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Antisemitic Mob at UC Berkeley

Antisemitism - Pro-hamas protesters at UC Berkley
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By: The Editorial Board – wsj.com – February 28, 2024

Israeli lawyer Ran Bar-Yoshafat was invited by a Jewish student group to address the subject of Israel and international law. This included “the rules of wartime conduct and how the [Israel Defense Forces] can better protect civilians,” according to an Instagram post by Students Supporting Israel at Berkeley.

But the speech never happened, as besieged Jewish students gathered inside a nearly empty auditorium in Zellerbach Playhouse while some 200 protesters chanted “intifada” and “free Palestine” and banged on windows, surrounding and shouting at those trying to enter. Students and the speaker were evacuated for their personal safety.

Shouting down unpopular speakers is common on campus, but the vitriol directed at students sets this incident apart. One student captured on a video clip said the protesters shouted “Jew Jew Jew” in his face and spat at him. Other students reported heckling and harassment as they tried to get past the mob. There’s no way to know how many other students stayed away out of fear of the mob or social ostracism merely for showing up.

Silencing and intimidation are the intended outcome, and anti-Jewish groups script their messages in the campus vernacular of white imperialism. In a “campus wide call to action,” Bears for Palestine said Mr. Bar-Yoshafat, who served in the Israel Defense Forces, had been invited to speak “to spread settler colonial Zionist propaganda about the very genocide he has participated in.” The group declared it would “not allow for this event to go on.” In their moral confusion, the same students wearing “Ceasefire Now” shirts were shouting “intifada, intifada,” endorsing violent protests.

In a statement after the event, Berkeley chancellor Carol Christ and executive vice chancellor Benjamin Hermalin wrote that the incident “violated not only our rules, but also some of our most fundamental values.” The letter notes that the university took precautions to add security, including campus police. They said the goal was to keep students safe and let the event go forward, but “it was not possible to do both given the size of the crowd and the threat of violence.”

That’s some admission. When the hate directed at Jewish students on campus is so extreme that the university can’t protect them, the failure rests with school officials as much as with the harassers. All the more so if the offenders aren’t punished with suspensions or expulsions. Progressives claim that being anti-Israel or anti-Zionist isn’t the same as being antisemitic. Tuesday at Berkeley shows how dishonest that claim is.

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Source: Berkeley Lets Loose an Antisemitic Mob – WSJ