My friend Julie made a good point about students in university. She said that when she was studying, her fellow students and herself were all so busy trying to pass calculus and statistics, they didn't have time to hate anybody. This is my recollection of university too. And besides trying to pass their courses, most people I studied with here were busy trying to make a living at the same time.
I guess I should assume that the very political students at Berkeley are both filthy rich and brilliant, because they don’t have to waste too much time on either working or studying, but in spite of these considerable advantages, they are not very sophisticated thinkers, not enough to understand that there are usually at least two legitimate sides to every argument, and that the whole world is not clearly divided into good guys and bad guys, right and wrong.
What I’m trying to say is that I realize that the great majority of ordinary, sensible students there obviously do not engage in such activities.
I am also aware that the United States is a truly safe haven for Jews and that the great majority of Jews there do not have to worry about, say, being beaten up on the way home from the synagogue if they are dressed in an overtly Jewish fashion, just because they are Jews. I believe that, on the whole, this is the case in Europe too.
What Bish meant in his comments yesterday, I think, was that Zionism is a way for Jews to deal with anti-Semitism together on a national basis, and not as individuals dependant on local security forces that, although perhaps well-meaning, may not really understand the sensitivities and dangers.
Allison also links to the article about Berkeley. In her comment section, Jonathan Edelstein refers to what one Berkeley blogger has to say. It’s the comments to his post that are interesting.
One of the commenters called himself Kussemek, which cracked me up, and made the whole thread highly amusing. Kussemek is a common Israeli distortion of an Arabic swear word. Oops, maybe I shouldn’t have said.