The Nazis were no less passionate in their baseless lies about individual Jews than these Israel haters are about the Jewish collective.

Just as it would have been insulting to insist that Europe's Jews prove to the world that they have the right to live, so it is beneath contempt to demand that Israel, the only democracy in the region, the only Middle East nation where minority rights are protected, the only army which places robo-calls to hostile civilians before it engages a terrorist hiding in a school or hospital and risks its own soldiers in the process, to again and again and again prove that it is worthy and entitled to protect itself.

I can hear the shrill cry from Israel's detractors in SJP: Israel is "maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group of persons and systematically oppressing them... and practices of racial segregation and apartheid." Preventing facts from influencing their strongly held opinions, they ignore that it is the Palestinians who insisted that not a single living Jew live in Hamas-controlled Gaza and that the "moderate" PA leader Abbas promised that no Israelis, not one, would live in Palestinian state.

Were Israel to announce that it will expel all Arabs, these righteous souls at SJP would scream "Ethnic cleansing." Or is it not a violation of international law and human rights when the victims are Jews?

Just as the Nazi anti-Semitic obsession caused tragedies beyond the initial target, the anti-Israel obsession deflects attention from the real crimes which are taking place in the Middle East: blood is flowing on the streets of Syria as Assad continues his massacre of thousands of his own people, Coptic Christians are fleeing Egypt as their churches are burning, and the hopes and dreams of countless Egyptian women are being crushed under new oppressive laws. For all their devotion to the Palestinians, these students aiding and abetting the PA's corrupt government as it pockets international aid, teaches hate, and guarantees that the next generation won't know peace.

The Nazi boycott was intended to intimidate and make defenseless the Jews of Europe. The strident anti-Israel boycott movement aims to weaken and isolate Israel and intimidate pro-Israel students. Even if the Israel haters have not learned from history, others have, and the students at UCSD are speaking up and standing up for the rights of the Jewish state to live in peace and security and for the campaigns organized by student groups like SJP to stop targeting the one Jewish country according to standards not applied to any other country in the world.

Peggy Shapiro


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

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