Stanford student senator who defended debate of Jewish ‘power’ will not run for reelection
Menu JTA Search

Stanford student senator who defended debate of Jewish ‘power’ will not run for reelection

(JTA) — A member of Stanford University’s student senate who argued it is “not anti-Semitism” to claim Jews control “the media, economy, government and other social institutions” said he will not run for reelection.

In a statement published April 8 in the student newspaper the Stanford Daily, junior Gabriel Knight said that “my continued presence in the Senate race has become a distraction from the larger ASSU elections and has made it difficult for students to meaningfully discuss campus issues.”

Knight said in the statement of his remarks at the April 5 meeting, which was debating a proposed resolution on anti-Semitism: “I never intended to be hurtful and am saddened by and apologize for the fact that I was. Nevertheless, I hope that this week’s events and my decision to end my campaign do not encourage or substantiate threats to free discussion.”

His remarks came during a debate over language in the proposed resolution, which offers guidelines for defining anti-Semitism and calls on the student governmental body to oppose anti-Semitic activities and fund anti-discrimination education.

Knight also said, “Questioning these potential power dynamics, I think, is not anti-Semitism. I think it’s a very valid discussion.”

He apologized later in the meeting after Jewish community leaders and a Jewish student accused him of anti-Semitism.

“I will apologize for when I supposed that [the clause] wasn’t anti-Semitic,” Knight said. “It wasn’t right for me to say that Jewish people can’t be offended by that. What I meant to say is that it’s still making a political statement, which is my problem with the clause — it’s an important conversation we should be having.”