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Op-Ed: A response to anti-Semitism

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Today, I saw an upsetting tweet that my running mate Kimiko Hirota shared in 2018 for the first time. As a member of the Jewish community and a supporter of the existence of the state of Israel, I was deeply hurt. The quoted tweet was clearly anti-Semitic. From the allusion to the violence of the intifada to the equation of support for the Jewish state with endorsing the killing of innocent people to the deeply anti-Semitic content of the article itself and its source, there is no mistaking the hate for the Jewish people it conveys. I strongly condemn the content of the shared tweet and the anti-Semitic tropes that it invokes.

As Kimiko’s close friend and her running mate, I immediately called her to seek an explanation. Kimiko’s response was not only reassuring, but it also confirmed all of the reasons why I think she would make an excellent ASSU President for all members of the Stanford community. She recognized that the quoted tweet was anti-Semitic. Kimiko immediately apologized to me and conveyed her desire to publicly apologize to the Stanford community. She expressed a commitment to learning more about the deep roots of anti-Semitism to become a better ally to Stanford’s Jewish community as we confront this type of hatred.

This past winter, I traveled to Israel for the first time. It was one of the most meaningful experiences of my life. I have never felt so close to a place I had never visited before. I know I share this feeling with so many young Jewish people who came before me. Though I was not especially connected to my Jewish roots as a child, the Stanford Jewish community has welcomed me and given me opportunities to engage with my heritage. Hillel and JSA have become important parts of my Stanford experience.

This does not end with only an apology. Kimiko and I are both dedicated to carrying out the commitments affirmed in the Undergraduate Senate’s “Resolution to Recognize Anti-Semitism in Our Community,” which includes holding trainings for the Stanford community on combating anti-Semitism and convening a university task force to address the disturbing pattern of anti-Semitic activities we have faced on campus. If anyone wants support or would like to speak to me personally, please reach out to me: btuttle@stanford.edu.

—Bryce Tuttle ’20, ASSU Executive Candidate

Contact Bryce Tuttle at btuttle ‘at’ stanford.edu.