Resolution to Recognize and to Reaffirm the Fight Against Anti-Semitism

UGS-S2016-1

Author: Molly Horwitz

Sponsors: Matthew Wigler, Cardinal for Israel (CFI), Chabad at Stanford, Jewish Students Association (JSA), Alpha Epsilon Pi  (AEPi), J Street U Stanford

Submitted: Friday March 25th, 2016

Action Requested: 2/3 Majority Approval by the Undergraduate Senate

WHEREAS,the U.S. Department of State defines anti-Semitism as: "a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities”,[1]

WHEREAS, the U.S. Department of State outlines the following contemporary examples:

● “Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews (often in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion).

● Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as a collective—especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.

 ● Accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, the state of Israel, or even for acts committed by non-Jews.

● Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.

● Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interest of their own nations”,[2]

WHEREAS, of the ways in which anti-Semitism manifests itself with regard to the state of Israel, taking into account the overall context could include:

● Demonization of Israel by characterizing it or its citizens with the above historically anti-Semitic tropes or by equating contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis

Delegitimization of Israel based explicitly on the state’s Jewish nature or on a hatred of Jews and/or Judaism,

● Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the State of Israel,

WHEREAS, criticism of Israel cannot be regarded as inherently anti-Semitic,

WHEREAS, many Jewish students worry that implicit anti-Jewish biases may give rise to disproportionate criticism of the State of Israel or Zionism as an ideology,

WHEREAS, this legislation does not represent any political position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and should not be interpreted as a statement of support for one side or another. Its only purpose is to define the line between civil, academic debate and hate speech,

WHEREAS, the UC Board of Regents added the following statement to the Principles of Intolerance for the University of California: “Anti-Semitism and other forms of discrimination have no place in the University,[3]

WHEREAS, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color and national origin in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance which extended to protect Jewish students in 2004 on the basis that Judaism is both a religion and an ethnicity,[4]

WHEREAS, anti-Semitism occurs within classes and within other areas of university activities,

WHEREAS, on April 26, 2015 gold swastikas were found on the house formerly known as SAE (Sigma Alpha Epsilon)[5], and the Jewish community’s collective response clearly indicates the extent to which many Jewish students feel insecure on this campus,

WHEREAS, “The swastika is the most recognizable icon of Nazi propaganda, appearing on the flag referred to by Hitler in Mein Kampf as well as on election posters, arm bands, medallions, and badges for military and other organizations. A potent symbol intended to strike terror into Jews and others deemed enemies of Nazi Germany. Despite its origins, the swastika has become so widely associated with Nazi Germany that contemporary uses frequently incite controversy,” [6]

WHEREAS, Stanford Jewish students have felt threatened by anti-Semitic statements made on the application YikYak,[7]

WHEREAS, anti-Semitism is the bigoted targeting of a historically oppressed minority and should be taken as seriously as bigotry against all other historically oppressed minorities,[8]

WHEREAS, this bill can help set a precedent for other historically marginalized communities to secure support and resources to further existing efforts to combat discrimination on campus,

THEREFORE LET IT BE ENACTED BY THE UNDERGRADUATE SENATE:

THAT, the Stanford Undergraduate Student Senate will commit to actively fighting anti-Semitism on campus,

THAT, the Stanford Undergraduate Student Senate will commit to one anti-Semitism training session per year about the history of anti-Semitism and current manifestations, that will be led by the Jewish Studies Department and various members of student and faculty from the Jewish community, that will consult the Anti-Defamation League[9],

THAT, the Stanford Undergraduate Student Senate will promote and aid the Stanford Jewish community in opening up a discussion on discrimination faced by the Jewish community, that may create some discomfort, but will ultimately result in greater understanding between communities,

THAT, the Stanford Undergraduate Student Senate will provide funds to co-sponsor events on its discretion to aid the Jewish community and other communities of Stanford and to address issues regarding identity specifically when groups are low on funds or close to their funding cap.

THAT, the Stanford Undergraduate Student Senate endorses those portions of the UC Regents statement on Anti-Semitism stated above, and calls for an equivalent statement on anti-Semitism to be added to the Acts of Intolerance Protocol,

THAT, the Stanford Undergraduate Student Senate recognizes the collective rights to self-determination of the Jewish people that are no different than any other people, and endeavors to review on a case by case basis its own activities that may reject these rights,

THAT, this legislation is not intended to create restrictions on anyone’s right to free speech, academic freedom, and participation in social activism. It solely represents the ASSU Senate modeling the type of speech it wishes to see on campus,

THAT, the Stanford Undergraduate Student Senate supports efforts against any form of hatred based on religion, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, ability, citizenship status, class, or identity on our campus community,

THAT, the Undergraduate Student Senate supports the efforts of the present work between students and respective faculty to help foster a better understanding of Judaism and American-Jewish identity,

THAT, the Undergraduate Student Senate, as officials elected to represent all students on campus, will strive to be active allies of the Jewish community and will actively seek increased communication with the leaders of the organized Jewish community on pertinent issues.


[1] http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/fs/2010/122352.htm

[2] http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/fs/2010/122352.htm

[3] http://regents.universityofcalifornia.edu/regmeet/mar16/e1attach.pdf

[4] http://erauniversity.com/blogs/civil-rights-act-of-1964-title-ix/

[5] http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Police-investigating-swastikas-at-Stanford-6227358.php

[6] https://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007453

[7] http://www.thetower.org/2563-what-is-yik-yak-on-many-campuses-its-how-anti-semitism-spreads/

[8] https://www.usac.ucla.edu/documents/resolutions/no%20sponsors_A%20Resolution%20Condemning%20Anti-Semitism.pdf

[9] http://www.adl.org/education-outreach/confronting-anti-semitism/c/confronting-anti-semitism-campus.html#.VvNJahIrJ0I