In response to a three-week-old accusation by a prominent pro-Israel activist who claimed “Jew-free zones,” were created at the University of California, Berkeley, two trucks rolled into town to address the controversy- but didn’t quite hit the right chord.
One of the two trucks displayed a massive picture of Adolf Hitler, which read, “All in favor of banning Jews, raise your right hand.” The truck had been dispatched by a political advocacy group called Accuracy in Media, whose president Adam Guillette told J. The Jewish News of Northern California that the truck was part of a larger campaign to combat antisemitism on college campuses and was meant to oppose the nine Berkeley Law student groups that recently announced they had adopted a bylaw pledging to bar Zionist speakers from campus.
A few clubs at @BerkeleyLaw are doing enough to bring antisemitism to campus. @ADL is working with others to safeguard Jewish students. The addition of more antisemitism, like using Hitler imagery to score cheap rhetoric points, only trivializes the memories of the six million. https://t.co/qp2sXkx4K1
— ADL San Francisco (@ADL_SF) October 14, 2022
“The amount of hatred, intolerance, and antisemitism is morally outrageous and it’s time for us to (non-violently) fight back,” Guillette, a former vice president at conservative media sting operation Project Veritas told J. Weekly.
This being said, the presence of the truck frightened students and drew condemnation from the local branch of the Anti-Defamation League, Berkeley Hillel, and the local Jewish Community Relations Council, along with offers of emotional support from university administrators. Some passersby threw rocks at the vehicle.
“Saw this bus on my morning run,” wrote Grace Stewart, a Berkeley student, on Instagram. “Very scary.”
“The addition of more antisemitism, like using Hitler imagery to score cheap rhetoric points, only trivializes the memories of the six million,” ADL’s San Francisco office tweeted, while Berkeley Hillel said on Instagram that it would be available to any students who felt “upset and disturbed” by the sight of the truck.