Friday, August 29, 2014

Netanyahu and the West Doom Israel to Perpetual War

Michael L.

{Cross-posted at Jews Down Under.}

voidWith the recent alleged conclusion of Operation Protective Edge, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, along with the western powers, has doomed the Jews of the Middle East to perpetual war.

Unless we see significant policy changes coming out of Jerusalem viz-a-viz the security of the south, Israel can write off that part of the country and just accept the idea that their children will never be even remotely safe.  Furthermore, of course, if Israel had any plans to economically or agriculturally develop that part of the country they can simply forget about, at least into the foreseeable future.

Hamas, as it turns out, is actually far more effective in the ethnic-cleansing of Jews from Jewish land than is even the EU, the UN, or the Obama administration.  Obama has been twisting Jewish arms for years trying to get us to move off of Jewish land without success, but Hamas knows how it is done.


You simply hit Jews in the head until we go away.

One would think that within living memory of the Holocaust the world community might oppose hitting Jews in the head until we go away, but this is clearly not the case.  Just as it is not the case in Guatemala, where a small Jewish group is currently threatened with lynching unless they scram, so it is not the case even in Israel, where half the world's Jews are under perpetual threat from their former Arab-Muslim masters.

The hatred toward the Jews of the Middle East takes the form of concentric rings of malice, with the rings closest to the physical body of those Jews representing the most fanatical and malicious faction.  That is, the Arabs who live within, and directly around, the Jewish State of Israel are the most religiously and authentically genocidal, to the extent that they literally dance in the street at the news of the kidnapping and murder of teenage yeshiva students.

Israel is therefore a fortress wherein the Jews of the Middle East protect themselves from their seething neighbors.  The Arabs within, and around, Israel are largely committed to the elimination of Jewish sovereignty and self-defense and have shown themselves willing to use any means necessary, not limited to chopping the heads off of three month old baby girls, as we saw in the 2011 Jihadi attack against the Fogel family in the town of Itamar.

Surrounding the Jews of the Middle East, and their local Arab antagonists, of course, is the larger Arab-Muslim world.  There are around 400 million Arabs in the Middle East and about 1.5 billion Muslims world-wide in generalized hostility to about 13 million Jews.  That is well over one hundred Muslims for every single Jew on the planet and somewhere between 60 and 70 Arabs for every single Jew in the Middle East.  For the most part those 1.5 billion Muslims are not particularly happy with the presence of a Jewish State on what was once a part of the Umma, the larger Arab-Muslim imperial realm.  Having conquered land all the way from Indonesia in the East to Andalusia in the West, the vast Arab-Muslim colonial nation remains uncomfortable with effective push-back from its traditional inferiors.

Thus the Arab and Muslim peoples put the weight of their collective influence behind the local Arab fighters who represent the front-lines of violent Islamist anti-Zionism.  Beyond the Middle East, of course, lies a slew of western organizations that are supportive of Arab efforts and who provide political, financial, military, and moral backing for anti-Zionism and / or Israel Hatred.  These include the United Nations, the European Union, the Obama administration, and the various NGOs and "humanitarian organizations" that perpetually lambaste Israel and drag its name through the mud, while ignoring human rights abuses elsewhere that dwarf anything that Israel ever did in both scale and depravity.

These also include the western media, both mainstream and alternative, that largely favors the Arab majority by ignoring its provocations and intransigence and by almost always interpreting Jewish self-defense as a form of irrational and racist aggression against a small, helpless minority population.  The Gaza conflict, like the others in recent years such as Cast Lead or Protective Shield, followed a familiar pattern:

1) The Arabs try to kill Jews via rocketry or kidnappings, or other forms of terrorist attack, but the western media ignores it almost entirely.

2)  Israel eventually is forced to fight back.

3)  Hamas hides behind women and children and when civilians are therefore killed they blame it on Jewish "aggression," knowing that their allies in the western-left will repeat and expand that accusation throughout the western world.

4)  Western-left allies of Hamas, of the sort found in places like Daily Kos, the Huffington Post, and the UK Guardian, tell one another that, with the exception of Jewish anti-Zionists, "Zonists" are monsters who are doing to the local Arabs what the Nazis did to the Jews... which was Hamas's purpose for igniting the recent hostilities to begin with.

5)  Pressure on Israel increases from all the western sources, including the Obama administration, which obliged Hamas through holding back military supplies to Israel during a time of war, through the FAA decision to temporarily cease flights into Ben Gurion Airport, and through the constant demands for a ceasefire despite the fact that Israel had yet to complete its military objectives, limited as even those were.

6)  Violence against Jews increases from Arab sources around the world, including Europe and the Americas.

By refusing to allow Israel to finish the job Benjamin Netanyahu, in collusion with the western powers, has ensured that the Gaza front will remain open and bloody for many years to come.

Furthermore, the areas of Israel around Gaza will have a very difficult time coming back economically - or as any place to raise a family - because Israelis can have little faith in government pronouncements concerning their ongoing security.  In this way Hamas has essentially ruined maybe one quarter of the small landmass that is Israel and did so with the help of far larger forces.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Gazans Celebrate "Genocide" in Gaza

Michael L.

Much to everyone's apparent astonishment the Gazans are celebrating the current massacre and genocide of their own people.

After what can only be described as one of the most vicious unwarranted massacres in human history, the brutalized Gazans have taken to the streets in wild celebration upon their great victory over the illegal Zionist entity.

Writing in Y-Net, Roi Kais tells us:
gazaAfter 50 days of hiding underground, former Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniyeh took to the stage at a rally in Gaza on Wednesday, declaring that the group's victory over Israel in the IDF's Operation Defensive Edge was unprecedented.

"It is impossible to make do with words and speeches to express this victory," he said. "The victory is beyond the boundaries of time and place. This battle is a war that had no precedent in the history of the conflict with the enemy."
Why does this remind me of the Twilight Zone?
You're traveling through another dimension -- a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That's a signpost up ahead: your next stop: the Twilight Zone!

You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension: a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You're moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. You've just crossed over into... the Twilight Zone.
The genocide that the Zionists committed against the indigenous Palestinian population is among the most cruel military campaigns in over the last one hundred years.  The Israelis indiscriminately pounded Gaza by air killing thousands of people, mainly women and children, particularly children and most particularly the tender and delicious ones.  Nonetheless:
The celebrations in Gaza began Tuesday night, shortly after the ceasefire took hold.  Bursts of gunfire were heard in Gaza City; men packed into vehicles, waving and flashing victory signs. Images showed Hamas official Fawzi Barhoum being hoisted onto the shoulders of jubilant Gazans.
Meanwhile, in Israel, the brutal Jews seem rather depressed over their defeat of the celebratory and victorious Gazans.  Even as Israel laid waste to the entire Gaza Strip, leaving virtually nothing standing, the heroic Gazan resistors danced in the streets and handed out candy to little Hamasniks in training who they are very much looking forward to pushing into the front lines in the years ahead.


In truth, what we are witnessing is the fact that Hamas met its objectives in this recent spasm while Israel did not.  The reason for this is that Hamas's objectives were largely in the realm of propaganda and politics and they set the bar for victory so low that merely survival counted as such.  Israel's failed objectives were largely military, required a high bar to achieve, and cannot be considered complete until Hamas is effectively terminated as a force in the strip.

Since Netanyahu decided against demanding unconditional surrender, Hamas lives to fight another day.  But that simply represents the status quo anti.  Hamas is still there and clearly still able to terrorize and wreck southern Israel.  Jews have moved away from the area and for reasons that are entirely obvious do not wish to move back.

Hamas, on the other hand, has gained legitimacy in the eyes of the western powers and can stand before the local Arab population with their heads held high because they outlasted their far more powerful enemy.  The reason for this is because the international community, with Barack Obama leading from behind, will never allow an honest Israeli victory over their Arab tormentors and thereby consign the Jews of the Middle East to a never-ending war of attrition, for which those very Jews will be endlessly blamed.

The big loser in this thing - aside from the dead and the families of the dead, and the Jewish people, more generally, however - is Benjamin Netanyahu whose approval numbers in Israel are in the toilet,  dropping a whopping 44 points in recent weeks, largely due to the fact that the Israelis wanted him to finish the job and he did not.

44 points.  This has to be the single fastest and hardest fall in polling numbers for any western-type politician that I have ever seen in my life.

Ultimately all Netanyahu did was kick the can down the road where we will see it again, in its next larger mutated form, sometime in the next few years.  In the mean time, sadly, southern Israel may very well become emptied of Jews who do not wish to raise their children under Hamas rocket fire.

As far as the rest of the world is concerned, Arabs have every right to ethnically-cleanse Jews from southern Israel because the Jews are allegedly mean to Arabs.  No one cares that S'derot and Ashkelon, and all the little kibbutzim and communities around there, endured something like 14 or 15 years of more or less continual harassment and rocket fire, making life impossible, even as western progressives scoffed and called them "bottle rockets."

Dana Bar-on left kibbutz Nir Am, just west of S'derot, when the savages popped out of the ground for the purpose of dragging her, or her friends and family, into a terrorist tunnel.  She lived in that area almost all of her life and her grandmother was a founder of that agricultural kibbutz.

I wonder if she will ever return.

And who could blame her if she did not?

The western-left will not be happy until the land of the Jews is truncated into little more than Tel Aviv and environs.

The Arabs won't be happy until the Jews of the Middle East are returned to their previous condition of submission and dhimmitude.

And the Jews of the diaspora have their heads so firmly implanted into the ground that they have no idea which is way is up.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Is the Man in Black an Innocent Child?

Michael L.

The End1There comes a point where a daily blogger, such as myself, comes to believe that there is simply nothing left to say.

When I look at the image of a British-born Muslim Jihadi on the verge of head chopping an American journalist, James Foley, I am left speechless.

I have not written on this since it happened, because what can there possible be to say?  One could, as some leftists do... and as I used to do... blame Arab and Muslim barbarity on the history of western imperialism.

I no longer do so, however.  The reason for this is because I refuse to infantalize people of the Islamic faith.

I am sorry, but the standard progressive-left apologetics for savage Muslim violence - that it is primarily the fault of western imperialism - will no longer suffice and it is long past time that we acknowledge an exceedingly serious political movement emerging from the Middle East under the banner of what we once called the "Arab Spring," but what is more accurately known as the Jihad.

When we thought, in 2011, that the Arab Spring was about democracy we were fooling ourselves.  We lied to ourselves and we lied to one another.  In truth, it was, on our part, all about wishful thinking.  In the United States and Europe, well-meaning, but ignorant, westerners told one another that the sloughing off of secular dictators like Hosni Mubarak and Muammar Gaddafi would mean the rise of a democratic Middle East.

So much for that silly notion.

The main reason that we deluded ourselves, however, was because we spent the previous three decades, since the Iranian revolution, ignoring the rise of political Islam throughout that part of the world.  We were afraid to speak out against al-Sharia because we did not know much about it and because the western political zeitgeist had moved ironically, since 9/11, in a pro-Arab, pro-Muslim direction.  Counter-Jihadis are thus considered "racist" and anyone who speaks in opposition to head-chopping or, say, the stoning of women to death for the crime of getting raped, are considered insensitive knuckle-draggers, if not worse.

No one wants to be spit at as a racist and, so, people watched Islamist barbarity, but kept their mouths shut.  They were not afraid of violent Jihadi retribution nearly so much as they were afraid (and are afraid) of social retribution by their fellow left-wing ideologues.

Until such a time that we treat the Arab and Muslim world with the normal respect that we have for other adults, we will always condescend to them and make excuses for their worst behavior.  When Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton blamed Muslim violence and the murder of American diplomats and staff in Benghazi, Libya, on some ridiculous video, they showed true contempt not only for the intelligence of the American people, but for Arabs and Muslims throughout the world.

Barack Obama is not the most pro-Muslim president that the United States has ever had.

On the contrary, Barack Obama is probably the least pro-Muslim president in United States history because unlike all previous American presidents, he treats the great Arab-Muslim nation as little children in need of succor and a warm glass of milk before night-night.

Despite Obama's hostility toward the Jewish State of Israel, at least he usually treats Jews like adults.

A Must Read

Michael L.

The former "PaulinBerkeley" (from Daily Kos and MLW fame) tipped me to this article in Tablet Magazine written by Matti Friedman, formerly of the Associated Press.  This is just a brief snippet of what is a fairly lengthy, but highly significant piece of writing.

As a reporter on the ground for the AP for a number of years, he shares an insight into how the news media acts as a partisan political club against the well-being of the tiny Jewish minority in the Middle East.
friedmanFor centuries, stateless Jews played the role of a lightning rod for ill will among the majority population. They were a symbol of things that were wrong. Did you want to make the point that greed was bad? Jews were greedy. Cowardice? Jews were cowardly. Were you a Communist? Jews were capitalists. Were you a capitalist? In that case, Jews were Communists. Moral failure was the essential trait of the Jew. It was their role in Christian tradition—the only reason European society knew or cared about them in the first place.

Like many Jews who grew up late in the 20th century in friendly Western cities, I dismissed such ideas as the feverish memories of my grandparents. One thing I have learned—and I’m not alone this summer—is that I was foolish to have done so. Today, people in the West tend to believe the ills of the age are racism, colonialism, and militarism. The world’s only Jewish country has done less harm than most countries on earth, and more good—and yet when people went looking for a country that would symbolize the sins of our new post-colonial, post-militaristic, post-ethnic dream-world, the country they chose was this one.

When the people responsible for explaining the world to the world, journalists, cover the Jews’ war as more worthy of attention than any other, when they portray the Jews of Israel as the party obviously in the wrong, when they omit all possible justifications for the Jews’ actions and obscure the true face of their enemies, what they are saying to their readers—whether they intend to or not—is that Jews are the worst people on earth. The Jews are a symbol of the evils that civilized people are taught from an early age to abhor. International press coverage has become a morality play starring a familiar villain.

Monday, August 25, 2014

A partially balanced evaluation of the conflict at Vox, but still 150° wrong (Part 2)

Sar Shalom

In my introductory post on Max Fisher's deconstruction of the "myths" about the Israeli-Arab conflict, I reviewed the one card that I agreed with and started presenting what is wrong in the others. In this post, I shall pick up, in order what is wrong with the remaining cards from Fisher's list of myths.

Card 2, The conflict is about religion

In and of itself, there is nothing wrong in stating that the conflict is something other than religion. Indeed, until the Islamists started turning on the the Christians, the Christians were united with the Moslems in opposing Jewish self-determination. Even today, many Christians-Palestinians are on the side of the Moslems, though there has been an awakening among some Palestinian-Christians, such as Christy Anastas and Gabriel Nadaf, that they are better off under Jewish-Israeli rule than under Moslem-Palestinian rule.

However, Fisher states that the conflict is "over secular issue of land and nationhood." In this statement, Fisher creates the impression that the Palestinians' objective is a positive one, as opposed to the negative goal of eliminating Jewish self-determination, whatever replaces it. For the most part, I discussed that in the last post, but in this card, Fisher added a few words about Jerusalem: "The long-divided city has, in its ancient center, Islam's third holiest site (the al-Aqsa mosque compound) located physically on top of the much older Temple Mount, the Western Wall of which is Judaism's holiest site." Contrary to Fisher's assertions in that paragraph, the Western Wall is not Judaism's holiest site, the Temple Mount is, and within the Temple Mount, the holiest site is the site where the Temple stood, though there is a degree of controversy of its exact location. One common feature at EoZ has been Moslem reactions to Jewish visits to the Temple Mount. What is that animates them so much? The Jews visiting do nothing to interfere with Moslem religious activities there nor do they disrespect it such as by playing soccer. Could it be Jews visiting the Temple Mount undermines their right to lord Islam's supremacy of Judaism just as barring Jews from sitting at the Western Wall did during the British Mandate era?

More egregious is "[t]he European Jews who first encouraged and organized mass Jewish migration to what we now call Israel" which writes out the the Middle Eastern and North African Jews who migrated to the Yishuv. Unlike their European coreligionists, many of these Jews were religious. The role of Jews from the East will be brought up further in Cards 3 and 4.

Card3, They've been fighting for centuries

It is true that there has not been open conflict between the Jews and the Arabs in the Levant for centuries in the same way that there was not open warfare between whites and negroes (the polite word of the era) between the end of Reconstruction and the Civil Rights era.

However, Fisher claims that the conflict began in 1948, yielding that it can be as much as 100 years old, ignoring the anti-Jewish hostilities from the Levant that were present in the early 19th century. Fisher characterizes the pre-Zionism relations in the region as " those two religious groups have been coexisting in the region, for the most part peacefully, since Islam was first born in the 7th century." It is a short stretch from that to saying that Zionism destroyed the amicable relations between the Moslem and Jewish faiths that have been created through 12 centuries of patient effort by the good people of both faiths. It has planted hatred and suspicion where there has been heretofore friendship and understanding.

More egregious is Fisher's insinuation that the conflict started after the arrival of European Jews. The reality is that the 19th century was a time that saw numerous blood libels and other massacres across the Levant. The most notable instance was in Damascus in 1840 (which incidentally was the true spark for Zionism, albeit a spark that laid dormant until Herzl discovered it decades later after the Dreyfus affair). However, there were many other locations across the Levant where the blood libel manifested itself, Aleppo (1810, 1850, 1875), Beirut (1862, 1874), Safed (1834), Jerusalem (1847), Alexandria (1870, 1882), and others. The situation of the Jews was such that British diplomats saw that there might be a need to protect the Jews of the Levant. While much of the violence against the Jews was a result of the Ottoman authorites lacking the capacity to prevent, as opposed to with their blessing, and indeed plenty of it was perpetrated by the Christians, it demonstrates that anti-Jewish sentiment was well entrenched in the Levant by the 19th century.

Fisher goes on to characterize the Arab view of the Zionist project as European "colonial theft." A better characterization is that the Arabs were used to Jews in their midst who were willing to accept their inferior place in society. What the European immigrants represented were Jews who insisted on living in Palestine as equals. Early on, many of the fellahin would have been content to let the Jews come in and build the economy. However, many of the effendi were loathe to give up their privilege under the earlier system. One of their members, Amin el Husseini, threatened riots in order to induce the British to appoint him as Mufti in 1921. If there was any event that cast the die for the subsequent conflict, that was it. While most Arabs were unwilling to participate in violence against the Jews when Husseini took office, his promulgating that Arab honor required that Jews learn their proper place induced most of them to participate in the riots of 1929, less than decade after he assumed office, and set the seed for their intransigence which persists to today.

A final misconception of Fisher's is the role of the UN's 1947 partition plan. Following Fisher's reasoning, if the UN had not passed the partition plan, the Jews would have had no right to any of the land and partition only allocated a fraction of the land west of the Jordan for the Jews. The reality is that the League of Nations at the San Remo Conference allocated all of the land west of the Jordan (actually, it allocated more for the Jews, but included a clause that allowed Britain to reduce that amount, which Britain did invoke) and placed it under the British Mandate. What partition did was provide for the winding up of the Mandate and recommended that the Jews should yield a significant portion of the land allocated for them at the San Remo Conference in order to achieve peace with the Arabs. The Jews accepted this recommendation while the Arabs did not and responded by trying to take everything. They succeeded in taking part of what the UN suggested that the Jews should give them, with the Jews holding the rest and forming the State of Israel on it.

There were multiple categories of Arabs who left during the war. One was Arabs who had little connection to the land, such as those who arrived only a few years beforehand looking for work, who thus had no reason to stay in a war zone. Another was those heeded the call of the advancing Arab armies to vacate the area temporarily to facilitate the liquidation of the Jews, after which they could return. This group was augmented by Arabs who were forced by the Arab forces to join this exodus. Finally, there were Arabs who lived in towns and villages that gave sanctuary to the advancing Arab armies. This category was the only one that was forcibly removed by Israel. While the members of the final group were the only ones forcibly removed by Israel, the reality about them cast a cloud over all the others who left either voluntarily or because of Arab coercion, leading Israel to bar their reentry. Unlike all other refugee crises, outsiders saw this one as a bloody shirt to wave about Israel rather than a problem to solve, hence talk about permanent settlement of the Palestinian refugees outside of Israel has been verboten at the UN.

SFSU and the Abdulhadi Embarrasment # 1

Michael L.

rabab1Rabab Abdulhadi is an associate professor of "race and resistance studies" at San Francisco State University.

The woman is significant to the extent that she helps whip up hatred toward the Jews of the Middle East on American college campuses and abroad.

She served as the first director of the Center for Arab American Studies at the University of Michigan, Dearborn.  And she is a co-editor of, Arab and Arab American Feminisms: Gender, Violence and Belonging, published by Syracuse University Press in 2012.

According to her page on the Jadaliyya website:
Her scholarship, pedagogy and public activism focuses on Palestine, Arab and Muslim communities and their diasporas, race and resistance studies, transnational feminisms, and gender and sexuality studies.
Her scholarship and activism, therefore, center on "Palestine" and the rest of the Arab world, but not Israel.

I must wonder then just who, in terms of real people, she is "resisting" against?   I understand that she is "resisting" imperialism and colonialism and racism and sexism and apartheid and materialism and misogyny and Zionism and, probably, ageism, as well, but I must wonder just who, specifically, as individuals and groups, Abdhulhadi and her like-minded colleagues consider to be the enemy, if not Israel and the Jews?

Now, it could be that Professor Abdulhadi is simply not interested in the allegedly miserable fate of Arabs within the Jewish State or it could be that she considers all of Israel to be "Palestine."

I just want to know which.

I am only beginning to look into this person, but I find myself optimistic that she will live up to expectations. This is, of course, not some oversight on the professor's part, you can be sure.  Her elimination of Israel from her "scholarship, pedagogy and public activism" is simply one small way for an anti-Jewish college professor of Arab descent to eliminate the Jewish State to her impressionable students who love an allegedly righteous cause.

Recently there was something of a kerfuffle surrounding SFSU professor Abdulhadi because she acted as the formal university adviser to the General Union of Palestine Students (GUPS) and GUPS held up signs calling for the murder of Jews as "colonizers" during an event honoring former Columbia Professor of Literary Studies, Edward Said.

Abdulhadi, as an anti-Semitic anti-Zionist activist, then took a university-funded trip to Israel for, among other purposes, meeting with hijacker and terrorist, Leila Khaled.  Abdulhadi, it must be noted, is not merely a scholar with a Yale pedigree, but also someone who combines her scholarship with political activism in opposition to the well-being of the Jewish people.  In Abdulhadi's case, political activism involves doing what little she can do to delegitimize Israel for the eventual purpose of eliminating Jewish sovereignty and self-defense on the land that Jewish people come from and promoting as much hatred toward the Jews of the Middle East as she possibly can.

Tammi Benjamin, of the AMCHA Institute, who seeks to place a spot-light on university promoted hatred toward the Jewish minority in the Middle East, recently admonished Abdulhadi for allegedly misrepresenting the nature of that trip to the SFSU administration, in order to make a case for deception and a misallocation of funds.

I honestly do not care.

My concern about Abdulhadi has nothing whatsoever to do with any charges of corruption or deception.

My only concern is that Abdulhadi - along with everyone else who supports BDS - is calling for the end of Jewish sovereignty within living memory of the Holocaust.

My concern is that my alma mater finances hatred toward Jews and thus helps to bring that hatred to public prominence in the United States and that Fred Astren, the current SFSU Chair of the Department of Jewish Studies, is weak in opposition.

San Francisco State University Funds Hatred Toward Jews

Michael L.

{Originally published at the Elder of Ziyon and cross-posted at Jews Down Under.}

abdulhadiI am sorry, but that is the simplest, bluntest, and most honest way that I can put it.

San Francisco State University funds hatred toward Jews.

Between December 24 of last year and June 26 of this I published ten pieces concerning racism toward Jews at San Francisco State University, my alma mater.  These pieces concerned themselves with little facts such as:

1) SFSU funds student organizations, such as the General Union of Palestine Students (GUPS), that call for the murder of Jews, whom they call "colonizers."

2) In the last academic year, Muhammad Hammad, the former president of GUPS held up a blade, took a "selfie," and then published it on a social media site and talked about his desire to kill Jews.

fist3) The adviser to GUPS, professor Rabab Abdulhadi, a malicious anti-Israel anti-Jewish political activist who specializes in some semi-academic discipline called "race and resistance studies," took a university funded trip to the Middle East for the purpose of meeting with various terrorists and their supporters including plane hijacker, Leila Khaled, whom they exalt as a "freedom fighter."

Of course, anti-Jewish malice is nothing new at San Francisco State University up to, and including, mob violence.  When I was there at the end of the 1990s Jewish students often faced Arab student organizations, in coordination with the pan-African student group, that regularly demonized Jews on the SFSU campus for their support of Israel.

I will never forget walking past Malcolm X Plaza, in front of the Cesar Chavez Student Center, and seeing Arab students and Black students holding aloft an American flag with fifty little Stars of David in it.  I guarantee you that almost every member of the tiny Jewish minority on that campus, who walked by that display, understood very well in a visceral way what they were being told.  It was this:

You better watch your ass.

After I graduated things apparently got worse at SFSU.

Todd Gitlin, sociologist, political scientist, and former student radical, writing in Mother Jones Magazine on June 17, 2002, quotes former director of Jewish Studies at San Francisco State University, Laurie Zoloth:
"I cannot fully express what it feels like to have to walk across campus daily, past maps of the Middle East that do not include Israel, past posters of cans of soup with labels on them of drops of blood and dead babies, labeled 'canned Palestinian children meat, slaughtered according to Jewish rites under American license,' past poster after poster calling out Zionism=racism, and Jews=Nazis."
Writing in the San Francisco Chronicle on Tuesday, December 14, 2004, Cinnamon Stillwell tells us this:
How did such a threatening environment become associated with a campus located in one of the most liberal and tolerant cities in the nation? The truth is that SFSU has a reputation for intolerance that goes back at least 10 years. In this case, Republican students, clearly a minority at SFSU, were the targets. But in the past, such animosity was directed mostly at Jewish students or those seen as supporting Israel. Jews at SFSU have been spat on, called names and physically attacked, as well as censured by the administration for defending themselves, even as their attackers went unpunished.

The case of Tatiana Menaker, a Russian Jewish emigré and former SFSU student, is an example of the latter indignity. After committing the "crime" of responding verbally to another student's anti-Semitic epithets during a 2002 rally, she found herself persecuted by the administration.

Pulled into a kangaroo court, threatened with expulsion and ordered by the university to perform 40 hours of community service (but specifically not for a Jewish organization), Menaker was later exonerated after seeking legal assistance from the Students for Academic Freedom and the local Jewish Community Relations Council. But the damage was done.

During my time as a student at SFSU (Class of 1996), I was given a preview of things to come. In 1994, the Student Union Governing Board commissioned a mural to honor the late Black Muslim revolutionary Malcolm X. Designed by members of the Pan Afrikan Student Union and painted by artist Senay Dennis (known also as Refa-1), the finished product was problematic, to say the least. Along with an image of Malcolm X, the not-so-subtle symbols of Stars of David juxtaposed with dollar signs, skulls and crossbones, and the words "African blood," had been painted. Despite the obvious allusion to anti-Semitic blood libels of old, Pan Afrikan Student Union members claimed the symbols represented Malcolm X's alleged opposition to Israel, not to Jews, as if that was some comfort.
But even as far back as the early-middle 1960s certain anti-Jewish ideologues were already establishing hatred toward Jews as part of the university atmosphere.

I recently did a little digging into the SFSU special collections archives on, what is for me, a defunct project, but came across this interesting tid-bit:


The above is an article from the SFSC Daily Gator dated March 23, 1966.  The Gator reports that for three years running people painted Swastikas over an Israeli flag which San Francisco State College's chapter of the American-Israeli Cultural Organization displayed for various functions.

The writer and editors, needless to say, assume that the vandals were either random "vandalists" or Nazis.

San Francisco State College, between 1964 and 1966, did not have a whole lot of Nazis among the student population, nor was the campus conveniently accessible from the rest of the city.  There were heart-felt, politically-innocent folk singers there, to be sure.  There were proto-hippies beginning to experiment with psychedelics as a potential means toward an "expanded consciousness."  There were young, goateed political radicals gearing up for the fight against the Vietnam War and what Eisenhower called the "military-industrial complex."  And there were young "negro" students such as future movie star, Danny Glover, beginning to rethink their relationship with the college and American society, as a whole.

But, Nazis?  Not so much.

The bottom line is that San Francisco State University has a long history of hostility toward the Jewish people that is expressed both in student body activity, which sometimes takes the form of a violent mob, and almost always takes the form of administrative dithering and indifference.

The only real question I have is whether or not the university intends to continue funding anti-Jewish hatred going forward?

But it is not really much of a question.

I know that they will.

Just ask professor Fred Astren, the current SFSU Chair of the Department of Jewish Studies.  He'll tell you, maybe.

And if he will not, I bet Tammi Benjamin of the AMCHA Initiative and the University of California, Santa Cruz, might have something to say on the matter.