I would like to take this moment to take a break from talking about federal politics. Instead of talking about good ol’ R-Money and the self-imploding GOP, I’m going to let you know how I feel about another type of government. A little government a little closer to home. The Associated Students of the University of California, Irvine, actually. While I’ve supported much of the work that ASUCI has done in the last few months, these last three weeks have made me not only embarrassed to be part of this campus, but ashamed to be a member of ASUCI.
It started with the R48-02 By-law Amendment. In case you don’t know, this amendment would slightly alter the way votes are cast, so that, in addition to the total number of votes recorded, the vote of individual representatives would also be recorded in the minutes. That means that the ASUCI would be more transparent, and the legislative body as a whole would be held more accountable to the students they represent (assuming the students actually cared about what goes on). I understand that some members claim that the resolution wasn’t “polished” enough, but isn’t the whole idea of transparency and accountability what got half of ASUCI elected in the first place? Perhaps I’m being too broad. Perhaps my discomfort should mainly be directed at the Office of the President, whose members almost unanimously oppose the amendment (including the current president of ASUCI) directly after running on a campaign promising transparency and accountability. However, this issue isn’t even the biggest deal to me. What bothers me is the blatant anti-Semitism that has been institutionally allowed by ASUCI.
Heard of the Divestment Resolution? R48-15? If you haven’t, here’s the basic gist of it: ASUCI voted on a resolution to urge the University of California, Irvine to divest investments, stocks and securities in any companies that have been accused of helping Israel. How could anyone dislike the sound of that? I mean, it’s clearly for human rights, right?
Beneath the mask of equality lies the ugly face of deception and anti-Semitism. The sole purpose of this resolution is to delegitimize the state of Israel and condone acts of terrorism onto a group of people already discriminated against the world over.
To start, to condemn companies for doing business with Israel is to make the huge assumption that there actually is apartheid in Israel. While there is clearly a problem between Israel and Palestine, most people would be extremely hesitant to use the word “apartheid” (besides the radicals who justify their anti-Semitic beliefs under the guise of equality).
However, the issue isn’t even regarding a non-existent apartheid. The real problem is the ever-increasing acceptability on campus to be anti-Israel, which in turn, is anti-Jew. The fact is, if you are pro-Palestinine, you are against the Jewish people. You are directly supporting organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah, both of which are terrorist organizations that engage in the exact type of warfare that pro-Palestinians claim the Israeli government utilizes. This is an unfortunate problem. However, pro-Israel and pro-Palestine are not the only two sides that one must take.
What bothers me is that ASUCI is supporting a one-sided view that borders on terrorism. What would be better is if they support peace between the two states instead of lending aid and support to a single side (and a militant one at that).
If ASUCI was for the students, why were students never polled? When the Office of the President wants to get student feedback, they send out a survey on EEE. It’s simple. I’ve got one two or three times now. Why is it that when something as important as UCI’s investment comes into play, ASUCI blocks out the mass’ input, and just listens to the loudest people in the room? Or, an even better idea, why didn’t ASUCI just decide to support a resolution that would bring communities together in peace instead of driving a sword down the middle of an already divided and hostile campus? I understand they want to support “equality,” but next time, perhaps a resolution should be made to only acknowledge countries that actually exist.
Justin Huft is a fourth year psychology and social behavior and social ecology double major. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.