What are we to make of the fact that a student leader at San Francisco State University feels comfortable holding up a blade on a social media page calling for the murder of Jews in Israel?
Much like SFSU President, Les Wong, I am not sure just what to make of this story, either.
G-d knows that he doesn’t have much of a clue and who can blame him?
There are a number of people seeking to pressure Professor Wong into standing against violent threats toward minority students on his campus.
Tammi Benjamin, of the University of California, Santa Cruz, and the ACHMA Initiative seems to be taking the lead and “Dusty” at Pro-Israel Bay Bloggers put up a website devoted entirely to SFSU and its ongoing reputation for hostilities toward the Jewish State of Israel. The Elder of Ziyon has also showed considerable interest and linked to one of my posts at the Times of Israel with the exceedingly sad title, “Canned Palestinian Children Meat.”
Jews are in an uproar!
It seems to me that what we want is for the Office of the President of SFSU to do a tad more than merely express disturbance and dismay.
I do not believe for one second that the tiny Jewish population at San Francisco State will be threatened by violence by Arab organizations or anyone else. I was there, on and off, between 1996 and 2001 and never – not ever – felt physically threatened for being either Jewish or a friend of Israel.
This, I have to say, was my experience and it was certainly not an experience shared by all Jewish students there. I saw with my own eyes Jewish students backed up against the wall at the Malcolm X Plaza at SFSU directly threatened by violence and, I know from direct reports, that such behavior continued into 2002.
What we are looking at now, however, is not so much the likelihood of some Jewish kid getting punched in the nose for standing up for his people, but the manner in which hatred is spread toward Jews, more generally.
That’s really the point.
What we saw at SFSU on November 7th, when GUPS handed out flyers proclaiming that “My heroes have always killed colonizers,” is a part of an ongoing campaign of hatred and defamation that is at its most intense within the Arab-Muslim Middle East, has considerable following throughout Europe, and has the backing of some colleges in the United States, such as SFSU, who apparently cannot bring themselves to understand that generalized hostility toward Jews, including Israeli Jews, is perhaps not really in the interest of human rights or social justice.
It is not surprising that GUPS, in its defense of itself, cited “justice” as its primary concern:
We are proud to continue the rich legacy of justice-centered student activism at SFSU. GUPS has historically stood for justice in/for Palestine and has linked our struggle with that of all people’s struggles for self-determination, justice and peace.
The problem, of course, is that the above statement is simply false.
GUPS has not linked its struggle with that of all people’s struggles for self-determination, justice and peace because it has quite clearly eliminated the Jewish people from that category.
What GUPS fails to understand is that the Jewish people were subject to 1,300 hundred years of second and third class citizenship under the boot of Arab-Muslim imperialism. Once we freed ourselves from that abuse the Jewish minority faced an ongoing war against them by the great Arab majority that continues to this day.
What the Jews of the Middle East want is nothing so much as to be left in peace so that they can go about their business of exporting computer technology, medical technology, and Natalie Portmans out into the world.
What they want is to be free of this never-ending harassment and once that harassment stops you can be sure that the check-points will come down and the security fence will be dismantled.
It is the anti-Semitic Muslim majority in the Middle East that created Fortress Israel.
Michael Lumish is the editor of Israel Thrives.