Letter: The Dangerous Myopia of Dean Erwin Chermerinsky

Dear Letter to the Editor:

“Jew Free Zones.” This antisemitic phrase has been in the news recently because about a dozen student groups at UC Berkeley under the auspicious of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), have announced the total prohibition of all speakers who believe in Jewish self determination, that 4000 year old SINGULAR foundational narrative of the Jewish Bible aka the Old Testament which describes the Jewish people’s Return to Zion — what today is Israel. That 4000 year old Return to Zion is known colloquially as Zionism.

Of course these “Jew Free Zones” have deservedly been criticized in many quarters.

However it is the “criticism” of UC Berkeley Law School Dean Erwin Chermerinsky that is both myopic and dangerous for the Jews. Chermerinsky who in oxymoronic fashion declares himself a “progressive Zionist” does strongly criticize the “Jew Free Zones.” Yet in the same breath he minimizes them both because of there are only about a dozen antisemitic groups involved and also on First Amendment grounds. The latter defense is curious in that both President Trump first and now President Biden are prosecuting similar antisemitic conduct at universities across America as violations of Title 6 of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

However there is a bigger issue here than “Jew Free Zones” which is far more dangerous to all Jewish students, professors and administrators. Why is UC Berkeley or any university or college giving their imprimatur to SJP – an antisemitic genocidal organization which exists solely as a creature of Hamas?

SJP was created in 2000 by Hamas supporter Hatem Bazian and pro Hamas activist Swehai Shingavi to wage a campus war against Israel on behalf of Hamas. Also Hamas is the most significant financial  supporter of SJP through American Muslims for Palestine(AMP) — also established by Hatem Bazian in 2005. What is most important for all Jewish students, faculty and administrators at UC Berkeley to remember is that Hamas is an antisemitic genocidal organization. Article 7 of the Hamas charter which has never been revoked requires every member and supporter of Hamas — which includes every member of  UC Berkeley SJP — to murder every Jew on earth. Neither Israel nor Zionists are mentioned in Article 7. 

SJP is not some benign student affinity group notwithstanding any public relations “social justice” or “human rights” pablum it may issue to obfuscate its purpose. As a documented front group for Hamas, it exists solely to promote Hamas’ antisemitic genocidal agenda in university communities such as in Berkeley. As such it presents a clear and present danger to all Jewish students, faculty and administrators at the UC Berkeley.

Chermerinsky’s acceptance of UC Berkeley’s imprimatur on SJP is in effect putting UC Berkeley’s imprimatur on the world wide Jew killing which is the express purpose of Hamas and its creation SJP. It does not have to be so. Fordham University faced with SJP’s embrace of Hamas’ singular antisemitic genocidal purpose has banned SJP from its campus. The courts of New York State have upheld Fordham’s courageous decision. 

It is emasculated administrators across America like Chermerinsky, many of them “progressive” Jews who are contorting themselves every which way — just as German university administrators did in the 1930s to give their university’s imprimatur to Joseph Goebbels and his Brown Shirts — to apply their university’s imprimatur to the jew killing aspirations of SJP. It is this progressive contortion that is the true danger to Jewish students, professors and administrators in universities and colleges across America.

Richard Sherman
Margate, Florida

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They call me "NewsHound IV," because I'm a clever Finnegan, sniffing out stories all over the Boulder area. I love Jewish holidays because the food is GREAT, especially the brisket. Well all the food. I was a rescue pup and glad to be on the scent!

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