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Zionism isn’t important only to Jewish people

My name is Jessica Moore. I am a legal resident of Los Angeles, California and have applied for acceptance to UCLA to major in communications.
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March 19, 2016

My name is Jessica Moore. I am a legal resident of Los Angeles, California and have applied for acceptance to UCLA to major in communications. I have requested the opportunity to address the California Board of Regents on March 23 to speak in support of the Report of the Regents’ Working Group on Principles Against Intolerance, which consists of the “Principles Against Intolerance” and “Contextual Statement” and to urge  the Board of Regents to approve it in its entirety, including the “Contextual Statement”.  

There’s no better example of academic scholarship for college students to follow than the Working Group’s Contextual Statement in their report. The causes and meaning of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism need to be clearly understood. Far too many people are trapped in a lexicon of common usage and should become thoroughly familiar with the differences and distinctions between anti-Semitism and words of attitudes like bias, stereotype, and prejudice. People have a First Amendment right to express attitudes. The report correctly describes anti-Semitism as discrimination   …actions like harassment, conspiracy, intimidation, and mob incitement that results acts of violence and intimidation are not protected by free speech and are violations of law.

But with all due respect to the members of the Board, Zionism is not only a symbol of Jewish sovereignty to the Jewish minority. Hundreds of millions of Christians share my conviction in Zionism, and many call themselves, as I do, Zionists. Given the huge difference between Jewish and Christian populations, there may well be more Christian Zionists than Jewish Zionists!

*The rapid growth of anti-Semitic acts on college and university campuses across America has created a toxic and unwelcoming climate for far too many students of all religions and viewpoints. Far too many Jewish students say that they no longer feel that they can wear their symbols of their religion, as their fellow Christian students do. This alarming situation concerns me, as it should all students, parents, and grand-parents. And, disturbingly, it is having its intended effect of undermining the Jewish students’ educational experience, as well as of those students around them. I am encouraged to see that the UC Board of Regents is considering taking important steps to reduce the incidence and incidents of campus anti-Semitism.

The University of California (UC) proposed Statement of Principles Against Intolerance is in line with global leaders and the world’s preeminent scholars of anti-Semitism.

Pope Francis, President Obama, French Prime Minister Valls, British Prime Minister Cameron, former Secretary of State Clinton and the majority of this year’s presidential candidates have all drawn the distinction between acceptable criticism of Israel’s policies and calls for the destruction of Israel which are anti-Semitic.  The world’s leading anti-Semitism scholars have also long stated anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism.

President Obama When asked to define when anti-Israel rhetoric and activity becomes anti-Semitism, Obama stated “…when voices around the world veer from criticism of a particular Israeli policy to an unjust denial of Israel’s right to exist,” that is anti-Semitism. In previous interviews, Obama has acknowledged that anti-Zionism is distinct from sharp, public criticism of Israel and its policies and is anti-Semitism.

Pope Francis “To attack Jews is anti-Semitism, but an outright attack on the State of Israel is also anti-Semitism.” The Pope has also said that “anyone who does not recognize the Jewish people and the State of Israel — and their right to exist — is guilty of anti-Semitism.”

French Prime Minister Valls After the massacre at a kosher supermarket in Paris, Valls stated, “It is legitimate to criticize the politics of Israel. This criticism exists in Israel itself. But this is not what we are talking about in France. This is radical criticism of the very existence of Israel, which is anti-Semitic. There is an incontestable link between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism. Behind anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism.” Valls has also stated that “French authorities must change their attitude” towards BDS protests. He added, “It is perfectly obvious how we have shifted from criticism of Israel to anti-Zionism and from anti-Zionism to anti-Semitism.”

British Prime Minister Cameron In April, Cameron stated, “What is frightening at the moment, because of the rise of Islamist extremism, is that you see a new threat—a new anti-Semitism—and not the traditional anti-Semitism. As well as the new threat of extremist Islamism, there has been an insidious, creeping attempt to delegitimize the state of Israel, which spills over often into anti-Semitism. We have to be very clear about the fact that there is a dangerous line that people keep crossing over. This is a state, a democracy that is recognized by the United Nations, and I don’t think we should be tolerant of this effort at delegitimization. The people who are trying to make the line fuzzy are the delegitimizers. And I have a very clear view, which is that if you disagree with the policies of Israel, fine, say so, but that is never a reason to take that out on Jewish communities. We have to be very clear about threats—this is a dangerous line that people keep crossing over,  that says that anti-Zionism is a legitimate form of political discourse.”

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Hillary Clinton recently condemned BDS campaigns and called them “forceful efforts to malign and undermine Israel and the Jewish people.”

All of these world leaders have been critics of Israeli policies, including settlements, and advocates for a two-state solution, however, they have unequivocally labeled anti-Zionism as anti-Semitism.

Pursuing my communications degree at UCLA is an important step in my career and life aspirations. I fully expect that all of my student rights and civil rights for freedom of expression, religious beliefs, and freedom of assembly will be afforded to me as they would any other student. Adoption of the Report of the Regents’ Working Group on Principles Against Intolerance by the UC Board of Regents will make a significant contribution to an academic environment that would nurture intellectual development.

It would be reassuring for me to know that discrimination, harassment, and intimidation against me, a Christian, because of my belief in Zionism, would not be tolerated in the institutions of the University of California.

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