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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Anti-semitism at University of California

From the Daily Californian:
Three swastikas have been found drawn on hallway walls of residence halls at the Clark Kerr Campus since Wednesday evening, alarming administrators but provoking little visible reaction from students.

The first swastika--measuring 6 by 6 inches--was drawn in pen on a wall in Building 2 between 5:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Wednesday night, while the second and third--each measuring about 3 by 3 inches--were drawn in Building 3 between 1 a.m. and 8 a.m. Saturday morning, according to Marty Takimoto, spokesperson for Residential and Student Service Programs. All the drawings have since been painted over.

Though campus officials have condemned the drawings, classifying them as "hate incidents," the drawings have elicited little student response.

No students attended a community meeting hosted Thursday evening to open a dialogue about the incident, according to Takimoto.

The reason that there was little student response may be because, as one student wrote in response:
I was absolutely disturbed when I heard that a swastika was found in a residence hall Wednesday night. I wanted to notify other people...but a news report never came out from ANYONE to substantiate these events until now. I was hesitant in telling others because I had heard about the swastika through multiple people, but no one who directly witnessed it.

Had I known there was going to be a meeting to discuss the swastikas, I definitely would have been there and I'm sure my Jewish friends would have been there too. Unfortunately, the university wants to brush this under the rug like other anti-Semitic actions on campus.
In other words, the university never confirmed that the incident happened, it didn't seem to publicize the community meeting about it, and now it seems to use that as evidence that it was no big deal!

Meanwhile, only a couple of days earlier, in nearby Oakland:

Within the span of a few days, windows were shattered at two Jewish food establishments in Oakland’s Grand Lake district.

Police are investigating the broken windows — one at Holy Land Restaurant reported on April 16, the other at Grand Bakery two days later — as vandalism, according to Lt. Kenneth Parris, the Jewish community liaison officer with the Oakland Police Department. As of press time April 21, there were no leads and no one had claimed responsibility for the acts, Parris said.

He added that there was no immediate evidence indicating the vandalism was motivated by hate. Yet given its timing, there is some cause for concern, he said.

“Because of the proximity of Yom Ha’Atzmaut [Israel Independence Day], and the fact that Adolf Hitler’s birthday and Israeli Independence Day came together this year, I am concerned about the potential that it might be anti-Semitic activity,” Parris said. “Two of the three Jewish businesses in the Grand Lake area were hit, and there were no reports of anybody else having this experience.”