Thursday, March 23, 2017
JEWISH JOURNAL -- I walked into a lecture at my temple titled “Power, Privilege and BDS,” not expecting to enter a talk that would culminate in a discussion about UCLA student government. “Today, American Jews face an internal conflict,” Professor Mark Dollinger of SFSU said. “On one side, we enjoy power and privilege. On the other, we maintain a Holocaust-driven fear of being marginalized and oppressed.” “When Rachel Beyda was questioned for being Jewish, we all jumped so quickly to do whatever it is we could to defend her,” Professor Dollinger said. “We sent UCLA pages and pages full of suggested protective measures for Jewish students and threatened to pull our donations if they didn’t change.” The response he described to the Rachel Beyda incident was not surprising. For a Jew to do anything he possibly could to defend his Jewish community is an imperative ingrained in the Jewish DNA: after what our parents and grandparents went through a generation ago, who can say this is a wrong thing? But, as the lecturer suggested, today is not 1930. Jews have made it in this country. In America, we are not alone. We have politicians, law enforcement officers, and university administrators to stand up for us. Anti-Semitism has not gone away, but we’ve got new ways to fight it. That’s a big deal.