For many years, campuses across America have been plagued by an epidemic of antisemitism, and Stanford is no exception. However, at Stanford, one trend is particularly concerning: the most pernicious and prolific promulgators of antisemitism have consistently been students who attempt to insert themselves in positions of power and authority on campus.
This year, SCR discovered that Mià Bahr, an incumbent student senator running for re-election, has demonstrated a pattern of making violent, antisemitic and racially charged statements on social media.
On Twitter, she told Zionists to “choke,” retweeted “f*** Israel,” and endorsed the virulently antisemitic BDS Movement, which attempts to de-legitimize the only Jewish state in world. In addition to her antisemitic remarks, Bahr tweeted that she “hates cops and white men,” and retweeted “death to all" cops. She also mocked Democrat presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg for his military service.
Selecting promulgators of this rhetoric for positions of political authority only legitimizes the very incivility, bigotry, and political animosity we purport to oppose as a student body.
In 2016, sitting ASSU Senator Gabriel Knight perpetuated the centuries old antisemitic trope that Jews control the media, banking, and governmental institutions. In 2018, RA Hamzeh Daoud threatened to “physically fight” Zionist students who state that Israel is a democracy, and later was forced to resign from his position as a result. Last year, ASSU Executive Candidate Kimiko Hirota was exposed for making a series of antisemitic tweets, including a retweet of the antisemetic electronic intifada.
When such instances of antisemitism occur on campus, many student leaders attempt to excuse them or even refuse to acknowledge them. If the Stanford community is serious about combating antisemitism, it cannot allow those who condone antisemitic violence and extremism to hold positions of power on campus. Putting individuals like Knight, Daoud, Hirota and Bahr in positions of authority allows antisemitism to fester in the mainstream of Stanford’s campus politics.
However, rather than coming together to address the scourge of antisemitism on campus, student leaders such as Bahr would rather smear our organization, as if shooting the messenger, whether it be SCR or anyone else, would do anything to solve the problem.
Nothing does more to erode civility and decency when individuals in power promote or condone political violence, wish harm upon those with whom they disagree, and profess their “hate” for entire demographics of people. Through her violent and racially charged statements, Bahr contributes to the very incivility that makes the politics of our day so toxic. Electing individuals like Mia Bahr only serves to propel ideas, such as hating whites, wishing death to law enforcement, and the aforementioned antisemitism into the mainstream.
Unfortunately, Bahr’s apology is completely insufficient. Rather than taking full responsibility for the antisemitism reflected in her statements, she dishonestly claimed she was taken out of context, as if any context could excuse telling pro-Israel students to “choke.” Bahr baselessly smeared SCR and attempted to play the victim. She also never apologized for endorsing the murder of law enforcement officers.
Contrary to Bahr’s claims, our publication of her statements is not “doxing” and it is entirely consistent with free speech. She has every right to say what she said, and we have every right to comment on the noxious nature of her statements. If Bahr were not running to represent the study body, or if her tweets had not explicitly endorsed violence, we would not have publicized these tweets.
The choice now is in the hands of Stanford voters.
Stanford students cannot claim to be committed to civility and equity if they continue electing promoters of political animosity and bigotry to student government. The marriage of political power and bigotry has no place on our campus. By voting against Senator Bahr, we hope that Stanford students will stand against antisemitism, bigotry, incivility, and hate in this year's ASSU election.
Stephen Sills ‘22
President of the Stanford College Republicans