Anti-Semitic Outrage at UC Davis - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Anti-Semitic Outrage at UC Davis

A few days ago, at the campus of the University of California at Davis, a campus northeast of San Francisco with about 35,000 students, the student association of the campus voted to advise the UC system to “divest itself” of stocks in companies that, in their words, “aid in the Israeli occupation of Palestine and (quoting here) illegal settlements in Palestinian territories.…”

This was bad enough, because Israel is the only law-abiding democracy in the Middle East, and so far as can be determined, Arabs, who make up about a fifth of its population, make no effort to leave to go to “Arab lands.”

But it’s come to be standard at college campuses, many of which are now hotbeds of anti-Israel, anti-Semitic venom. But what came after is really a stunner. Some scummy little rats spray-painted swastikas on the exterior walls of the Jewish fraternity, Alpha Epsilon Pi.

Now, this was reported in the Daily Bruin, the newspaper of UCLA. It has not been on the network news, as far as I can tell, except for Fox, of course, and it certainly has not been in the New York Times, as far as I can tell. The Jews at UC Davis are supposed to just take it.

But imagine if some little creep or creeps had spray-painted nooses on the walls of a black fraternity. The whole world would be going insane—as they should. But when some sick little coward does the same—evokes images of racist murders—on the walls of a Jewish frat, it’s small beer in the standard world of campus anti-Semitism.

Let’s tell the truth here. UC Davis has long had a large Arab-American and Arab portion of the student body. There is a good chance that they rammed the divestment resolution through and also that they did the spray-painting of the swastikas.

But because of the nauseating political correctness at college campuses, they cannot be called on it. The Muslim students can persecute the Jewish students—it’s standard now for Jews to be shouted down at campus meeting with cries of Allahu-Akbar, and no one can say a critical word about it. Any behavior like that towards any other racial group—especially blacks—is anathema.

To be fair, some Muslim groups have criticized the swastika incident, but by no means all. And of course, the chief crypto-Muslim has not said a word. Here, in perfect, glorious America, anti-Semitism is back, not in the genteel old way of restricted clubs and neighborhoods, but with swastikas on Jewish fraternity houses, and Sturmabteilung tactics at campus meetings.

Where is Governor Brown on this? Where is President Obama? Where is the New York Times?

This is very bad stuff. One little piss ant with a spray-paint can is nothing. Silence from the powers that be is deafening.

To change gears a moment, it all takes me back about 43 years ago to November 1972, when I, your fat old servant, was an adjunct resident preceptor in College V, now Porter, at UC Santa Cruz. You get an idea of the political climate if you know that out of roughly 1,500 votes cast on the campus in the 1972 election (the campus was far smaller than it is now), all but three were for George McGovern. The three for Nixon were from yours truly, my true blue pal, Pat, and a recently returned Vietnam War veteran.

The morning after the election, a student work party arranged the chairs and tables in the cafeteria in the form of a giant swastika. The room was so configured, with several levels, that it could be clearly made out from the entry. I was the first faculty member in that morning. I hit the roof and called the head of the student work party over. His name was Joe and he was a friend, or so I thought. I told him he absolutely had to change the swastika to be more like the usual seating arrangement. He readily did so.

However, he then complained to the chief of College V, a man named James B. Hall, whom I also thought was my friend. Provost Hall wrote back to Joe telling him that everyone on campus had to stand up to “people like $tein…”. Yes, he used a dollar sign instead of a capital S.

The ever resourceful Joe showed me the letter, I went to the Provost and insisted he apologize. He wouldn’t do it. I told him I was going to quit if he didn’t apologize and post a letter apologizing. He still wouldn’t budge.

His secretary sat in on the meetings. She was a very tall woman named Clarnell. She scowled at me in a way that frightened me.

I did as I said I would and made my plans to leave at the end of the quarter. I truly hated to leave because I had some of the best times of my life at Porter College, UCSC, especially with the “slip’n’slides” of a college prankster and genius named Larry Wilson. In my poor old mind even now, lo, these forty-three years later, I recall the happy interchanges with the co-eds, all of whom I treated as the sensitive flowers they were.

So, off I went, and there were at least two sequelae: I complained about the whole incident to my father, who was close pals with Ronald Reagan, then Governor and head of the Regents of the UC system. He wrote me a letter saying he was disappointed by Mr. Hall’s behavior, but, as he said, “not surprised….” Gov. Reagan ordered an inquiry. After a few months, a committee of faculty cleared Provost Hall and found that (as he insisted) he routinely made his capital S like a dollar sign. This was a total faculty buddy system bad joke, but the damage was done and Prof. Hall resigned and retired very shortly thereafter.

As for scowling Clarnell (might have been “Clarnelle”) there was a far more serious fate. There had been a mad serial killer prowling the campus and environs, beheading co-eds. The police were hot on his trail and so, as a final act of defiance, he beheaded his very tall mother, Clarnell, and put her body in a closet. He is now in prison for life (I hope). By the way, he had, as a child, murdered his grandparents by burning down their house with them in it.

Hating to leave, driving over Route 17 to the San Francisco Airport with my beloved Weimaraner, Mary, by my side, I cried bitter tears. But fate was with me. I went back to DC, worked as a pitiful trial lawyer at the FTC for a brief while. Then, by super strokes of blessings, I found myself a speechwriter for my hero, Richard M. Nixon, squiring a beautiful girl from the Madeira School to the Presidential Box at the Kennedy Center, working next door to the two smartest, most loyal men on earth, John Coyne and Aram Bakshian, and struggling for the Peacemaker.

That was all a long time ago.

Ben Stein
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Ben Stein is a writer, actor, economist, and lawyer living in Beverly Hills and Malibu. He writes “Ben Stein’s Diary” for every issue of The American Spectator.
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