Widgets Magazine

OPINIONS

If I am not for myself, who will be for me?

I am both a woman of color and a Jew. For much of my life, I struggled to embrace these identities. In high school people told me I was “not a real Latina” while also claiming it was my Hispanic ethnicity that got me into Stanford. I felt both not Hispanic enough and too Hispanic. I was also faced with anti-Semitic comments that made me variously cling to and deny my Jewish identity. Some people would say I didn’t “look Jewish;” others made remarks alluding to the stereotype that Jews are obsessed with money. The anti-Semitism I faced growing up showed me the necessity of taking pride in my heritage, but at the same time it sometimes made me afraid to say I was Jewish.

It was wonderful to join the accepting Stanford community, a community in which I finally felt understood. The diversity of this community allowed me to explore and embrace all aspects of my identity. I am now proud to call myself a Latina and a Jew.

But I know many Stanford students grapple with the same issues as I did. I feel my experience as a member of two different oppressed minority groups — Jews and Hispanics — gives me unique insight into the challenges students of color face at Stanford. I want to help other students of color on their journeys. I decided to run for Stanford Senate primarily to address issues I saw in Stanford’s mental health-care system. One of these issues is a lack of diversity among counselors at Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). I was quite excited to seek the Students of Color Coalition (SOCC) endorsement because I felt that my Senate candidacy and SOCC had many goals in common. I was ready to work with SOCC.

SOCC decided to grant me an interview. The interview was held on Friday, March 13, 2015, in the basement of the Native American Community Center. I entered the room apprehensive but hopeful. I would leave it shocked and devastated.

Across from me in the room sat eight members of SOCC, who took notes throughout the interview. Part way through the lead interviewer asked me, “Given your strong Jewish identity, how would you vote on divestment?” I couldn’t quite process that I had actually been asked this question. Did me being Jewish mean I wasn’t qualified to serve on Senate? Did SOCC doubt my commitment to serving students of color on the basis that I am Jewish? Somewhat stunned, I asked for clarification. The SOCC interviewer responded that she had noticed I talked about my Jewish identity in the application and was wondering how this would affect my decision on divestment.

I wanted to cry. I had spent so much time trying to move past the fear that I was not Latina enough, that I was not Jewish enough, that I was too Jewish, that I was too Latina, that I couldn’t be both Jewish and Latina, that my identities were in conflict. Did SOCC think my being Jewish compromised my ability to serve on the Senate?

I responded honestly. I told SOCC I was upset that the Senate had voted for divestment, but that regardless I was proud of the democratic nature of the vote. I explained that the vote had confirmed for me that Stanford students want peace in the Middle East, even if we disagree on how to get there.

The rest of the interview was a blur to me. I barely kept it together. As soon as I left the interview room I began shaking and hyperventilating. I replayed the incident over and over in my mind. If SOCC had wanted to know how I felt about divestment, they could have asked that. What made me so distressed was not that SOCC had asked me about divestment, but that they had thought my Jewishness might make me a poor Senator. There are Jews who support divestment, there are Jews who do not take a position and there are Jews who are against divestment. My involvement in Hillel, my praying in synagogue, my love of the Hebrew language, my study of Talmud, my celebration of Rosh Hashanah and Hannukah and Purim and Passover have nothing to do with divestment.

I know there is no way to prove my allegations. But I have no reason for lying. I really wish that this had not happened. But it did. I would not have gone through the trouble of reaching out to Sajjan Sri-Kumar, the Elections Commissioner, or Nanci Howe, the Associate Dean of Students and Director of Student Activities and Leadership, or the Anti-Defamation League or the Stanford Review, over something that did not happen. Reliving this experience again and again for various officials and organizations has been incredibly hurtful. I take this very seriously. I know my allegations are serious. I debated whether I should come forward with this for a while. Ultimately, I decided it is important for me to address inequality and discrimination wherever it occurs.

I have nothing against SOCC. In fact, I appreciate their goal of working for disadvantaged minority communities at Stanford. I just wish they would recognize that Jewish students are one such community. I hope SOCC can recognize that what they asked me was wrong. I hope SOCC will apologize and work to address the needs of Jewish students, as well as other minority students.

Molly Horwitz ’16

Contact Molly Horwitz at mhorwi93 ‘at’ stanford.edu 

  • ModernMaccabi

    Perhaps you might see it differently if a conservative group of student organizations framed a question about immigration issues to a Latino or Hispanic student, or a question about police harassment to a Black student. In those cases, just as it is here, it would in my opinion be inappropriate and discriminatory.

  • ahad_ha_amoratsim

    The only ethnic cleansing going on in “Palestine” is being done by Arabs against Jews, with Jordan and Egypt expelling them in 1948 from land they had bought and settled, banning them from Jordan, and various lands in North Africa and the middle east forcing them out. Jordan bars land sales to Jews, as does the PA, who makes it a capital crime and who demands a state in which no Jew willbe permitted to live, work or even visit. Perhaps we should ask everyu non-Jewish candidate how they feel about that, and how they feel about the genocidal charter of Hamas, the genocidal incitement of the PA, and the cover that the BDS movement gives to mass murderers.

  • ahad_ha_amoratsim

    Nice try. You might try actually reading it some time.

  • ahad_ha_amoratsim

    If you read his actual remarks and not a three-word summary, you will see he was assessing the readiness and willingness of the Arabs to make peace and the chances that a Palestinian state would not be used as a base for further terror, and was simply saying he did not see any of those conditions occurring within the foreseeable future. But you don’t care, any more than you care that neither the PA nor Hamas have ever agreed to Jewish self-determination or peace with Israel.

  • ahad_ha_amoratsim

    Hamas has never agreed to Israel’s right to exist, and has never amended its charter calling for Israel’s destruction. Other choice bits of their charter that you may want to dismiss as Israeli propaganda:

    “The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. ”

    “The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgement Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up. Neither a single Arab country nor all Arab countries, neither any king or president, nor all the kings and presidents, neither any organization nor all of them, be they Palestinian or Arab, possess the right to do that

    The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgement Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up. Neither a single Arab country nor all Arab countries, neither any king or president, nor all the kings and presidents, neither any organization nor all of them, be they Palestinian or Arab, possess the right to do that.”

    “There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.

    There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.”

    “For a long time, the enemies have been planning, skillfully and with precision, for the achievement of what they have attained. They took into consideration the causes affecting the current of events. They strived to amass great and substantive material wealth which they devoted to the realisation of their dream. With their money, they took control of the world media, news agencies, the press, publishing houses, broadcasting stations, and others. With their money they stirred revolutions in various parts of the world with the purpose of achieving their interests and reaping the fruit therein. They were behind the French Revolution, the Communist revolution and most of the revolutions we heard and hear about, here and there. With their money they formed secret societies, such as Freemasons, Rotary Clubs, the Lions and others in different parts of the world for the purpose of sabotaging societies and achieving Zionist interests. With their money they were able to control imperialistic countries and instigate them to colonize many countries in order to enable them to exploit their resources and spread corruption there.

    You may speak as much as you want about regional and world wars. They were behind World War I, when they were able to destroy the Islamic Caliphate, making financial gains and controlling resources. They obtained the Balfour Declaration, formed the League of Nations through which they could rule the world. They were behind World War II, through which they made huge financial gains by trading in armaments, and paved the way for the establishment of their state. It was they who instigated the replacement of the League of Nations with the United Nations and the Security Council to enable them to ru

    For a long time, the enemies have been planning, skillfully and with precision, for the achievement of what they have attained. They took into consideration the causes affecting the current of events. They strived to amass great and substantive material wealth which they devoted to the realisation of their dream. With their money, they took control of the world media, news agencies, the press, publishing houses, broadcasting stations, and others. With their money they stirred revolutions in various parts of the world with the purpose of achieving their interests and reaping the fruit therein. They were behind the French Revolution, the Communist revolution and most of the revolutions we heard and hear about, here and there. With their money they formed secret societies, such as Freemasons, Rotary Clubs, the Lions and others in different parts of the world for the purpose of sabotaging societies and achieving Zionist interests. With their money they were able to control imperialistic countries and instigate them to colonize many countries in order to enable them to exploit their resources and spread corruption there.

    You may speak as much as you want about regional and world wars. They were behind World War I, when they were able to destroy the Islamic Caliphate, making financial gains and controlling resources. They obtained the Balfour Declaration, formed the League of Nations through which they could rule the world. They were behind World War II, through which they made huge financial gains by trading in armaments, and paved the way for the establishment of their state. It was they who instigated the replacement of the League of Nations with the United Nations and the Security Council to enable them to ru

    You may speak as much as you want about regional and world wars. They were behind World War I, when they were able to destroy the Islamic Caliphate, making financial gains and controlling resources. They obtained the Balfour Declaration, formed the League of Nations through which they could rule the world. They were behind World War II, through which they made huge financial gains by trading in armaments, and paved the way for the establishment of their state. It was they who instigated the replacement of the League of Nations with the United Nations and the Security Council to enable them to rule the world through them. There is no war going on anywhere, without having their finger in it.

    It was they who instigated the replacement of the League of Nations with the United Nations and the Security Council to enable them to rule the world through them. There is no war going on anywhere, without having their finger in it.”

    “Israel, Judaism and Jews challenge Islam and the Moslem people. “May the cowards never sleep.”

    “The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgement Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up. Neither a single Arab country nor all Arab countries, neither any king or president, nor all the kings and presidents, neither any organization nor all of them, be they Palestinian or Arab, possess the right to do that

    The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgement Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up. Neither a single Arab country nor all Arab countries, neither any king or president, nor all the kings and presidents, neither any organization nor all of them, be they Palestinian or Arab, possess the right to do that.”

    “There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.

    There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.”

    “For a long time, the enemies have been planning, skillfully and with precision, for the achievement of what they have attained. They took into consideration the causes affecting the current of events. They strived to amass great and substantive material wealth which they devoted to the realisation of their dream. With their money, they took control of the world media, news agencies, the press, publishing houses, broadcasting stations, and others. With their money they stirred revolutions in various parts of the world with the purpose of achieving their interests and reaping the fruit therein. They were behind the French Revolution, the Communist revolution and most of the revolutions we heard and hear about, here and there. With their money they formed secret societies, such as Freemasons, Rotary Clubs, the Lions and others in different parts of the world for the purpose of sabotaging societies and achieving Zionist interests. With their money they were able to control imperialistic countries and instigate them to colonize many countries in order to enable them to exploit their resources and spread corruption there.

    You may speak as much as you want about regional and world wars. They were behind World War I, when they were able to destroy the Islamic Caliphate, making financial gains and controlling resources. They obtained the Balfour Declaration, formed the League of Nations through which they could rule the world. They were behind World War II, through which they made huge financial gains by trading in armaments, and paved the way for the establishment of their state. It was they who instigated the replacement of the League of Nations with the United Nations and the Security Council to enable them to ru

    For a long time, the enemies have been planning, skillfully and with precision, for the achievement of what they have attained. They took into consideration the causes affecting the current of events. They strived to amass great and substantive material wealth which they devoted to the realisation of their dream. With their money, they took control of the world media, news agencies, the press, publishing houses, broadcasting stations, and others. With their money they stirred revolutions in various parts of the world with the purpose of achieving their interests and reaping the fruit therein. They were behind the French Revolution, the Communist revolution and most of the revolutions we heard and hear about, here and there. With their money they formed secret societies, such as Freemasons, Rotary Clubs, the Lions and others in different parts of the world for the purpose of sabotaging societies and achieving Zionist interests. With their money they were able to control imperialistic countries and instigate them to colonize many countries in order to enable them to exploit their resources and spread corruption there.

    You may speak as much as you want about regional and world wars. They were behind World War I, when they were able to destroy the Islamic Caliphate, making financial gains and controlling resources. They obtained the Balfour Declaration, formed the League of Nations through which they could rule the world. They were behind World War II, through which they made huge financial gains by trading in armaments, and paved the way for the establishment of their state. It was they who instigated the replacement of the League of Nations with the United Nations and the Security Council to enable them to ru

    You may speak as much as you want about regional and world wars. They were behind World War I, when they were able to destroy the Islamic Caliphate, making financial gains and controlling resources. They obtained the Balfour Declaration, formed the League of Nations through which they could rule the world. They were behind World War II, through which they made huge financial gains by trading in armaments, and paved the way for the establishment of their state. It was they who instigated the replacement of the League of Nations with the United Nations and the Security Council to enable them to rule the world through them. There is no war going on anywhere, without having their finger in it.

    It was they who instigated the replacement of the League of Nations with the United Nations and the Security Council to enable them to rule the world through them. There is no war going on anywhere, without having their finger in it.”

    “Israel, Judaism and Jews challenge Islam and the Moslem people. “May the cowards never sleep.”

  • ahad_ha_amoratsim

    A hudna is simply a temporary strategic cease fire to rearm and refortify, and to be broken at will against non-Muslims.

  • ahad_ha_amoratsim

    So does lying.

  • ahad_ha_amoratsim

    The only genocide in ‘Palestine’ is being committed by Muslims against Jews, against gay Arabs, and against Arab Christians.

  • ahad_ha_amoratsim

    Funny, I’m familar with their national anthem — exactly which parts talk about the superiority of Jews?

  • ahad_ha_amoratsim

    Yes, the general certainly knew what his boss in the White House wanted to hear. That doesn’t make it true or accurate. Can you factually contradict rab’s figures? I thought not. The fact that Jew-haters in the Arab world may entertain delusions about Israel and about Jews does not mean the US should shape its policies to indulge those delusions.

  • ahad_ha_amoratsim

    You lose. Paranoid website that loves conspiracy theories and likes to take false potshots at the Jewish religion.

  • McMullans

    You’re in denial.

  • ahad_ha_amoratsim

    “Israel gives black Jews birth control, ”
    Oh, the horror. And Standford gives black students birth control, so I guess Stanford hates black students.
    “Israel does NOT welcome black Jews.”
    Funny how it spent so much money and took on so much risk to bring them to Israel from Ethiopia, then, and to settle them in Israel and given them housing, education, and health care.

  • ahad_ha_amoratsim

    Israel does not give MANDATORY birth control to anyone.
    And despite what you may have heard, it also does not murder people to steal their organs or to use their blood as a baking condiment.

  • ahad_ha_amoratsim

    Wow. What can I use to disinfect my monitor? And my eyes?
    Funny that someone who routinely spews hatred against women, gays and non-Europeans affects such a humanitarian mantle when he falsely accuses Israel of misdeeds that he apparently would gladly commit himself if he could.

  • ahad_ha_amoratsim

    Less bigoted, actually. Israel allows full rights to non-Jewish citizens. There is an Arab justice on its supreme court, and Arab political parties and members in its legislature. Muslim and Christian religious rights and holy sites are fully protected de facto and de jure. Arabs practice all professions, side by side with Jews. An Arab Muslim judge recently presided over the criminal trial of a Jewish former president who was convicted of corruption. No Arab country, no Muslim country, and not all Christian or European countries provided comparable protection to Jews.

  • ahad_ha_amoratsim

    Yeah, and the Jewish question interfered with US relations with Czarist Russia and later the USSR. (You and your kind did not let it interfere with our relations with Germany, even after Germany declared war on the US.) Sorry to be such an inconvenience.

  • ahad_ha_amoratsim

    So we’re not all disloyal, right? Just the ones who don’t want to see an end to Israel and the slaughter of a plurality of the world’s Jews. Thanks for that clarification.

  • ahad_ha_amoratsim

    “what made you call me sir and not ma’am?”
    I can’t speak for Isaac, but perhaps it was an assumption that fewer women than men are ignorant bigots.

  • McMullans

    Why does it have to be all or nothing? Why not a true democracy for all? Is it because you’re racist?

  • McMullans

    More name calling, the calling card of the weak argument.

  • ModernMaccabi

    “Jewish Voice for Peace” is an extremist organization that is vehemently anti-Israel. As far as I am concerned it anathema and Jewish in name only.

  • ModernMaccabi

    The problem with your logic is that the SOCC includes Muslim organizations and not Jewish organizations. In fact, it is alleged that specifically avoid affiliating with Jewish organizations and students.

  • Jack Smithrod

    I agree with Isaac Winer, sir. You display remarkable ignorance of facts and throw around the label of “racism” very casually. By your definition, the US is basically a racist nation. That would include you, sir, as well.

    First, as to Hatikvah – I would suggest you read the words of the anthem (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hatikvah). It says nothing about Jews being superior to anyone. Absolutely nothing. It speaks only of Jews’ longing for the land of their ancestors. It does not mention anything about that land being only occupied by Jews, either.

    I have no idea what you mean by “a nation dedicated only for Jews”. Israel is the homeland of the Jews, yes. A place where their safety will always be a primary concern of its government. Other than that, it is a multicultural and multireligious society with, as you say, an Arab population (mixed Muslim and Christian, though mostly Muslim) that represents a significant minority. Are there problems? Sure. What modern country does not have problems? Does Ferguson mean that the US is irredeemably racist? I sure hope not. You are inappropriately generalizing. I hope you do not do this as a clinician. If that is something you do, I would not want you treating me.

    If you have accusations of Christian persecution in Israel, make them. I would like to see how they stand up to recent reports of persecution of Christians in Muslim countries. I don’t know of any who have been beheaded in Israel.

  • rab

    Weir is a rabid propagandist. I’m glad she’s read some books and actually visited the region once or twice before founding a rabid propaganda site from which (along with giving talks) she apparently makes her living. You’ll understand, however, if I prefer news sources such as Foreign Affairs and The Forward.

  • Enrique G.

    I do find it odd that the JSA or another Jewish student organization is not a part of the SOCC, but it is my understanding that they endorsed Jewish students, and some that are against divestment.

  • mike

    These two posts below are intellectual justifications of anti-semitism. They are no different from what is seen in Mein Kampf or Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Everyone with a brain realizes the question asked by the SOCC was purely anti-Semitic. Otherwise, it wouldn’t have been published in New York Times and taken up by the Anti Defamation League.

  • rab

    Um, there is no genocide in Palestinian areas. Not even remotely close. You’re insulting the memory of real victims of genocides.

  • Bill Pearlman

    What did I do. Micro aggress you honey

  • Ed Holmes

    Israelis aren’t ethnically cleansing Palestinians. Bashar Assad is ethnically cleansing Palestinians. ISIS, is ethnically cleansing christian’s, jews, arabs & oh right Palestinians. Your singular focus on Israel and its propertied atrocities is exactly the Anti-Semitism that the ADL & others are trying to prevent.

    You’re right that in the US Jews have less to worry about from anti-semitism, but all you have to do is look at France to see what happens in a pluralistic society when pockets of discrimination are allowed to fester.

  • מלאכי יבא׳׳א

    Molly, you spoke very eloquently about some of the struggles you have faced in your campaign. I was impressed at how you tried to find common ground with pro-divestment side, while still disagreeing with divestment. It is sad that the vast majority of the comments here do not reflect the same eloquence, willingness to understand other perspectives, and commitment to cause of peace and understanding.

  • J Leland Kupferberg

    A Jewish…woman…of color. Seems like Ms. Horwitz feels like she’s won the political correctness sweepstakes, since she feels her identity trifecta now entitles her to some seriously ego-boosting pandering, or at least a forced apology or two from some “offender” she would like to shame.

    Sorry, Miss (or Ms.) Horwitz, but I’m no longer buying. First off, I saw your picture accompanying this article when it was posted in the Forward. You are certainly a woman, and may very well be Jewish, but it is clear to anyone with eyes that you are not a “woman of color.” Being a brunette with a nice tan simply doesn’t give you entry into this “minority” category just because your mother happens to have been born in Latin America (and to my mind, Latinos happen to be the majority in Latin America, where, arguably, the lighter toned Latinos do tend to discriminate against the darker ones – and you are clearly not a member of the latter group).

    What I gather from this article is a young woman walking around, trying to bring everyone else to heel with her identity power trip. As a Jewish man of Ashkenazi background, I can assure you that I have never sought to squeeze out some sanctimony from my non-Jewish neighbours on the strength of the suffering and oppression of long-dead relatives and ancestors whom I never met. The bottom line is: there is no ancestral memory of suffering that you get to carry with you into your comfortable Ivy League set-up, and you cannot be the beneficiary of your great-grandparents’ oppression. To attempt to do so is…well,. frankly, it’s disgusting, offensive, and yes, intensely immoral.

    But lest you start feeling sad (on your sleeve) and begin to publicly “hyperventilate” in advance of a forthcoming apology, I do want to assure you that you’re not really at fault in your failed attempt at an identity power trip. As a well-educated and canny student of this generation’s political zeigeist, you obviously have a good handle on which way the wind blows. Why not go for the gusto, and grab for some self-powering politically correct identity tags, to put on the defensive anyone who doesn’t share your Oppression Identity (TM) street cred?

    Unfortunately for you, however, the Church of Political Correctness no longer recognizes Jewish identity as an Oppression Identity that merits left-wing special pandering. And as a white woman…well, there are a whole stack of in-born “privileges” that move you down the pandering ladder as well. All of which leaves for you the “woman of color” label which, unfortunately, does not even remotely apply to you, however much you want us to believe that the term “Latina” evokes associations of being “of color”, “oppressed,” and a “minority.”

    So, then what are we left with? A sanctimonious, possibly smug, young woman who has attempted to mug us into caring for her highly doubtful “cause.” We’re supposed to care that someone, somewhere gave her “offense” – and now, someone, somewhere must repent. They must bow to her sense of offense and give apology where apology is due.

    But the jig is up on this kind of intellectual/moral mugging. So you were offended. Get over it. If there remain any “oppressed minority communities” on the Stanford campus, I would say that they are the unfortunate individuals who can no longer grab their own all-expense paid power trips with Oppression Identity tags – basically, the oppressed minority of people from whom all the other identity power-trippers perpetually seek to extract apologies, in a never-ending cycle of Offense and Repentance.

    In response to your naked attempt at forcing a mea culpa, I have only three words: I. Don’t Care.