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Letter to the Editor: Front-page story on Bruins for Israel rally perpetuates antisemitic stereotypes

By Paula Tavrow

Jan. 29, 2024 5:52 p.m.

This post was updated Jan. 30 at 11:13 p.m. 

Dear Editor:

I am concerned that your front-page article published on Jan. 16, “Documents reveal details behind planning process of Bruins for Israel rally,” subtly perpetuates antisemitic tropes.

First, the article is placed on the front page as the banner headline, which suggests that it has major importance, while in reality it is just a banal accounting of the costs of holding a rally that required security. Second, the headline suggests that shady details have now been revealed, which plays into the idea that Jews are secretive plotters. Third, the subheadline states that “thousands” were spent on this rally, which implies that Jews are ultra-rich and are using their money to flood UCLA with pro-Israel propaganda.

One has to read beyond the headlines – which most will not do – to find out that the rally organizers spent $1,775 on renting chairs, tables and place settings to symbolize the hostages who were taken to Gaza by Hamas. Yes, it is a lot of money for catering supplies, but a lot of hostages were taken on Oct. 7.

Another $1,400 was spent on security, because sadly the rally organizers were worried that their peaceful protestors might be attacked, so they wanted to deter any attempts by having a visible security presence.

That leaves about $470 for everything else, including banners, flags, posters and the like.

Is this really a front-page story?

I hope that the editors will be more vigilant in the future of not engaging in this type of baiting journalism.

Sincerely,

Paula Tavrow, Ph.D.

Paula Tavrow is an adjunct professor in the Community Health Sciences Department at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health.

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