Anti-Semitism in action at UCLA

Posted: 3/9/2015 5:37:00 PM
Author: Editorial
Source: This Editorial was originally published by the NY Daily News on March 9, 2015.

Anti-Semitism in action at UCLA
Monday, March 9, 2015

The sickness of anti-Semitism that afflicts too many institutions of American higher education came into view at UCLA when an impressive student sought to join the school’s undergraduate governing council.

When Rachel Beyda stood for an interview by members of the panel, a fellow student asked:

“Given that you are a Jewish student and very active in the Jewish community . . . how do you see yourself being able to maintain an unbiased view?”

Thought experiment: Replace the word “Jewish” with the name of any other religious, racial, ethnic, sexual or gender grouping, be it Muslim, Black, Hispanic, gay or transsexual. Now imagine the intensity of the uproar.

The council head, also Jewish, objected to the line of questioning, but members pressed it without using the word “Jewish.”

“Given that the recent judicial board cases dealt with conflicts of interests leaning a particular way, how would you be able to keep an unbiased view?” one asked.

After Beyda left the room, there was mention of “divided loyalties,” with some objecting. The group then voted to deny her membership until a faculty adviser warned they were discriminating based on group identity.

At the risk of reading minds, it’s a fair guess that the impulse behind the question posed to Beyda grew out of the BDS movement, which calls for boycotting, divesting and sanctioning Israel for essentially the sin of existing.

The movement is stocked by a fair number of people who descend to lumping all Jews into a single disfavored group. In other words, they descend into anti-Semitism.

Students have apologized. The university chancellor declared that it “is intellectually and morally unacceptable” to “assume that every member of a group can’t be impartial or is motivated by hatred.” That is true enough.

Also true: He failed to call out anti-Semitism.