A Pennsylvania state senator seeking to become the state’s next governor introduced a resolution last week condemning anti-Semitism on college campuses.
A draft of the resolution, prepared by State Sen. Anthony Williams (D-District 8), cites recent incidents at the University of California-Irvine and Columbia University, but does not mention any here in the Keystone state.
Anti-Semitic behavior on campuses across the country has come in the form of derogatory remarks, vandalism and the use of symbols, according to the draft version.
It also makes reference to a number of Middle Eastern studies departments that “provide highly inflammatory and polarizing academic presentations that may exclude Jewish student participation.”
According to an aide, Williams had hoped to have the measure passed unanimously.
But several senators voiced objections, so the resolution must now go through the committee process.
Barry Morrison, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, commended the language incorporated into the draft, and said that he didn’t know of a similar resolution being adopted — or even introduced — in any other state legislatures.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles has also chimed in, saying that the proposed resolution reflects the growing number of incidents where “pro-Israel Jewish students are intimidated and harassed for their views.”
Williams, a Philadelphian, is attempting to become the state’s first African-American governor.
It’s a four-way primary on May 18, with Williams facing Montgomery County Commissioner Joe Hoeffel, Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato and State Auditor General Jack Wagner.