Article Overlooked Student Reaction to Swastika Issue

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I am writing in response to the recent article "Multiple Swastikas Found Drawn at Clark Kerr Campus," which portrays the administration as being very concerned about these crimes, while students remain silent.

While I don't know the writers of this article personally, I must say that they are obviously unaware of the hundreds of Jewish students who have come together and been very active on campus within the past two months.

We have stayed up until 8 a.m., despite early-morning classes and impending papers and midterms, to fight the divestment bill that threatens the security of Israel, the Jewish state. We have made countless speeches, contacted various human rights organizations, organized events on campus that honor and celebrate Israel while spreading information in a positive manner and written numerous Facebook notes and editorials regarding the hateful and hostile anti-Semitic climate on campus. We have done all of this, while the administration has said not a word nor offered any encouragement whatsoever.

I am among the many students who have been very involved in countering the anti-Israel and anti-Semitic acts that take place on our campus every day, and I can guarantee that if even one of us knew about the ill-advertised "community meeting" that was mentioned in the article, we all would have turned out in droves.

To address the swastikas themselves: They are frightening, and even if they were scrawled on the walls by some "drunk kids," they are still a threat, symbolic of the growing climate of hate at UC Berkeley. The swastikas horrify me, but I can't say that they surprise me, given the recent, proliferating anti-Semitic instances occurring both on UC campuses and internationally.

If the UC Berkeley administration actually wants to support its Jewish students, I would encourage its members to look not only for the individuals who made these hateful drawings, but also to the sources on campus that would have inspired them.

The ASUC-sponsored Israel divestment bill and other anti-Israel demonstrations put on by a large student group have made anti-Israel and anti-Semitic acts (any history major or informed individual can tell you that the two often go hand in hand) seem acceptable. The administration may not be the perpetrators of the growing intolerance, hate, and racism on this campus, but they certainly aren't putting a stop to it.


Arielle Spinner is a UC Berkeley student. Reply to [email protected]



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