California equates Israel criticism with anti-Semitism.
"In an 14 August 2002 interview with American journalist Amy Goodman, Shulamit Aloni described how she believes the charge of antisemitism is used to suppress criticism of Israel
Yours is a voice of criticism we don't often hear in the United States. Often when there is dissent expressed in the United States against policies of the Israeli government, people here are called anti-semitic. What is your response to that as an Israeli Jew ?
Well, it's a trick, we always use it. When from Europe somebody is criticizing Israel, then we bring up the Holocaust. When in this country people are criticizing Israel, then they are anti-Semitic. And the organization is strong, and has a lot of money, and the ties between Israel and the American Jewish establishment are very strong and they are strong in this country, as you know. And they have power, which is OK. They are talented people and they have power and money, and the media and other things, and their attitude is "Israel, my country right or wrong", identification. And they are not ready to hear criticism. And it's very easy to blame people who criticize certain acts of the Israeli government as anti-Semitic, and to bring up the Holocaust, and the suffering of the Jewish people, and that is justify everything we do to the Palestinians"
A new resolution passed by the California State Assembly attempts to limit criticism of Israeli policy on college campuses by equating it with anti-Semitic hate speech. The law urges “California colleges and universities to squelch nascent anti-Semitism” and “encourages university leaders to combat a wide array of anti-Jewish and anti-Israel actions,” The Assembly’s actions also drew criticism from free speech advocates. Carlos Villarreal, director of the San Francisco chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, called the resolution irresponsible and dangerous because it combines legitimate condemnations of acts of intimidation and hate with specific objections to tactics used to support the Palestinian people.
“In doing so, it can be seen as having no other purpose than to demonize all those who criticize the nation-state of Israel or support the rights of the Palestinian people,” he said.
Typically, those who want to suppress free speech criticisms of Israeli crimes are relegated to the tools of social ostracism or return criticism – you know, because of that First Amendment thing. The cry of anti-Semitism has been successful in this respect, unfortunately. This bill, by contrast, attempts to codify into law an obligation to “squelch” activism and speech objecting to Israeli government actions. Read the text of the resolution here . Fortunately, growing criticism of the bill has led the University of California to refuse to support it. California Assembly members indicated the University of California and other public universities should crack down on demonstrations against Israel on their campuses.
There was no debate by lawmakers prior to approval, nor was Israel even mentioned during the introduction of the resolution. Mondoweiss.net
The resolution was opposed by a wide variety of groups, including the Center for Constitutional Rights, the Asian Law Caucus, Jewish Voice for Peace, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations, yet the Republican-sponsored measure received wide bipartisan support in the Democratic-controlled legislature.
Some of the lawmakers who signed on as co-authors when the resolution was called on the floor seemed surprised to later learn of the references to Israel. Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, was one of the few who did not support it. “Ignorance reigns up here”,
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