JUDENFREI Coming Soon to a Town Near You!

When Hitler wanted the "Aryan race" to dominate Europe, he used the now debunked law of Eugenics. On one side of the coin was this description of the perfect race; blond hair, blue eyes, perfect size nose and ears. On the other side of the coin was the Jew, a subhuman race akin to vermin and destined for complete destruction to save the world of its "grip.". Hitler was obsessed with getting rid of the Jews, not only in Germany but all of Europe and the rest of the world if he could. His ultimate goal was a Jundenfrei Europe, a European continent free of Jews at any cost, and six million later, he almost succeeded! The Nazi term Judenfrei described the attempt to achieve "the final solution to the Jewish question." At first, but not for long, the Jews were ostracized, demonized and expelled. Eventually, when a community had gotten rid of all its Jews, it was Judenrein or Jew-free. But, this was never enough for Hitler and the Nazi regime. The complete annihilation of the Jews was the goal...One Judenrein at a time!

When looking at the concept of Judenfrei, it is crucial to consider that it didn't happen as an isolated incident but was part of a very precise, organized and structured agenda of death. The Holocaust, A systematic, willful attempt at exterminating all of European Jewry, can be divided into four main periods of a few years spanning from 1933 to 1945. Legislation from 1933-1938 (The Nuremberg Laws), Criminalization of Jewishness from 1938-1939 (Kristallnacht: The Night of Broken Glass), Isolation from 1939-1941 (Ghettos) and Annihilation from 1941-1945 (Death Camps.) Judenfrei was part of the agenda of death. It was just one step on the path to total annihilation. It described an area that had been "cleansed" of its Jews in the same way that a pest control inspector would declare your home free of vermin. Cafés, restaurants and other businesses advertised to the outside crowds that they proudly were Judenfrei.

Judenfrei or Judenrein didn't come to a halt when the war ended in 1945. The concept was picked up by many Arab and Muslim countries that have made life impossible for Jews and forced them to leave. Several countries currently have dwindling numbers of Jews, even down to the single digits. Sometimes the Jews are forced out and sometimes they leave on their own. All this being said, there is nothing positive about Judenfrei.

So, when the University of Berkeley in California decided to develop "Jewish Free " zones on campus, I cringed! To be exact, nine different Law Student Groups at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law are modifying their by-laws to make sure that Jews are excluded.  They want to ensure that speakers promoting Israel or Zionism are never invited anywhere or anytime on campus. The law groups are Berkeley Law Muslim Student Association, Community Defense Project, Law Students of African Descent, Middle Eastern and North African Law Students Association,  Asian Pacific American Law Students Association, Queer Caucus, Women of Berkeley Law and Womxn of Color Collective. How in the world do we get the Queer Caucus and the Muslim Student Association to get along when they are on two opposite sides of the ideological spectrum? Oh Yes, I remember, "the enemy of my enemy is my friend!" It is also important to understand that Berkeley as a school doesn't endorse that decision.

Some of the language used in the revision of the bylaws is very concerning, as they state, " in the interest of protecting the safety and welfare of Palestinian students on campus [insert organization name] will not invite speakers that have expressed and continued to hold views or host/sponsor/promote events in support of Zionism, the apartheid state of Israel, and the occupation of Palestine. This sounds like the pro-Palestinian students are at risk for their safety when a pro-Israel group or speaker is active on campus. It also accuses Israel of apartheid, which frankly is an outright lie that those promoting it rarely if ever take the time to go to the Land and observe how Arabs and Jews actually co-exist and work together in Israel.  They also intend to promote BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) against Israel, as well as equip people on how to properly boycott Israeli products, companies and personalities. Erwin Chemernsky, the Dean of the Berkeley Law School is Jewish and he is even a progressive Zionist. By the new standards of the Law Scool bylaws, he would be forbidden to speak at any events; how is that going to work?

What we really need to see is real dialogue from both sides. There used to be a time when people with differing views could dialogue freely, agree on some and disagree on some, but keep a respectful attitude towards each other. On a university campus, when the next generation is being groomed and equipped to be the leaders of tomorrow, what are were teaching them when we call Jews occupiers, colonizers and human rights violates. Incidently, if a Jewish student wants to contribute to the dialogue at a pro-Palestinian gathering, they are quickly booed and often escorted out. I know it first hand because I was the recipient of in sults at UC Irvine in California several years ago when I attempted to participate to the dialogue and ask a question.

When Berkeley Law students call for a Jew-Free Zone, not only do they infringe on freedom of speech, but they commit antisemitism and encourage others to do likewise. If this is not reversed, other schools will follow suit and then other organizations. This is a little spark that could very rapidly lead to a forest fire. Considering how many of the current events parallel the gruesome agenda of Nazi Germany in the 1930s and 40s, when we hear that a school wants to be Jew-Free, we should be outraged, speak up and come to the defense of our Jewish friends. Remain silent and soon enough the Jews in your town will be no more.  British commentator Melanie Phillips was spot on when she declared, "For American Jews, the writing is now on the wall in neon lights!" This is enough to make Martin Niemöller turn in his grave.

First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

—Martin Niemöller

The Perennial Scapegoating and Demonizing of the Jews

The Jews make the only people group that has been accused of almost all the ills of the world in the last 2000 years. They have been accused of killing Christian children at Passover, poisoning the wells of Europe to cause the Black Plague, lending money at high interest rates, not to mention the Crucifixion of the Messiah.

There is a unique predicament that Jewish people find themselves in. Not only have they continually been accused of many ills, but they are often equally found guilty on either side of an issue. In the first half of the twentieth century, Jews were accused of being communists and socialists and while, some adhered to the ideology by personal convictions, Communism was never exclusive to the Jewish people. At the same times, the Jews were also accused of being capitalists. Again, while Capitalism has definitely benefited Jewish people and we can honestly say that many Jewish people have a shrewd sense of business and profit, Capitalism isn't exclusive to the Jews.

Strangely enough, when it comes to scapegoating the Jews, common sense has no place in the rhetoric of the antisemite. Irrationality reigns in a world dominated by those who seek to fault the Jews, any chance they have.

A recent example is the confirming of Supreme Court Justice Brent Kavanaugh. The process by which he was confirmed was a painful reminder of how far we have gone with the polarization of America. It had nothing to do with any Jewish conspiracy focused on taking over the world, and yet the Jews have recently been accused of being behind it. This takes us back to the "global Jewish takeover" hoax known as "The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion." first published in 1904 by Russian Sergei Neilus. It was and continues to be believed as truth by antisemites.

Days after Brent Kavanaugh was confirmed, people at both UC Davis and Berkeley in California, posted antisemitic flyers accusing Jews of being behind Justice Kavanaugh's confirmation. The text said, "Every time some anti-white, anti-American, anti-freedom event takes place, you look at it and it's Jews behind it." Around the text, you can see mugshots of Jewish members of Congress with stars of David on their foreheads, George Soros and a few Gentiles with "Good Goy" written on their foreheads were also part of the design. The posters were apparently produced by the "Daily Stormer Book Club", a neo-nazi organization. They were quickly removed and the schools denounced the antisemitic actions.

What most people missed though is the fact that the "Jews" accused of being behind the confirmation were all Democrats, and as liberals, they fought against Judge Kavanaugh, not in favor of him. Even billionaire George Soros who has Jewish blood is known for financing a lot of anti-conservative events.

Once again, ignoring the truth, antisemitism's goal is to demonize the Jews. Those who fought Brent Kavanaugh to the end included all kind of people. Some were Jewish some weren't, but those who were Jewish instantly became guilty. Guilty of what, you might ask since they actually supported the people who didn't want Kavanaugh to become the next Supreme Court Justice? Guilty of being Jewish, which in the eyes of the antisemites seems to be all they need!

Get University Credits for being Antisemitic!

The sick American university system has just gotten a little bit sicker. Some will remember the glory days when places like Duke, Notre-Dame, UCLA, Yale, NYU were sought after institutions. They were so because they had a reputation for quality higher learning, an ethical academic staff and for being a fair platform for a balanced exchange of ideas without threats, criticism or xenophobia. Gone are those days!

It is a known fact that much moulding of the mind occurs at the College and University level. Students come in their freshman year with opinions somewhat formed even in their infancy stage and by the time they graduate, their opinions are solidly formed. American universities are more liberal than conservative and as such, their influence might appear to some as unfair, or biased at the very least. But this is America, "Land of the Free." Free speech, free thinking and free press are very present on US campuses, and that is a good thing...at least in essence.

Unfortunately, all of this has been challenged lately by the rise of the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanction) movement against Israel as well as the increase in what we can call Campus Intifada. Universities like UCI (University of California Irvine), USC or even UC Berkeley have hosted many conferences and events promoting the Palestinian narrative. The Muslim Student Association (a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood) and Students for Justice in Palestine (first established at UC Berkeley in 1993) are at he helm of this movement.

One would expect that a university campus would be a platform where a civilized exchange of ideas could take place. After all, it would be acceptable to promote the Palestinian narrative if Zionism was given equal air time. But it is almost always never the case. Pro-Palestinian speakers and lecturers are invited to spread their antisemitic poison, unchecked and unbridled, while the pro-Israel side is ignored, repressed, insulted and even abused. So much so that the Board of Regents of the University of California had to finally adopt a policy earlier in 2016 that links anti-Zionism to antisemitism. While we cannot honestly claim that anti-Zionism is always antisemitism cloaked in social justice, it is often the case. A healthy criticism of Zionism has the right to exist in any democracy, but not at the expense of the Jewish people or the Jewish students opposing it. But when it comes to Israel and Palestine, most of the world is guilty of using their own set of double standards.

I applaud the Board of Regents new policy. It was needed and will hopefully encourage other US campuses to follow suit. That is of course if it is properly enforced and judging by the latest class offered at UC Berkeley in the Fall of 2016, it seems to be hardly the case. Dr. Hatem Bazian (affiliated with American Muslims for Palestine) is sponsoring the class titled: Palestine: A Settler Colonial Analysis. The course description remains vague, yet its foundation will undoubtedly be a shaky mix of historical revisionism and antisemitic narrative. Reading requirements from people like Ilan Pappé, will obviously tip the scale towards the Palestinian side. As a matter of fact, instead of looking a both sides of the Middle East crisis academically and ethically–two words that once would have been redundant within the same sentence–the class syllabus is pretty much a shameful piece of Palestinian propaganda.

Based on the false assumption that Palestinians have been in the Land of Israel for centuries, the class will most certainly paint Israel as the colonizing invader who doesn't belong. This argument is easily debunked if one is interested in factual history. But this is hardly the case anymore. It seems that all parties interested in the pro-Palestinian narrative are really more interested in the anti-Israel agenda, wherever that will lead them. At the end of the day, if an antisemitic agenda leads one to choose camps that are less than ethical and possibly lethal to Israel...it will be a small price to pay.

So it is fair to say that being pro-Palestinian might be more of a by-product of being anti-Zionist than a just cause in and of itself, and this definitely qualifies as antisemitism. Starting in the fall of 2016 at UC Berkeley, you will even be able to get university credits for it!