March 4, 2024 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Are Anti-Semitism, Out-Of-State Tuition Linked?:

There is no doubt dependence on the higher tuition paid by out-of-state and foreign students has become established policy at the University of California. Now some believe this may be leading to the unintended consequence of an upsurge of anti-Semitism on campuses like Berkeley, Davis, UCLA and Riverside.

The university says no. “I don’t think there’s any link,” maintains Dianne Klein, media relations director for UC’s central office. “There’s been no huge influx of students from countries where anti-Semitism is official policy.”

No? Between 2001 and 2013, the number of UC graduate students from Iran – where a mantra in public schools reportedly has students daily reciting “Death to America, Death to Israel!” – rose from six to 113. Plus, last fall’s enrollees included 74 undergraduates from Saudi Arabia, 53 from Turkey and 51 from Pakistan, to name a few countries where anti-Semitism is common.

There is no doubt that as the number of foreign students at UC has risen, with administrators exploiting the $23,000 annual difference between out-of-state tuition and what California residents pay, the so-called BDS movement (boycott, divest and sanction) against Israel has become more active on many campuses. Student governments at Berkeley, UCLA and Davis all have voted to demand that university regents and faculty boycott Israel, divest from companies doing business there and set up economic sanctions against it. There was a similar vote at Stanford University this spring.

No one asks their nationality at demonstrations, but almost invariably, campus BDS leaders have Muslim-oriented names.

So far, no university governing board has bought into their demands.

Students conducting anti-Israel rallies and demonstrations deny anti-Semitism, although their efforts have included checkpoints on some campuses where camouflage-clad students toting mockup machine guns stopped and frisked anyone they thought looked Jewish.

And outright anti-Semitism has followed quickly after heated debates over the anti-Israel student senate votes. At UCLA, student government members questioned the ability of a Jewish student to serve impartially on a judicial board and voted her down. Later, they were shamed into reversing that vote.

At Davis, vandals defaced a Jewish fraternity house with swastikas and other anti-Semitic graffiti shortly after the BDS debate. A few weeks after the debate at Stanford, swastikas were swabbed onto the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house, not a Jewish one, and two other residences.

Stanford also saw a minority student coalition question a student government candidate about being Jewish, then choose not to endorse her, all the while denying anti-Semitism.

Imagine the reaction if anyone set up checkpoints blocking and frisking black, Latino or Asian students or if elected student officials questioned Baptists or Muslims about their ability to be objective and fair. The outcry would be enormous, but it was muted after these outright examples of anti-Semitism.

Ironically, this all comes after a Pew Research Center study found 63 percent of Americans view the Jewish religion favorably, the highest rating for any religion. Protestant Christianity in that survey got a 61 percent favorable rating and the Mormon faith 46 percent positive.

But the on-campus scene has grown serious enough that UC President Janet Napolitano felt impelled to issue the first formal statement ever by a UC president condemning anti-Semitism. “Anti-Semitic incidents…will not be tolerated,” she said. “They deserve our condemnation.”

It all makes some wonder whether the upsurge of campus anti-Semitism is linked to greater numbers of students from strongly anti-Israel countries, including Malaysia, which sent 164 undergraduates to UC last fall.

“We’ve had a real concern that the influx of students from countries where anti-Semitism is rampant will spill over into action toward Jewish students,” said Tammy Rossman-Benjamin a UC Santa Cruz lecturer and founder of the Amcha Initiative, a non-profit organization that documents and combats campus anti-Semitism.

The pro-Israel organization Stand With Us reports most on-campus anti-Israel activity is organized by Students for Justice in Palestine, a national group with local chapters. “It is coordinated nationally and we think the funding comes from abroad,” said Roz Rothstein, CEO of Stand With Us.

Christians United for Israel, composed mostly of evangelicals, calls what’s happening “a dark movement,” that “bullies and intimidates Jewish students.”

No doubt some of this activity would have hit California campuses even without their need for foreign tuition money. From all appearances, though, one unintended consequence is that the phenomenon is more intense than it otherwise would be.

in Opinion
Related Posts

S.M.a.r.t Column: Five Saving Historic Santa Monica

March 3, 2024

March 3, 2024

Our beloved City is surrounded by many threats, from sea level rise to homelessness, to housing affordability, to cancerous overdevelopment,...

S.M.a.r.t Column: Gelson’s Looms Large

February 22, 2024

February 22, 2024

Our guest column this week is by SMCLC (the Santa Monica Coalition for a Livable City). SMCLC is a well-established...

S.M.a.r.t Column: Top Toady Town

February 18, 2024

February 18, 2024

Throughout history, from the ancient Romans and Assyrians to Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, siege warfare has served as an...

S.M.a.r.t Column: The Sunset of Home Ownership

February 11, 2024

February 11, 2024

We are watching the sunset of our historical and cultural American dream of home ownership as we now are crossing...

SMa.r.t. Column: B(U)Y RIGHT

February 4, 2024

February 4, 2024

“By Right” state housing laws that give developers, in certain projects, the ability to ignore codes ‘by right.’ Well, that...

S.M.a.r.t  Column: Serf City

January 28, 2024

January 28, 2024

Homelessness is a problem in California, and nowhere is this more evident than in our fair city, where the unhoused...

S.M.a.r.t  Column: Bond Fatigue

January 22, 2024

January 22, 2024

Last week’s SMart article,  described two critical problems faced by our Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD): the declining...

S.M.a.r.t Column: Peace on Earth

December 27, 2023

December 27, 2023

We are all, by now, saturated with jingles, holiday cards, “ho ho ho’s,” countless commercial advertisements, and exhortations to feel...

S.M.a.r.t Column: On the Clock with Mayor Brock

December 17, 2023

December 17, 2023

I became Santa Monica’s Mayor on Tuesday, December 12, 2023, following a simple “switch of the chairs” transition with outgoing...

S.M.a.r.t Column: SANTA MONICA CITY COUNCIL 2024

December 10, 2023

December 10, 2023

Position:Seeking Santa Monica City Council Candidate(s) Introduction:Exciting opportunity for the right candidate(s) to work with like-minded Council members committed to...

S.M.a.r.t Column: ARB (NOT Ready to Build!)

December 3, 2023

December 3, 2023

Santa Monica City’s Architectural Review Board (ARB), established in 1974, acts “…to preserve existing areas of natural beauty, cultural importance...

SMa.r.t. Column: We are thankful for….

November 27, 2023

November 27, 2023

SMa.r.t. would like to wish you all a great Thanksgiving with friends and family and also to thank its readers...

S.M.a.r.t Column: Make the City New Again

November 19, 2023

November 19, 2023

When the COVID crisis struck, it cut the city’s income in half, demolishing many businesses and causing widespread layoffs and...

S.M.a.r.t Column: Four Futures

October 29, 2023

October 29, 2023

As well described by Paul Krugman, all cities have a core competency: things they do well or better regionally or...

SMa.r.t column: Beautiful Quartz Countertops Are Hurting Workers and Should Be Banned

October 9, 2023

October 9, 2023

Quartz countertops are super popular because they’re tough and can handle stains, scratches, and heat. But there’s a big problem:...