Letters + Opinion » Mailbox

'Enabling an Antisemitic Moment'



No antisemitism at CalPoly? A majority of Jewish students surveyed in the U.S. said there was threatening and derogatory language toward Jewish people; faculty abusing their authority in support of the anti-Israel protests. Is CalPoly an exception? Not according to statements from Jewish students there.

The campus protesters are likely not antisemitic. But that is irrelevant: They are enabling an antisemitic moment.

Zionism was transformed from a story of a dispossessed people re-indigenizing their ancient homeland into one more sordid expression of European colonialism.

The Jewish people, the descendants of the Hebrews, is a perfect example of "decolonization." The Hebrews established the kingdoms of Judea and Israel 3,000 years ago. After being colonized by successive empires: the Assyrians, the Romans, the Ottomans and the British, we reclaimed, with the United Nations' blessing, our indigenous land, reviving our ancient language and culture.

The people of Israel are not "white colonizers." Most of the Jewish population there are from Arab lands and were expelled or fled in terror in the middle of the last century when the leaders of those countries declared war on the Jewish state. A larger Palestinian state was rejected by the Arabs. There are also the Ethiopian Jews. And there have always been Jewish communities in the land from time immemorial.

The Zionist idea came from Europe, but the need for a Jewish homeland was worldwide.

The events of Oct. 7 were traumatic for many of us. We are still trying to come to terms with the horror. None of that is to diminish the tragedy of what the people in Gaza are going through, but the protesters' blindness to our pain has been most hurtful. If you cannot acknowledge our pain, we will have a very hard time believing you hold the ideals you claim to profess.

Nan Abrams, Eureka

Add a comment