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Student Anti-semitism

The Student Association and Student Association Senate at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) is considering whether to withdraw its allocation to the school’s Black Student Union because of anti-Semitic letters published in the Union’s newspaper, Invictus, according to the Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle.

The Chronicle quotes Tom Coaty, president of the Student Association, as saying that “I will not let any constituents of mine — be they Jewish or not — to be exposed to this kind of conduct.” Coaty said the Student Association Senate has the power to rescind the allocation which was $10,433 to the Black Student Union for the 1979-80 school year. Of this amount nearly $6000 went to Invictus.

The incident began when Invictus published in its first edition of the school year a letter carrying the byline Kwaku Bendeleh, who the Chronicle said is John Mitchell, president of the Black Student Union. Although it was a letter, it was featured as an article with the byline on top. The letter said such things as “A Zionist is anyone that supports the creation and maintenance of the State of Israel … Judaism is a religion practiced by many races of people. Jews are not a nation. They have no claim to any land, anywhere in the world. Anti-Zionism is not synonymous with anti-Semitism.”

The next issue contained two letters criticizing Mitchell for using anti-Jewish rhetoric to attack Zionism. Both letters were written by anti-Zionists who claimed anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism and not the same thing. The Chronicle said that Moshe Ben-David, Israel’s community and student shaliach here, wrote a rebuttal to Mitchell’s article explaining the facts about Zionism but the newspaper refused to run it.

Morris Hornik, a UMW student, criticized the use of student funds to attack Jews in a guest editorial on a local television station. He urged students to oppose the use of their money for such purposes. Coaty told the Chronicle the Student Association has received some 150 calls, 95 percent in favor of Hornik’s remarks.

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