Must We Combat Anti-Semitism?
The Jerusalem Post
January 23, 2013
Kenneth L. Marcus
I was asked the question most recently last week in the well-appointed downtown offices of a major Jewish organization. But I have heard it surprisingly often since I founded the Louis D. Brandeis Center to combat campus anti-Semitism: "Do you really think that fighting anti-Semitism is the best approach to Israel advocacy?" The question is invariably issued as a challenge, sometimes even an admonition.
Implicitly, Jewish leaders want to know whether it makes sense to focus on the "negative," when the vogue in Israel advocacy is to be relentlessly positive.
"No," I always reply, "It is not even the second best approach." Continue Here.
"Death to Zionism" at UC Davis
Last week, the Louis D. Brandeis Center visited with Jewish and Israeli University of California at Davis students who spoke of being harassed and intimidated shortly after a November 2012 Occupy rally. The rally was held in the aftermath of Operation Pillar of Defense, and it degenerated into an anti-Israel protest. When the rally ended, approximately 40 protesters took over and occupied Dutton Hall, an administrative building on the UC Davis campus. The occupiers called for "Death to Zionism" and insisted that "Davis and Gaza are One Fist." The Jewish students tried to ask respectful questions, but the occupiers shouted them down, insisting that freedom of speech is a "tool of of the oppressors." The students then faced an angry mob chanting "Leave our Space!," pounding their fists, and disrespecting them in various ways unsuitable for publication. Meanwhile, students described UC Davis employees who stood on the other side of a wall of windows looking inside but doing nothing to help. The Louis D. Brandeis Center has taken the matter up with UC Davis administration, as has another organization, the Amcha Initiative.
From California to Kalamazoo
Over the last two weeks, the Louis D. Brandeis Center has criss-crossed the country from Los Angeles to Oakland to Davis to Chicago to Kalamazoo. We have been pleased to learn that university administrators are aware of our work, including our widely circulated LDB Best Practices Guide on Combating Campus Anti-Semitism and Anti-Israelism. In Chicago, we were pleased to meet many impressive lawyers at the Decalogue Society and to work with passionate professionals from the Simon Wiesenthal Center. In Kalamazoo, we found a large, inquisitive and receptive audience of Kalamazoo College and Western Michigan students and faculty.