TL;DR: “Coalition of Concerned Students” calls Ben Shapiro anti-Semitic in apology letter for being anti-semitic.
Two days ago, we reported that the “Coalition of Concerned Students” had covered campus with fliers depicting Ben Shapiro’s face on a bottle of insecticide. To their credit, the Coalition apologized quite promptly, acknowledging that the imagery was offensive and in poor taste, and released new and improved posters. So far, so civil.
And then they had to go and ruin it.
“Therefore, as we call back this flyer and apologize for its antisemitic tropes, we condemn Shapiro’s unwavering Islamophobia and antisemitism through his belief that only way to be a real Jew is to agree with him and through his strong support of Zionism.”
Let’s clarify a few things. First, the belief that Jews should support the state of Israel may be one you disagree with, but it is certainly not anti-Semitic. All it means is that you think Jews have a right to exist in the state of Israel. To point on being a "real Jew," of course Ben Shapiro has opinions about the most logically consistent way to practice Judaism. So do most Jews, whether conservative or liberal.
There are, however, all kinds of things that do qualify as anti-Semitic: utilizing charged racial imagery in cartoons and hanging them in dorms, drawing swastikas around campus, threatening violence against Zionist students, or trying to pass student legislation which the ADL condemns as anti-Semitic.
On a campus that has experienced all of these incidents in recent years, to redefine anti-Semitism so that it includes a man who is not only a Jew, but a devout Orthodox Jew and one of the most frequent recipients of anti-Semitic hatred in the country is not only factually incorrect but completely inappropriate.
Just yesterday, the “Coalition of Concerned Students” was posting fliers around campus that, by their own admission, “play into antisemitic tropes that say Jews are insects and pests that need to be exterminated.” Today, they think they have the right to redefine anti-Semitism entirely.
The Coalition clearly either does not have any idea what anti-Semitism is, or does not care about it as anything more than a derogatory label to be used against those with whom they disagree.
What’s worse, their misuse of the term undermines their entire response. If their definition of “anti-Semitic” includes Ben Shapiro, how loose are their definitions of racism, Islamophobia, etc.? Without any prompting from the Right, they have made the case that such labels are simply ad hominems designed to silence dissenters, devoid of any real meaning.
Usually, the best way to apologize is to simply say sorry.