To the editor: UCLA professor Saree Makdisi and UC Berkeley professor Judith Butler are right to oppose a University of California policy against both anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, but they are deceptive in their arguments. ("Suppressing criticism of Zionism on campus is catastrophic censorship," Opinion, March 23)
They disingenuously characterize anti-Zionism as opposing Israeli policies rather than what it actually is: opposition to the very existence of a Jewish state. They know that while many people in the U.S. are opposed to the Israeli position regarding settlements, most Americans support the existence of a Jewish state. That's why they try to paint lipstick on the pig of anti-Zionism.
Still, the university should stay out of the business of saying what is hate speech. Let it all hang out. The slippery slope leading to the destruction of our freedoms is one of the consequences of political correctness.
Jerry Glass, Lakewood
To the editor: Zionism threatens the indigenous population of Palestine. Under the banner of state security, Israel has imposed severe restrictions on the residents of the West Bank. By physically segregating the Palestinians and engaging in a brutal campaign of repression, the Israelis have in essence created a large ghetto. ("Anti-Zionism is a hateful ideology. It has no place at UC," Opinion, March 23)
Criticism of Israel's brutal tactics is a human-rights issue, not necessarily anti-Zionism. The Israeli use of segregation and over-use of deadly force amounts to repression of another people, the very definition of racism.
Racism is abhorrent, even if it is called “Zionism” or “state security.”
Jeff LaCoss, Los Angeles
To the editor: Do you know the penalty handed to the half of the UCLA judicial panel that voted in 2014 against a student solely for being Jewish? Nothing.
Did those students come to UCLA as anti-Semites or did anti-Zionist students influence them?
What if it were a Muslim, Buddhist or Sikh student? Would real discipline have been imposed?
Edward Gilbert, Studio City