American Jews like to think of themselves mostly as Americans, and many of them, like me, find the politics in Israel abhorrent, and want to believe it has nothing to do with us. I have belonged to progressive Jewish organizations, Jewish Palestinian dialogue groups, and fancied myself immune to the taint associated with racism in the Middle East, but what is happening on the UCI campus has made me realize that I can't hide, anymore than the Jews in Europe and Germany could. They didn't think of themselves as Jewish in the old way. They were assimilated too, but no one who wanted to kill them stopped to ask them about their politics before they sent them off to concentration camps.
Talking doesn't seem to do the trick anymore. These guys aren't listening.They are angry, and they have some good reasons for it too. It's just that they are being used by those who want to harness that anger and turn it into something different.