California may ban BDS from campuses

  • Napolitano Janet UC
Monday was the fifth anniversary of the US State Dept coming up with its own definition of anti-Semitism as it felt Europe’s was too parev. Last week, the US pro-Israel definition was provisionally adopted on the University of California’s 10 campuses, with a community of 400 000. This move is set to cause a major setback for BDS which may even be banned on the campuses. Anti-Semitism watchdog, Amcha, says there is a direct correlation between BDS activity and anti-Semitism on US campuses.
by ANT KATZ | Jun 10, 2015

On the fifth anniversary of the US State Department’s (State) publication of its expanded definition of Jew hatred – to include denying Israel’s right to exist – the University of California (UC) agrees to adopt it on all of its ten campuses.

UC logoAfter months of anti-Semitic incidents on UC campuses, the prestigious institution’s President, Janet Napolitano (a previous Secretary of Homeland Defence - PICTURED ABOVE), announced last week that she believes UC should adopt State’s definition of anti-Semitism in all its environments.

On 8 June 2010, State, then under Secretary Hillary Clinton, decided to write its own definition of anti-Semitism after the EU published what the US felt was too narrow a guideline.

State’s definition includes the modern pro-Israeli “Three-Ds” principle widely espoused by Jewish Agency for Israel (JA) head Natan Sharansky and Canada’s renowned Irwin Cotler. Notably, both men were keynote speakers at the recent SA Zionist Federation’s elective conference.

The 3D principle of modern anti-Semitism links anti-Zionism to Jew-hatred when the State of Israel is subject to Demonization, Delegitimisation or the application of Double-standards to the country.

Bibi-2015 june

LEFT: Then-Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, initiated an Israel-friendly anti-BDS definition of anti-Semitism five years ago which remains STATE DEPT POLICY

The scale of this victory in the fight against anti-Semitism cannot be underestimated. UCs ten campuses are among the finest in the world and embrace a community of over 400,000 people and have over 1.6 million living alumni.

The key is that State’s definition of Jew hatred includes denying Israel’s right to exist.

Mort Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America, applauded Napolitano on Monday for accepting State’s definition.

Background to why US defined it

In 2010 the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia published a: “Working definition of anti-Semitism”. State, then under Hillary Clinton, felt it was too parev (nondescript) and on June 8 that year published their own definition on their website (SEE BELOW).

State began their definition – which could more correctly be termed an unpacking of information - by beginning with the Europeans’ “Working Definition”:

"Anti-Semitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities."

State then went on to list “contemporary examples of anti-Semitism” - some of which were (see them all on our website):

  • Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews (often in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion);
  • Accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, the state of Israel, or even for acts committed by non-Jews;
  • Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust; and
  • Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interest of their own nations.

The 'big issue' was then covered

But then, the State definition goes on to ask:“What is Anti-Semitism Relative to Israel?” and then tackles this big issue by listing: “Examples of the ways in which anti-Semitism manifests itself with regard to the state of Israel:


  • Using the symbols and images associated with classic anti-Semitism to characterise Israel or Israelis
  • Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis
  • Blaming Israel for all inter-religious or political tensions


  • Applying double standards by requiring of it a behaviour not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation
  • Multilateral organisations focusing on Israel only for peace or human rights investigations


  • Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, and denying Israel the right to exist.”


    The State Department’s definition, however, ends with a cautionary note, which reads: “However, criticism of Israel similar to that levelled against any other country cannot be regarded as anti-Semitic.”

Napolitano agrees with the 3D definition

When asked by Boston public radio’s “Here and Now” programme whether she supported such a resolution on anti-Semitism, which would include demonising, delegitimising or applying a double to standard to the Jewish state, Napolitano said: “My personal view is that we should.”

Napolitano Janet UC2

RIGHT: Former Homeland Secretary and now President of UC, Janet Napolitano

“I think there’s a serious point raised there,” she said. US Campus anti-Semitism watchdog, Amcha Initiative, quickly praised the stance taken by Napolitano, who became UC president in 2013 after resigning as Secretary for Homeland Security.

 “We strongly commend Janet Napolitano for joining three UC student governments and the California Senate in understanding that we must implement our government’s definition of anti-Semitism on campus to identify and address anti-Semitic behaviour with the same vigour as all other forms of bigotry,” said Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, co-founder and director of Amcha last week.

Amcha was one of 23 groups that sent a letter to Napolitano last month urging the UC President to support the adoption of the State Department definition.

Major blow for BDS which espouses the 3Ds

The California State Senate is also quickly moving to pass a bill urging other California institutions to follow suit.

Student governments at UC's Berkeley, Los Angeles and Santa Barbar, had all previously adopted resolutions strongly condemning anti-Semitism on their campuses.

But the new move is aimed at countering the activities of the US-based anti-Israel NGO “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (Israel”) which has increased its activities across campuses throughout the US – and, for that matter, in South Africa.

Correlation between BDS, anti-Semitism

Amcha said that it had experienced that anti-Semitic behaviour was “dramatically increased” on UC campuses where anti-Israel BDS campaigns had been launched.

RIGHT: South African students have had similar experiences - which was all too apparent in the wake of BDS-SA head Muhammed Desai, pictured, and his supporters chanting "Shoot the Jew" at Wits' Great Hall in 2014

UC Davis’ student senate actually adopted anti-BDS measures earlier this year, but the motion was overturned by the campus court which said the student senate had overreached.

But, say pundits, the adoption of the State Department definition of anti-Semitism may well result in BDS being ousted from campuses completely as their constitution is diametrically at odds with the soon-to-be-applied definition.

Incidents of anti-Semitism this past year on UC campuses have included:

  • Swastikas painted on a fraternity at UC Davis;
  • Flyers that accuse the Mossad of being behind the 9/11 terror attacks; and
  • Demonstrations by pro-Palestinian student groups that some students have said involved harassment of Jewish students.

THE AGE-OLD ISSUE OF CONFLATION: Critics of adopting the State Department definition of anti-Semitism say it unfairly conflates anti-Semitism with opposing Israeli policies, and squashes political debate on campus.


Who & What is University of California?

The University of California is a public university system and was established in 1868. Today, UC has an operating budget for the 2015 school year of a whopping $25,46 billion (R318 billion at today’s exchange rate) and an endowment of $13,141billion.

UC has 19 700 faculty members, 135 900 administrative staff and 238 700 students across its 10 campuses. Of their students, 188 300 are undergrads and 50 400 postgraduates. They have over 1,6 million living alumni.

UC boasts large numbers of distinguished faculty members in almost every field and it is widely regarded as one of the top university systems in the world. Seven of its undergraduate campuses are ranked among the top 100, six among the top 50, and two among the top 25 US national universities for 2015, public or private, by US News & World Report.

Among public schools, two of its undergraduate campuses are ranked as the top two - UC Berkeley at #1 and UCLA at #2. Five are ranked in the top ten (UC San Diego at #8, UC Davis at #9, and UC Santa Barbara at #10). All UC campuses, except the newly opened UC Merced, appear in the top 100 list.

Furthermore, UC Berkeley is ranked third worldwide among public and private universities and two others - UCLA and UC San Diego - are ranked among the top 15 by the Academic Ranking of World Universities.


  1. 2 nat cheiman 10 Jun
    Kick their butts. These halfwit BDS campaigners have no braincells. Just hatred run through their veins.
    Even moderate muslims are embarrassed by BDS' stance toward Jews.
    Besides, most Americans are aware of the fact that the Palestinians and Hamas are terrorists responsible for many Israeli deaths.
    BDS carry on as if the entire Middle East crisis was caused by Israel. 
  2. 1 Harry Friedland 11 Jun
    Barak Obama's limp-wristed approach to anti-semitism and Israel may well have served to wake Americans to the reality of the threats Jews must contend with in the face of indifference.     


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