Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Jewish Students Stand Up

Enough is enough.  Tired of the hatred for all things Jewish at Columbia, 540 Jewish students at the Ivy League school stood up to the hate they have experienced since October 7.  Unlike the protestors who hide behind masks, they signed their names to a letter describing their treatment at their own university for the past seven months while making a damn good defense of what it means to be Jewish.  The letter is posted below.   

To the Columbia Community:

Over the past six months, many have spoken in our name. Some are well-meaning alumni or non-affiliates who show up to wave the Israeli flag outside Columbia’s gates. Some are politicians looking to use our experiences to foment America’s culture war. Most notably, some are our Jewish peers who tokenize themselves by claiming to represent “real Jewish values,” and attempt to delegitimize our lived experiences of antisemitism. We are here, writing to you as Jewish students at Columbia University, who are connected to our community and deeply engaged with our culture and history. We would like to speak in our name. 

Many of us sit next to you in class. We are your lab partners, your study buddies, your peers, and your friends. We partake in the same student government, clubs, Greek life, volunteer organizations, and sports teams as you. 

Most of us did not choose to be political activists. We do not bang on drums and chant catchy slogans. We are average students, just trying to make it through finals much like the rest of you. Those who demonize us under the cloak of anti-Zionism forced us into our activism and forced us to publicly defend our Jewish identities. 

We proudly believe in the Jewish People’s right to self-determination in our historic homeland as a fundamental tenet of our Jewish identity. Contrary to what many have tried to sell you – no, Judaism cannot be separated from Israel. Zionism is, simply put, the manifestation of that belief.

Our religious texts are replete with references to Israel, Zion, and Jerusalem. The land of Israel is filled with archaeological remnants of a Jewish presence spanning centuries. Yet, despite generations of living in exile and diaspora across the globe, the Jewish People never ceased dreaming of returning to our homeland — Judea, the very place from which we derive our name, “Jews.” Indeed just a couple of days ago, we all closed our Passover seders with the proclamation, “Next Year in Jerusalem!”

Many of us are not religiously observant, yet Zionism remains a pillar of our Jewish identities. We have been kicked out of Russia, Libya, Ethiopia, Yemen, Afghanistan, Poland, Egypt, Algeria, Germany, Iran, and the list goes on. We connect to Israel not only as our ancestral homeland but as the only place in the modern world where Jews can safely take ownership of their own destiny. Our experiences at Columbia in the last six months are a poignant reminder of just that. 

We were raised on stories from our grandparents of concentration camps, gas chambers, and ethnic cleansing. The essence of Hitler’s antisemitism was the very fact that we were “not European” enough, that as Jews we were threats to the “superior” Aryan race. This ideology ultimately left six million of our own in ashes. 

The evil irony of today’s antisemitism is a twisted reversal of our Holocaust legacy; protestors on campus have dehumanized us, imposing upon us the characterization of the “white colonizer.” We have been told that we are “the oppressors of all brown people” and that “the Holocaust wasn’t special.” Students at Columbia have chanted “we don’t want no Zionists here,” alongside “death to the Zionist State” and to “go back to Poland,” where our relatives lie in mass graves. 

This sick distortion illuminates the nature of antisemitism: In every generation, the Jewish People are blamed and scapegoated as responsible for the societal evil of the time. In Iran and in the Arab world, we were ethnically cleansed for our presumed ties to the “Zionist entity.” In Russia, we endured state-sponsored violence and were ultimately massacred for being capitalists. In Europe, we were the victims of genocide because we were communists and not European enough. And today, we face the accusation of being too European, painted as society’s worst evils – colonizers and oppressors. We are targeted for our belief that Israel, our ancestral and religious homeland, has a right to exist. We are targeted by those who misuse the word Zionist as a sanitized slur for Jew, synonymous with racist, oppressive, or genocidal. We know all too well that antisemitism is shapeshifting.

We are proud of Israel. The only democracy in the Middle East, Israel is home to millions of Mizrachi Jews (Jews of Middle Eastern descent), Ashkenazi Jews (Jews of Central and Eastern European descent), and Ethiopian Jews, as well as millions of Arab Israelis, over one million Muslims, and hundreds of thousands of Christians and Druze. Israel is nothing short of a miracle for the Jewish People and for the Middle East more broadly.

Our love for Israel does not necessitate blind political conformity. It’s quite the opposite. For many of us, it is our deep love for and commitment to Israel that pushes us to object when its government acts in ways we find problematic. Israeli political disagreement is an inherently Zionist activity; look no further than the protests against Netanyahu’s judicial reforms – from New York to Tel Aviv – to understand what it means to fight for the Israel we imagine. All it takes are a couple of coffee chats with us to realize that our visions for Israel differ dramatically from one another. Yet we all come from a place of love and an aspiration for a better future for Israelis and Palestinians alike. 

If the last six months on campus have taught us anything, it is that a large and vocal population of the Columbia community does not understand the meaning of Zionism, and consequently does not understand the essence of the Jewish People. Yet despite the fact that we have been calling out the antisemitism we’ve been experiencing for months, our concerns have been brushed off and invalidated. So here we are to remind you: 

We sounded the alarm on October 12 when many protested against Israel while our friends’ and families’ dead bodies were still warm.

We recoiled when people screamed “resist by any means necessary,” telling us we are “all inbred” and that we “have no culture.” 

We shuddered when an “activist” held up a sign telling Jewish students they were Hamas’s next targets, and we shook our heads in disbelief when Sidechat users told us we were lying. 

We ultimately were not surprised when a leader of the CUAD encampment said publicly and proudly that “Zionists don’t deserve to live” and that we’re lucky they are “not just going out and murdering Zionists.” 

We felt helpless when we watched students and faculty physically block Jewish students from entering parts of the campus we share, or even when they turned their faces away in silence. This silence is familiar. We will never forget.

One thing is for sure. We will not stop standing up for ourselves. We are proud to be Jews, and we are proud to be Zionists.   

We came to Columbia because we wanted to expand our minds and engage in complex conversations. While campus may be riddled with hateful rhetoric and simplistic binaries now, it is never too late to start repairing the fractures and begin developing meaningful relationships across political and religious divides. Our tradition tells us, “Love peace and pursue peace.” We hope you will join us in earnestly pursuing peace, truth, and empathy. Together we can repair our campus. 


(540 signatures were posted)


Frequent visitor to Israel said...

Amen and shalom.

Anonymous said...

Well said

Anonymous said...

Anti-Semites hate Christians just as much, but, for now, too many of them to intimidate.

Anonymous said...

Israel is a the only nation in the Middle East where you won’t get stoned or thrown off a bridge for being gay and also recognizing women’s rights

Burke said...

A much needed corrective. Thanks for posting it.

Anonymous said...

The Jewish students are due a refund for the entire year and well past time for Shafik to resign. Can’t the board of trustees remove this radical woman? She is no friend of the Jews.

Anonymous said...

The woke left is the most racist group on the planet. Period.

Anonymous said...

It's very telling that the Hamas fans wear masks.

I cannot reconcile being so passionate about a cause while also being ashamed to be seen defending it.

Anonymous said...

It's a shame that these students have to state what should be obvious.

They have no more control over what Israel's current government does that we have and only a minority vote over what our government does.

What is not said is that individual who resort to violence against other individuals or their property are mentally ill and we should all be working together to again find ways to keep their insanity from endangering the rest of us.

Also, if you cannot debate an issue or resolve a problem without resorting to personal verbal attacks or lying, you are either naive/ incompetent or lack an honest basis for your stance. You are just having a tantrum.

Once upon a time when newspapers were owned by local families and tv was well regulated, we could rely on media and still got both sides. Now some Americans are relying on propaganda sources, not verifiable information.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Very well done by the Jewish students. I am impressed at their restraint. I, for one, would not be nearly as restrained. Kudos to them.

Anonymous said...

Unlike the mask-wearing, anti-semitic protestors, these students have the courage of their convictions. Kudos to them!

Anonymous said...

OK, Mr. Bubba panderer, now go look at how many Jewish students were arrested at Tulane recently for speaking out against the Israeli terrorism of the Palestinians. Or don't, your regulars will just probably skim over anything localish/relevant.

Kingfish said...

There is no Israeli terrorism in Gaza, Nazi.

Albert Einstein said...

I could not in good faith allow my child to remain at such a disappointing example of a so-called institution of higher learning, nor would I continue paying them for said "education". And, as a taxpayer, I do not condone the government subsidizing such establishments.

Anonymous said...

You state no terrorism in Gaza, with no basis in fact. Post you are responded to at least referenced facts, which you choose to ignore.

Anonymous said...

@12:14 PM - Your fuhrerbunker has internet?

Anonymous said...

Wonderful job by the students. G d bless them.

Burke said...

The Hamas leaders expected Israel to overdo its response, which it has. The tragedy is that a huge number of Gazan Palestinians have died in the process, and that Hamas is not only ultimately responsible but is pleased to see it happen!

The ultimate villains of the piece are the Roman Emperors Vespasian and Titus, but that was long ago.

Anonymous said...

In case you think I'm making this up, an analysis of elite college admissions published in The American Conservative showed the undergraduate student body at Columbia from 2007-2011 to be 40% white and 25% Jewish, i.e., 63% of whites are Jewish. (Caveat that the race/ethnicity of 14% of the total undergraduate student body was unknown, so it's probably less).

So, anyway, when the students at Columbia are being taught to hate white people, they look around at their white classmates (and professors and administrators) and see mostly Jews. So of course they're going to end up being antisemites.

Anonymous said...

May 14, 2024 at 12:58 PM, the post Kingfish responded to reference an opinion of protesters. There were no facts given.

Anonymous said...

Why aren't there protest calling for HAMAS to surrender?

Anonymous said...

@1:26 PM Hamas members are Palestinians. Hamas is the military/terrorist arm of Palestine.

Anonymous said...

Jews often excel in academia, law, science, the arts and business. Some resent their success. In the current campus rage, students are the willing dupes of same old same old riot organizing activists from preceding destructive marxist fanatics.

Anonymous said...

Far fewer Gazans would die if the Hamas terrorists would not use them as human shields.

Anonymous said...

Believing Israel has the right to go after Hamas is a legitimate position. However,if you believe that, don't blind yourself to the manner of military actions being done in Gaza. The IDF has destroyed half of all housing in Gaza and has killed numerous civilians. Also, they have not and will not destroy Hamas. They are already having to fight in areas deemed clear. Does this not sound like Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan? Every day in Gaza, Israel surrenders some of the moral high ground. The conflict is being drug out by Netanyahu because he must please the far right members of his coalition that do want to purge the Occupied Territories of Palestinians.

Anonymous said...

"@12:14 PM - Your fuhrerbunker has internet?"

It came with the color TV.

Anonymous said...

It's hilarious watching local Mississippians twist themselves into pretzels. I'm sure that the self righteous have conflicting opinions on the Third Reich.

Anonymous said...

" I'm sure that the self righteous have conflicting opinions on the Third Reich"

Go ahead and give us the opinion Mr. Maddow gave you.

Anonymous said...

2:28, Gaza is about 25% larger than the city of Jackson and has 15 times as many people; fighting a war in that environment will inevitably produce lots of collateral damage. Couple that with an enemy that has no issues with using their civilians as human shields and it gets even worse. Israel has to eliminate the threat of Hamas and I’m sorry if you are upset it’s not pretty.

Anonymous said...

You miss the point. Israel cannot destroy Hamas. Also, your flippant attitude to the lives and property of others is shockingly immoral or an exemplar of modern 'Christianity'. I'm not sure which. Probably both since they are usually the same

Anonymous said...

Very sorry the Jews do not understand today's new, ill metrics: The issue the Wokes have with the Jews is they are white and believe in God. Bottom line.

Anonymous said...

7:25 gets it. It's an unfortunate situation but it's kill or be killed. After WWII and the Holocaust I think the Israelis are determined the slaughter of Jews is going to stop.

Anonymous said...

Let's not forget the number of Americans who have been murdered by Palestinians over the years, not by Hamas, but Palestinians.

Inconvenient truth?

Anonymous said...

11:01 said, "The woke left is the most racist group on the planet. Period."

True. Very true.

Anonymous said...

While there are exceptions, liberals are extremely mean people.

Anonymous said...

7:55, I realize to a smug, woke, condescending, progressive such as yourself the rest of us are just ignorant country bumpkin simpletons, but it is you missing the point. Recognizing that unfortunate collateral damage is unavoidable is in no way the equivalent of being flippant about it. By your logic, we should not have fought back against Germany or Japan, should not have fought across Italy, and should not have invaded Normandy since all involved collateral damage.

Anonymous said...

Why is the gay community so adamant on celebrating a culture that kills homosexuals by stoning or throwing them off bridges and furthermore giving no rights to women. Seems like it’s everything they claim to oppose.

Anonymous said...

Let this sink in: Jews have been hated around the world for more than 2,000 years -- for absolutely no reason whatever at all.

Anonymous said...

Even the Nazis evacuated German civilians from battle zones prior to battles. The Nazis: the most vilified military in recent history did not use their own people as human shields - even when they knew that they were losing. Hamas hides in hospitals and other concentrations of their fellow Palestinians with the expressed aim of using the inevitable deaths of their own cititzens to advance their worldwide public relations war. If the lives of Palestinians mean so little to other Palestinians, why should I be concerned about them? No reason whatsoever.

Anonymous said...

Still no follow up by KF or others about initial reference to Jewish Tulane students' position, only typical bumper-sticker, "You're a (Jewish) Nazi." However, no response to the follow-up comments of some who seem to get the reality of the situation stripped of the evangelical histrionics, either, so the point was made. But hey, at least KF gets clicks.

Anonymous said...

To put it all into perspective, Jews have never done anything at all to these Palestinians to make them want to kill Jews. Not one, single, solitary thing. Palestinians are just a murderous people.

And it has been this way all over the world for as long as anyone can remember, for as long as history records, people all over the world just hate Jews for no reason and feel compelled to exterminate them. That’s just crazy, isn’t it, the world wanting to kill just this one tiny little group?

Anonymous said...

@8:24 PM, Please allow me to clue you in — well, allow KF to clue you in; he’s Boss Gatekeeper here: 1) Jews are not white; and 2) Talmudic Jews don’t believe in any god other than the Jewish people themselves. Just fact.

Your preachers are misleading you, @8:24.

Anonymous said...

@9:59 PM - "Jews are not white." Seriously? A Jew could be any race. There are black Jews, white (Caucasian) Jews, Asian Jews...

Someone is misleading you.

I have been to Israel eight (8) times; how about you?

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

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Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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