The new loyalty oath imposed on Jews

More Zionists are keeping their opinions to themselves, on campus and beyond (washingtonexaminer.com).

On college campuses, in progressive organizing spaces, in some professional contexts, and even among friends, Americans are increasingly being told their Zionism is disqualifying. For many Jews, that means an aspect of their own identity makes them persona non grata in spaces where left-wing views are paramount. For non-Jews, maintaining until-recently mainstream, pro-Israel opinions means risking social stigmatization and professional harm. Although this problem has begun to gain some visibility, it’s time Americans understood the extent of the social pressure to self-censor or else face the mob. 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Jews keeping their Zionism hush-hush weren’t eager to be interviewed. However, 32 Jewish and non-Jewish students and young alumni, academics, communal and advocacy group figures, governmental leaders, activists, and creatives contributed to this article. Taken together, what follows is a portrait of profound societal changes.

These changes, it must be noted, affect all Jews in these spaces because they are greeted with suspicions and assumptions about their support for Israel that they must either dispel or confirm. And this manifests in various ways. 

In 2015, University of California, Los Angeles, student Rachel Beyda was expecting to be confirmed without incident to the student council’s judicial board but was met with a bizarre question from a member of the council: “Given that you are a Jewish student and very active in the Jewish community,” Beyda was asked, “how do you see yourself being able to maintain an unbiased view?” After a lengthy discussion of Beyda’s Jewish identity, from which Beyda was excluded, her nomination was voted down. (This was only reversed when a faculty adviser to the council stepped in.) 

The incidents that make national headlines give the public a rare window into the discrimination regularly wielded in left-of-center institutions. For example, there was an explosive controversy about whether one can be both a feminist and a Zionist, which the Women’s March’s then-leader Linda Sarsour answered firmly in the negative. Jewish lesbians were ejected from Chicago’s Dyke March for carrying a Pride flag emblazoned with a Jewish star because some attendees were uncomfortable with the symbol’s association with the Israeli flag. Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-NY) was “demonized by extremists as a white supremacist, as a supporter of apartheid, ethnic cleansing, [and] genocide” for condemning Hamas’s terrorism. The Washington, D.C., chapter of the environmental group Sunrise Movement refused “to participate in a voting rights rally” alongside three Jewish groups. An undergraduate at the State University of New York, New Paltz, was expelled from a “sexual assault awareness group” she co-founded over an Instagram post describing Jews as indigenous to Israel. And the list goes on.

To read more, please visit the Washington Examiner.

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