University of Chicago student government refuses to retract pro-Palestinian, pro-BDS, anti-Zionist statement

June 8, 2021 • 10:30 am

Six days ago I reported that the incoming University of Chicago Undergraduate Student Government (USG) issued a statement in conjunction with the anti-Semitic organization Students for Justice in Palestine. This is an official position of the U of C’s student government (click on document to enlarge or to see it in situ).

The support for BDS and anti-Zionism I see as manifestations of anti-Semitism, and, as I wrote yesterday about a Scientific American op-ed, this statement, leaving out the malfeasance of Palestine itself, is grossly misleading, if not an arrant lie. And of course saying “From the river to the sea, USG supports a Palestine that is free” is precisely the student government’s calling for the elimination of Israel.

The University of Chicago is, as per its Kalven Principle, politically and ideologically neutral (not always in practice, though), so as I wrote in my last article:

In a response issued yesterday by President Zimmer and Provost Lee, “Campus discourse and international conflict,” the University administration affirms its neutrality in this issue but condemns bigotry on all sides, which is in accordance with the Kalven Report, one of our founding principles that affirms official University neutrality on moral, ideological, and political issues.

Now the student government, which is an elected body and not an official unit of the university, can bloody well make all the statements it wants. I’m not going to report them or say that they’re violating University principles. But the statement above made me feel, for the first time in 35 years, that I’m surrounded by students who would damn me just for being a Jew who supports the existence of Israel (i.e., a “Zionist”).  I’m not of course a religious Jew but a secular Jew from a religiously Jewish background, and at any rate nobody deserves to be criticized solely for their ethnicity.

When Jewish students and student organizations like Hillel objected to this resolution, the student government decided to vote on this statement again as well as decide whether to apologize to Jewish students for it. As our campus newspaper, The Chicago Maroon, reported two days ago, this attempted retraction and the apology, both failed. The statement above stands, and I am an apostate. The student government at the University of Chicago officially professes anti-Semitism. Let this be known to the donors and parents of prospective students!

Click on the screenshot to read:

The vote was made by email, and the results will not be made public. Now that is pure cowardice! Even the votes of American congresspeople are public, and don’t students deserve to know how their representatives voted?

This is a shameful resolution, though it violates no University regulations. It shows that our student body is just as wokey, au courant, and ignorant about current affairs as are the editors of Scientific American.

10 thoughts on “University of Chicago student government refuses to retract pro-Palestinian, pro-BDS, anti-Zionist statement

  1. About 200 people die when Israel defends itself after being attacked, most of the deaths being terrorists or dead by the terrorists’ hands or methods, over the course of ten days. And Israel gives jobs to Palestinians, attempts to give them medical supplies and assistance, help develop their industry, etc.: outrage across the world.

    300,000 Yemenis die, nearly 3 million displaced from and 7.5 million displaced within the country, in a war of aggression by a coalition of nearly ten countries led by Saudi Arabia over a six year period (still going): “huh? Whatever.”

    China puts over one million Uighurs in “re-education camps,” forcibly sterilizes Uighur women, and uses Uighurs as forced labor (among many other human rights abuses): “sorry, did something happen?”

    Iran spends billions of dollars funding terrorism around the world: “um, we should sign a deal with them lifting sanctions so they have more money. Anything less is US imperialism!”

    Ethnic violence in multiple parts of Asia and Africa, with the latter often using child soldiers, trying to ethnically cleanse other tribes, chopping off people’s limbs: “that’s not our problem.”

    Palestine kills gay people, apostates, oppresses women, keeps its population in poverty, hides weapons among civilians, intentionally gets civilians killed and kills their own civilians when carrying out terrorist activities, pays for slay, etc.: “but they’re the good guys.”

    Talk about disproportionality in how people are treated!

    1. (Sorry, edit button didn’t show up this time)

      Student says something like “America is the land of opportunity,” is reported to a bias response team and investigated for causing “harm/pain/violence”: This is how the system is supposed to work.

      Student government releases antisemitic statement: “This statement is righteous and a shining example of progressive politics, anti-racism, and standing up to evil.

      By the way, in case anyone is curious, here’s a list of countries created since Israel in 1948 (well, all but one of the countries on this list):

      So, it’s not as if this is because Israel is a new nation. In fact, many of these nations were created almost exactly as Israel was: the original inhabitants of the land gaining independence from the British empire.

  2. Why can’t Jewish students write an anonymous op-ed (is that allowed?) for the school paper articulating exactly Jerry’s points and how the anonymous members of the student body, in an effort to show solidarity with the Palestinian people, have crossed the line into anti-Semitism? Maybe Jews should now feel disenfrachised by their own student government and no longer feel safe on campus.

    Fight anonymity with anonymity. But encourage the Jewish community to restate the facts loudly and clearly. Maybe this development warrants a protest.

  3. I have never understood or supported the idea of “student government.” They do not govern the students. All they do is handle activities fees, but it winds up being a breeding ground for little bureaucrats. If I were a student today, I would object to any political statement made by the student government, as overstepping the bounds of their role. In this case adopting a position that can be easily understood as being against fellow students is unacceptable. Defund student government!

  4. The vote was made by email, and the results will not be made public. Now that is pure cowardice! Even the votes of American congresspeople are public,

    The Senate sometimes does things by unrecorded voice vote. So, these students are practicing to be Senators rather than Representatives. 🙂

    An attempt at a bit of light humor. In all seriousness, I agree; it’s pure cowardice to hide the vote (and cowardly when the Senate does it too).

  5. Part of me wishes these people would just go ahead and just own it, and take their position to the obvious conclusions.
    They should vote on whether the want to pick a date when they want the campus to be Judenfrei, and whether it might be appropriate to work up a plan to isolate the Jews from the rest of the campus population until then.
    It should be a public vote. I bet some percentage of the student government would even vote for it. Others might realize that perhaps they don’t like where this is going, and at least apply reasonable skepticism to the arguments made by the hardcore BDS folks.
    I still hold out hope that most of the folks involved have not given their position a lot of thought, and just want to fit in with the cool kids. That does not make the movement less dangerous, but those people are at a stage where it is not too late to take a different path.

  6. Agreed 100%. And here’s a bigger problem: I think the whole anti-Semitism and it’s “dressed up for dinner” representative, the BDS movement have been growing so much stronger over, say, the last 5 years.
    Perhaps I just lean towards paranoia but it’d be interesting to have somebody do one of those google.word searches of newspapers (New Woke Times, Guardian, etc) and broadcasts (lexis/nexis) together with social media…. over the past 10 years to check on the increase or otherwise of these rotten and hateful sentiments.

    Consider also…. our media. 95% of it (say, broadcast and cable news) is simplistically pitched, mainly to intellectually disabled children, morons and the age deranged. If you take the standard narrative Israel seems like a bully and an oppressor. There is a shortage of education and critical thinking skills out there.

    “Hymietown”*, NY
    *Farrakan, 1986

Leave a Reply