Berkeley is in the United States....

When I lived in Berkeley full time, I used to read the East Bay Express regularly. Perhaps I still should, because this article shocked me to my cynical core.

An excerpt:

"....I came to Berkeley -- because of its strong romantic aura of the Free Speech Movement and Mario Savio," he recalls. "Then I got here and discovered that that light seems to have been extinguished. You have this vitriol. You feel it everywhere. Berkeley is now the epicenter of real hatred."

Almost three years later, Weinberg graduates this month as a student whose days at Cal were marked by what he calls "pinnacles of horror," in the pinched tone of a man betrayed. He remembers pro-Palestinian protesters insisting that Israeli border crossings are as bad as Nazi death camps. He remembers the glass front door of Berkeley's Hillel building -- where he attends Friday night services -- shattered by a cinderblock, with the message FUCK JEWS scrawled nearby. He remembers the spray-painted swastikas discovered one Monday morning last September on the walls of four lecture rooms in LeConte Hall accompanied by the chilling bilingual message, "Die, Juden. " (Via Glenn Reynolds.)

It's bad enough that there is anti-Semitism in the Mideast and in Europe. But to see it flourishing in the United States, to see leftists going along with it, means something is very, very wrong.

Here's Abdel Malik Ali, an African-American imam affiliated with Oakland's Masjid Al Islam mosque, addressing the sixth annual Muslim Students Association West Conference, held on at the Berkeley campus in February:

"Neo-cons are all Zionist Jews," he continued. He scanned the hall, wondering aloud whether Jewish infiltrators were among his listeners. If so, he had a message for them: "You made all the mistakes we wanted you to make. You went after Cynthia McKinney" -- the outspoken African-American former Georgia congresswoman who was frequently cited as the most anti-Semitic member of Congress. "So now black folks don't like you. ... You're walking into all the traps we want you to walk into. You hijacked American foreign policy."
There's much more, including an account of the notorious revival of the canard that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion was not a forgery, but was in fact written by Jews. Assaults on Jews, vandalism, spitting and more. Read about all that and more. It's all rabid, classic, anti-Semitism. Except it's trendy and new, and right there in the home of the Free Speech Movement.

Is this what Mario Savio and his followers had in mind? I doubt it.

I forwarded the East Bay Express link to a good friend in Berkeley, and here's his partial reaction:

It has now gotten to the point that I often lie about being Jewish when I am on campus, and I'm asked about my ethnicity. I'm not ashamed of being Jewish. Its just a matter of personal safety. When I am in a situation in which I am unsure about the people around me, I say I'm Greek. I used to do that in Baltimore 30, 40 years ago. "Xxxxxxx" [name omitted] is a common last name in Macedonia (northeastern Greece). Nobody beats up Greeks, so its relatively safe. Of course, it is sad that I feel that I need to do this.
Damned right it's sad. It's more than sad. I've known this man for over twenty years, but I never knew until now that he has had to go out of his way to keep his Jewishness in the closet.

It's a disgusting and shameful situation, and I can't believe that I am writing about the unbelievable spectacle of a Jewish friend being forced into "passing" for reasons of personal safety.

Readers should not make the mistake of dismissing this as "Oh well, what do you expect from a place like Berkeley?" Berkeley is not only part of the United States, it has been a trend-setting place for many years. I've watched as things like rent control, bans on smoking, attacks on the free market, a vicious intolerance for all things branded politically incorrect, and much more spread from Berkeley to the East Coast, then gradually made their way across the rest of the country until they were "in."

And now, anti-Semitism is "in" in Berkeley.

Anyone who thinks it will remain confined to Berkeley is mistaken.

posted by Eric on 05.24.04 at 02:05 AM







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Eric over at Classical Values warns us of a growing problem with anti-Semitism -- at Berkeley. He quotes a friend of his that lives in the area: It has now gotten to the point that I often lie about being... [Read More]
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Comments

I wonder how much longer we're going to be told: "It's not anti-Semitism, it's merely criticism of Ariel Sharon's policies."

Nobody hates homosexuals either, and you're an intolerant monster if you say that anybody does.

"The Ku Klux Klan is the best friend the Negro ever had." (actual quote from the "Kloran", old copy my Dad got somewhere)

Nobody has ever hated anybody.

When did anti-Semitism leave? Now it has simply shifted from intolerant wannabe-Confederates to intolerant wannabe-Che Guevaras.

It is remarkably sad, though, the the Leftist movements that for so long found some of their greatest supporters among Jews are now the very same movements that are increasingly antagonistic to the Jews.

Perhaps you'll want to forgive my religiosity, but I don't know that anti-Semitism of this type will ever end. We read in the Old Testament, in Jeremiah xxiv.9:

"And I will deliver them to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth for their hurt, to be a reproach and a proverb, a taunt and a curse, in all places whither I shall drive them."

Nowhere are the Jews among friends, it seems.

Nate Cardon   ·  May 24, 2004 2:21 PM

I hope I didn't leave you with the impression that my Dad was a Klansman! Dr. Samuel Kingdon Anderson was a historian who collected all kinds of old books of all points of view. Ideologically, he was an old-style FDR liberal who fought the Nazis at Normandy. He wasn't in the habit of walking around with a sheet over his head. He did, however, once come home one Halloween night with his coat over his head and said "Trick or Treat". ha! ha! ha! ha!

Nate:

Don't apologize for your religious faith. If there's one thing Eric and I believe in, it's complete freedom for all religions, and that most definitely includes the Jewish faith. I revere the Bible, especially the Old Testament, as I revere all the ancient books, the Iliad, the Eddas, etc..

Here's one quote from the Bible that I've always loved regarding the Jewish people:
"Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will show thee:
"And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
"And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed."
-Genesis 12:1-3


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