By Geoffrey Cook, TMO
Alameda (Calif.)–A Susannah Nachenberg of the class of 2010 at Santa Cruz sent me a an e-mail request from J-Street, the best Jewish-American civil society group proposing solutions to the Palestinian-Israeli impasse, asking my support on their petition to the University of California regents to reject the implementation of a report to limit free speech on the issue of Israel on the campuses and its satellites and, thereby, the National Labs. I signed on.
Susannah began in the name of J-Street to point out that the University of California system-wide just released a report on Jewish campus life that, in her words, conflates criticism of Israeli polices with anti-Jewish hatred, and, also, demands the repression of the free speech for those who support Palestinian rights!
Among the leading figures in resolving this conundrum within the US are Jewish people themselves, for, if Israel has any chance at all to survive in the long-run, internal reform within that nation itself must be instituted that will better integrate it with its non-Jewish neighbors in the region. I feel that a minority of young Jews on California campuses are conservatively Zionists, but, at the very least these younger Jews are, at the very least, are trying to redefine that term â€“ if not out and out as counter to their concept of Judaism.
The second issue is the considerable Palestinian-American (mostly Christian) and the large number of Muslim students currently within these halls, who will react to this resolution by actively rebelling and demonstrating on the Stateâ€™s campuses.
Further, this will discourage reconciliation between Jews and Muslims and those Christians of Palestinian heritage upon our campuses.
Therefore, I urge the regents of the UC system in the petition sent to Mark Yudof, the President over the ten campuses of those Golden State Institutes — plus the satellite campuses worldwide and the administrator of the National Laboratories to table this hateful and conservatively sectarian proposal that does not reflect the position of the majority of young Jews with whom I have worked over the years of my career, and, which can only destroy the free debate that the future actors who will resolve this dilemma can now commence at the University of California at this time!