One of the top law schools in the country has developed “Jewish-free zones,” according to an alumn.
Kenneth L. Marcus, the founder and chairman of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, called out his alma mater, the University of California at Berkeley’s School of Law, for echoing “the Nazis’ infamous call, judenfrei. Jewish-free.”
Multiple student groups at UC Berkeley’s School of Law amended their bylaws this academic year to ban any speakers that support Israel or Zionism.
Berkeley Law Dean Erwin Chemerinsky, who is Jewish, called it “anti-semitic” and emailed the groups, “taken literally, this would mean that I could not be invited to speak because I support the existence of Israel.”
Chemerinsky said the groups would ban about 90 percent of Jewish students on campus.
Nine different groups adopted the bylaw from the Law Students for Justice in Palestine at Berkely Law, which states not inviting speakers that support “Zionism, the apartheid state of Israel, and the occupation fo Palestine” is necessary for “the safety and welfare of Palestinian students on campus.”
It is not a small subsection of student groups. Some of those include Women of Berkeley Law, Asian Pacific American Law Students Association, Middle Eastern and North African Law Students Association, Law Students of African Descent, and the Queer Caucus.
The Jewish Students Association at Berkeley Law wrote a post on Medium in August warning of the “anti-semitic” impact the pro-BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions) policy will have.
Marcus, who served as Assistant Secretary of Education for Civil Rights under former President Trump, said discriminatory conduct is not protected as free speech.
“While hate speech is often constitutionally protected, such conduct may violate a host of civil rights laws, such as Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,” he wrote in a Jewish Journal op-ed. “It is not always the case that student groups have the right to exclude members in ways that reflect hate and bigotry.”
Roz Rothstein, the CEO of StandWithUs, a pro-Israel organization that combats anti-semitism, blasted the bylaws.
“Misrepresenting Zionism is antisemitic and will never lead to peace,” Rothstein told Fox News. “Half the world’s Jewish people are in Israel, the ancestral homeland of the Jewish people, and the other half likely have friends and/or relatives who live there. Denying Jews the right to self-determination creates a double standard against only one country in the world. Those who lead biased, anti-peace campaigns should rethink their end goals and be honest about their prejudice against the Jewish people and the only Jewish country in the world,” Rothstein said.