Sun. May 19th, 2024

Opinion and Commentary By Donna Westfall – May 2, 2024

In response to all the craziness taking place on college campuses with students, teachers and non-student agitators, the House passed legislation yesterday in a vote of 320 – 91. Nice to see there was some bi-partisan support covering antisemitism.

In 2016, the Plenary of Budapest came up with this definition: “Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”

If the bill is passed in the Senate, the definition would include “targeting of the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity.” Some think this goes too far and would take away free expression about Israel.

I think it would be vastly simpler if they included something like, “If any group like Hamas goes into kill mode against Jews, taking hostages and terrorizing the people of Israel like they did on October 7, 2023, then those that would support such terrorists through violent protests and demonstrations would be considered antisemitic and subject to legal action; such as expulsion from college and/or arrest.

Do the members of Hamas deserve the death penalty? I believe they do.

Do the students of federally funded universities deserve to be punished when they are taking over halls, causing destruction, intimidating Jewish students, etc., etc., etc. causing classes to be canceled; be prosecuted? I believe they do.

Should the universities that allow these protests and demonstrations to continue that are promoting antisemitism have their funding revoked? I believe they should.

I can understand some students joining in efforts to proclaim Israel responsible for so many Palestinian deaths. Many are simply following vocal leaders that are antisemitic. When I was in John Burroughs Junior High School in Los Angeles, one of the smartest kids in our class declared we should have a book drop to protest the execution of Caryl Chessman. It was scheduled for 10 am on May 2, 1960. I didn’t know squat about Caryl Chessman but at 10 am I dropped my books just like all the rest of our class. Sixty-four years to this day, things really haven’t changed that much.

Caryl Chessman, 38 years old. Executed by gas chamber May 2, 1960.

One has to wonder why none of the students/protestors ever said “BOO” about the October 7th massacre by the Hamas barbarians. Actually, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if many of them don’t realize what took place on October 7th. But the simplistic answer can be; they’re basically antisemitic and don’t give a hoot about Jewish lives.

What will the Senate do? I’m sure we’ll find out soon enough.

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