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27 Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions and Antisemitism at Stanford University Molly Horwitz Molly Horwitz, as a Jewish Latina, particularly sought the endorsement of the Students of Color Coalition (SOCC) in her campaign for the Stanford senate but was confronted with a litmus test over her position, as a Jew, on Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS). The widely publicized scandal triggered an international discussion of antisemitism on American campuses. Horwitz then found herself in the middle of another international incident the following year, when she brought up a bill about antisemitism for senate action. A fellow senator objected, stating that comments about “Jews controlling the media, the economy, the world, etc.” weren’t antisemitic but material for a “very valid discussion.” That such straightforward antisemitism could be seen as “valid”—and that this senator subsequently received five hundred student votes toward reelection—shows the slippery slope between anti-Israelism and antisemitism in campus discourse. Support for Israel is simply part of the Jewish plot to control the world. In order to explain how I’ve become who I am today, a fresh Stanford graduate and fierce Jewish Zionist, I must first describe where I came from. I was born in Asuncion, Paraguay, in 1993. While my birth mother was unable to support me, she was able to give me the greatest gift of all: a new beginning . I was put up for adoption, and shortly afterward, an amazing woman from over five thousand miles away in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, overcoming both a divorce and cancer treatment, arrived to take me home. I was engulfed in love from my family and my mother’s friends from the moment the plane touched down. My mother made sure that I was welcomed into the Jewish community by helping me complete the orthodox conversion process. We began keeping kosher and observing all the Jewish holidays. Warmth enveloped my childhood from all corners of my family. Both of my grandparents were proud Zionists who had traveled to Israel with their children BDS and Antisemitism at Stanford University | 367 shortly after the Six-Day War, to visit a son studying at the Weizmann Institute. Two of our family friends had survived Auschwitz-Birkenau to live exemplary lives, sharing joy with their daughters and many grandchildren. My grandfather had also served in the US military and helped liberate concentration camps. My grandmother taught herself Hebrew and fell in love with the State of Israel. With such inspiring role models, I embraced my Jewish heritage and thrived in my Jewish day school, becoming passionately interested in learning more about Israel. It wasn’t until high school that I began wrestling with the complexities of being Jewish while also wanting to be more involved in the Latino community. There was a schism between the small Jewish student group and the other ethnic groups, which made me feel like I had to decide which single part of my identity to embrace. Not that embracing either was simple. My peers told me I was not a real Latina while also claiming it was my Latina ethnicity that got me into Stanford. I felt both not Hispanic enough and too Hispanic. Similarly, some people would say I didn’t look Jewish, while others would confront me with antisemitic comments, such as alluding to the stereotype of Jews being obsessed with money. Such experiences made me cling to and take pride in my Jewish identity yet sometimes also made me afraid to say I was Jewish. At Stanford, I found a community in which I felt understood. The diversity of this community allowed me to explore and embrace all aspects of my identity. But I also learned how many Stanford students grapple with the many manifestations of racism. I felt my experience as a member of two different oppressed minority groups—Jews and Hispanics—gave me unique insight into the challenges students of color face. I decided during my junior year to run to serve on the following year’s Stanford senate, primarily to address problems I saw in Stanford’s mental health-care system. One of these is a lack of diversity among counselors at Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). In preparation for my campaign, I decided it was advisable to scrub my Facebook page of my proIsrael postings, not because I’m not proud of my Zionism (I am), but because I felt I couldn’t do maximal good unless I won, and I wasn’t sure I could win if my pro...


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