California Senate Moves to End All Campus Criticism of Jews and Israel
Murky language condemning “anti-Semitism augmenting acts” hides intent to suppress all criticism by students or teachers
Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 35
Introduced by Senator Stone (pictured)
Coauthors: Senators Anderson, Bates, Berryhill, Block, Gaines, Mitchell, Roth, Vidak, and Wolk
SCR 35, as introduced, Stone. Anti-Semitism.
This measure would urge each University of California campus to adopt a resolution condemning all forms of anti-Semitism and racism, and would condemn any act of anti-Semitism augmenting education programs at all publicly funded schools in the State of California.
Fiscal committee: no.
WHEREAS, The United States 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”; and
WHEREAS, There is clear evidence of increasing and alarming incidents and expressions of anti-Semitism throughout the world; and
WHEREAS, From sea to shining sea one can witness the proliferation of anti-Semitic activity; and
WHEREAS, In February of 2015, the California Legislature’s Jewish Caucus held a press conference addressing anti-Semitic acts and in the same week an estimated 500 people gathered on the steps of the State Capitol to protest the recent rise in anti-Semitic acts occurring across the nation, including the display of the Nazi swastika symbol superimposed on to an American flag that was hung in the front of a private home in Sacramento’s River Park neighborhood, which tarnished the reputation of the Golden State; and
WHEREAS, Swastikas and other anti-Semitic sentiments have increased in recent months on college campuses across the country and around the world; and
WHEREAS, In 2014, the kinds of recorded anti-Semitic acts committed in the United States and around the world included murders; violent attacks, and death threats against Jews; arson, graffiti and property desecration; and murders at Jewish cemeteries, places of worship, schools, and community events; and
WHEREAS, These types of anti-Semitic acts also extended to soccer stadiums, the internet, editorial cartoons, and the use of Nazi salutes, leading many Jewish individuals to conceal their religious and ethnic identity; and
WHEREAS, In April of 2014, the United States Department of State released the International Religious Freedom Report recognizing that anti-Semitism continues to be internationally prevalent; and
WHEREAS, The governments of France, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom, the four countries where the majority of anti-Semitic incidents have occurred in Europe, have strongly condemned anti-Semitism as unacceptable in European society and have all made clear statements that such attacks on their Jewish communities are intolerable; and
WHEREAS, The State of California actively promotes tolerance to all faiths and religions; and
WHEREAS, The United States government has played an essential role in counteracting the resurgence of anti-Semitism worldwide and has consistently supported efforts to address the rise in anti-Semitism through its bilateral relationships and participation in international organizations such as the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, and the Organization of American States; and
WHEREAS, The Legislature joins with people everywhere in unequivocally condemning all forms of anti-Semitism and rejecting attempts to justify anti-Jewish hatred or violent attacks as an acceptable expression of disapproval or frustration over political events in the Middle East or elsewhere; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Senate of the State of California, the Assembly thereof concurring, That the Legislature hereby urges each University of California campus to adopt a resolution condemning all forms of anti-Semitism and racism, including Islamophobia; and be it further
Resolved, That the Legislature condemns any act of anti-Semitism augmenting education programs at all publicly funded schools in the State of California in order to promote tolerance and acceptance of all religious beliefs in accordance with the rights afforded to each person by the Founding Fathers of this nation and the authors of the United States Constitution; and be it further
Resolved, That the Secretary of the Senate transmit copies of this resolution to the author for appropriate distribution.
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Source: California State Senate