Skip to comments.Anti-Semitic riot at San Francisco State University
Posted on 05/16/2002 4:43:21 AM PDT by Clive
After being surrounded by a mob of students shouting, "Hitler didn't finish the job," and "Get out or we'll kill you," pro-Israel students at San Francisco State University are finally finding an ally against hate.
The university president is so fed-up with the hate-filled atmosphere on the Bay Area campus that he has asked the local district attorney's office to help bring pro-Palestinian hate-mongers to justice.
The May 7 incident received widespread press attention after an e-mail was circulated by Prof. Laurie Zoloth, director of the Jewish studies program at SFSU, describing the virulence of the anti- Semitic rhetoric and the campus's seeming inability to halt such occurrences.
More than 100 anti-Semitic incidents, including graffiti, vandalism, hate speech, and violence have occurred on US campuses since January, according to the Anti-Defamation League.
Zoloth, who attended the campus Hillel's Peace in the Middle East Rally along with several hundred students, faculty, and members of the community, described how Palestinian supporters descended on a group of 50 students who stayed behind to clean up and conduct a prayer service, after singing Hebrew songs and hearing speeches in support of Israel.
"They screamed at us to 'go back to Russia' and they screamed that they would kill us all, and other terrible things," she wrote in the May 8 e-mail.
"As the counter-demonstrators poured into the plaza, screaming at the Jews to 'Get out or we'll kill you' and 'Hitler didn't finish the job,' I turned to the police and to every administrator I could find and asked them to remove the counter-demonstrators from the plaza, to maintain the separation of 100 feet that we had been promised. The police told me that they had been told not to arrest anyone, and that if they did, 'it would start a riot.' I told them that it already was a riot."
After approaching Dean of Students Penny Saffold, who called the San Francisco Police, pro-Israel demonstrators were marched to the campus Hillel House under police protection and a guard was posted at the door.
Zoloth also described what life is like for Jewish students and faculty at SFSU, noting her despair at the emergence of posters around campus equating Zionism with racism and Jews with Nazis, and pictures of cans of soup labeled "Canned Palestinian Children Meat, slaughtered according to Jewish rites under American license."
"This is not civic discourse, this is not free speech, and this is the Weimar Republic with brown shirts it cannot control," she wrote.
After staying silent for nearly a week, university president Robert Corrigan posted a statement condemning the incident on SFSU's Web site on Monday. But in a move that Jeffrey Ross, ADL director of campus/higher education affairs, praised as a positive departure from many campuses' public silence on anti-Semitic incidents, Corrigan noted a request to the office of District Attorney Terence Hallinan to assign a member of its hate crimes unit to work with SFSU and consider bringing legal action against certain students.
"Despite the claims of some, this is not an anti-Semitic campus. But as history shows us, silence and passivity can at times of crisis be very little different from complicity," Corrigan said in the statement.
In the Bay area, where anti-Israel protests have been the norm on campus for decades, Ross credited the University of California, Berkeley, as being the first school in the area to take legal action against pro-Palestinian demonstrators. Last month, 79 protesters were arrested after taking over a building on campus, and Students for Justice in Palestine was suspended from operating on campus for a month.
"In both cases, you've got administrators who are trying to do the right thing in very difficult circumstances. We're pleased that they're working beyond the rhetorical to law enforcement, when law-enforcement is appropriate," Ross said. But it remains unclear whether those who have been terrorized will be placated by Corrigan's vow to crack down on anti-Semitic demonstrators after nearly two years of virulent anti-Israel demonstrations. As Zoloth noted in her e-mail, the anti-Semitic, anti-Israel, and anti-American atmosphere that has pervaded campus extends far beyond the scope of one protest that spun out of control.
"After nearly seven years as director of Jewish studies, and after nearly two decades of life here as a student, faculty member, and wife of the Hillel rabbi, after years of patient work and difficult civic discourse, I am saddened to see SFSU return to its notoriety as a place that teaches anti-Semitism, hatred for America, and hatred, above all else, for the Jewish State of Israel, a state that I cherish," she wrote.
I totally agree with you V. These thugs need to be locked up for a long time.
Why am I not surprised?
Where is the "hate crime" legislation when you need it?
I saw a "spokeswoman" for the Palestinian students on O'Reilly a few days back. She was rude, insulting, denied everything & claimed that Pal supporters were attacked (the usual professional victimhood) & that she had it on tape. Looks like--if she has a tape-- that tape will be going to the DA's office.
Finally, their weak little minds can recognize the vicious irrational hatred that is anti-Semitism. It's about time. Maybe they'll recognize that it's the same suspects that protest at every other leftist cause. Maybe a few less men in beards, but I'm sure the protestors aren't all Palies/Muslims/etc.
Thank God that the Palestinians aren't very good at hiding their hatred or true intentions.
And where were all the acedemics? None of them went to stand with Ms Zoloft and her students.
And what was Dean Safford thinking? She watched this episode from a flight above it and did not call in the SFPD until Ms Zoloft confronted her directly.
The socialists and anti-American crowd harboring within the US have begun their opposition drive and it will only increase in intensity.
Next will come the certain congresional and media investigations on the intelligence failures (quote) prior to 9/11.
Islamists and domestic muslims will flood the courts with legal action demanding that they be set apart as an oppressed people denied some list of rights and a homeland somewhere with a nice welfare system.
The democrats will, of course, announce that this all would never have happened if Al Gore had been allowed his proper role in the White House.
Someone, somewhere, will trip another fuze or pop a canister of uglyness, and then we'll see how all the patriotic zeal of the past months actually holds up.
If I were a Republican president today I'd be planning for four year tour of duty and getting everything done I could possibly fit into that time frame.
I think President Corrigan needs to be brought up to speed.
He stayed silent for a week. His campus police did nothing. he would have done nothing had not the internet made possible a very wide circulation of Ms Zoloft's email.
My guess is that he started to get a number of angry calls from pissed-off donors, which tend to foster clearer thinking.
I guess that meant it was open season on lefties.
The thing about most lefties is they are wussies. (After all: If they had grown up valuing martial virtues, they'd be conservatives.) I've always found that they are pretty brave in a bottle and rock throwing mob, but if you start peeling them off and beating them silly one at a time, they go down like extras in a Kung Fu movie.
You don't have to beat a lefty silly- they're already there ;-)
But I know what you're saying. They tend to make funny noises with the proper application of knuckles.
"Canned Palestinian Children Meat, slaughtered according to Jewish rites under American license."American universities have shown contempt for free speech for many years, and the "Liberal" enclaves, such as the Bay Area, are controlling, judgmental, and neo-puritannical--not at all the liberal, fair-minded, free-thinking societies they imagine themselves to be. But, all that notwithstanding, such anti-semitism as this shocks and frightens the civilized world.
"This is not civic discourse, this is not free speech, and this is the Weimar Republic with brown shirts it cannot control"
North America and Europe had better wake up fast, recognize "Liberalism" for the decadence that it is, repudiate it, and follow the American Heartland--Bush Country--into the 21st century! This is the greatest bastion of liberalism, liberty, justice, and healthy Western Civilization in the world today. And it had better prevail!!!
A vote for a "Liberal" candidate or a Democrat is a vote for just the sort of thing described in this article.
"Scratch the leftist, discover the brownshirt. "--section9
Yeah, it's sort of a "squishy-splat" kind of sound, followed by a combination of a pig-like squeal and a feminine whine (and thats just from the males.)
It's very usual for him to do this. Never happened before.
It might seem like a tepid response but in the past Jewish students and faculty probable would have been asked to "just be patient."
In my 14 years as president of this university, I have never been as deeply distressed and angered by something that happened on this campus as I am by the events of last week. On Tuesday, a pro-Israel peace rally, thoughtfully organized and carefully carried out by SFSU Hillel members, drawing some 400 participants from both campus and community, evoked strong opinions and strong speech -- some from the free speech platform, much from the nearby pro-Palestinian counter-demonstration. But strong, even provocative, speech is not the problem, nor are strongly held opinions on highly-charged topics. Rather, it was the lack of civility and decency on the part of a very few demonstrators at points during the rally, and much more markedly after it, when rhetoric and behavior escalated beyond what this campus will tolerate.
For the most part, the most objectionable behavior occurred after the rally's organizers brought it to a formal close and a group of pro-Palestinian demonstrators who, in keeping with our student event policy, had been held back by barricades and campus police, moved onto the event site, where a few dozen organizers remained. There, some of the demonstrators behaved in a manner that completely violated the values of this institution and of most of you who are reading this message.
Thankfully, I am not speaking about physical violence. The monitoring by University staff throughout the event and the significant police presence we had arranged to have on hand ensured the safety of all involved. Unfortunately, we were not equally able to ensure civil discourse and maintain the sense of security to which every member of this campus is entitled. A small but terribly destructive number of pro-Palestinian demonstrators, many of whom were not SFSU students, abandoned themselves to intimidating behavior and statements too hate-filled to repeat. This group became so threatening in gesture and hostile in language that we interposed a police line between the groups and eventually escorted the Hillel students, and the faculty with them, from the plaza. No one was physically assaulted, but that encounter puts at risk all that we value and represent as a university community.
The demonstrators' behavior is not passing unchallenged. The University's code of student discipline and event policy allow for individual and group sanctions ranging from warning to suspension to expulsion for certain violations, and some of what took place on Tuesday may well fall within that area. Our videotaped record of the event is being reviewed now by SFSU Public Safety to note violations and identify violators so that the University's disciplinary procedures can begin. In one instance, that of a protestor who seized and stamped on an Israeli flag, the case has already gone forward. I fully expect to see other cases presented. If we identify violations of public law, we will refer cases to the District Attorney, with our strong recommendation for full prosecution. We have requested that the District Attorney assign a member of the hate crime unit to work with us, and our Department of Public Safety is contacting individuals who have reported behavior at the rally which would warrant legal action on our part.
I hope you will agree that no love of homeland, no fear or grief for loved ones in the actual area of Middle East conflict, excuses the behavior that has been reported. This is not a war zone. It is a campus, a place where all must feel physically protected even as we engage in the disputation that is part of a teaching and learning environment. But when disputation degenerates into bigotry and hate, we must -- and do -- act. We did so in the case of the "blood libel" flyer (as I reported several weeks ago), and we are doing so now. The anguish and fear that the May 7th events have caused for members of our community can only intensify our active commitment to making this campus a hate-free zone.
We have reviewed, and will continue to review, the policies and procedures that guided our responses during the May 7 event. We may well adjust them. Certainly, we will take steps to ensure that encounters like those I have described will not recur. Nothing justifies such acts of overt hostility, or even the implied threat of physical assault. Such behavior is not an expression of free speech.
The vast majority of this campus community would condemn the hateful speech and threatening behavior we saw last Tuesday. It is a very few individuals who are fomenting this discord. Yet, as we see, their impact can be profound -- if we allow it to be. Despite the claims of some, this is not an anti-Semitic campus. But as history shows us, silence and passivity can at times of crisis be very little different from complicity. All of us -- and I would say especially members of the faculty, who have the greatest opportunity to educate and influence our students -- have a responsibility to help maintain this as a safe and sustaining environment for the expression and exploration of opposing views.
Many of our best faculty are doing exactly that, consciously and powerfully, every day. We need now to find ways to bring good colleagues together to shape a collective effort. The CUSP II strategic planning process offers us one opportunity; I am looking for others and welcome your thoughts. We need to make what has happened on our campus an occasion for learning, for reflection, for growth.
As you know, since the terrorist attacks on September 11th, I have sent frequent messages to the entire University community calling for peace and tolerance and many of you have responded marvelously, both in words and action; I take great pride in the hundreds of very positive e-mails and letters I have received. But now, as the actions of a small band of bigots threaten to tarnish the reputation of the University as a whole and to discredit all our students, I ask you to join me in speaking out for this University's true values. Show in actions well as words that you believe not only that "Love is Stronger Than Hate" but that hateful actions, threats of violence, outrageous slurs and bigoted statements are rejected and contemned by our entire campus community. -- Robert A. Corrigan, President
I disagree, leftists are a protected group too. But, if they were white, it would have been assumed they were right-wing. Most of the Jew-hating comes from the left.
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