Crime and Punishment in Charlottesville

by James C. Sherlock

UVa and Harvard are the two campuses most often cited by the national and world press as homes to the worst actors after October 7.

It is easy work.

I posted a column on Saturday making a series of recommendations for actions by the University of Virginia to protect its Jewish community and rid itself of those that threaten it.

That was my response to the infamous support of UVa-funded organizations for the slaughter of innocents in Israel by Hamas, a group designated by the United States as a terrorist organization.

Kill Jews “by any means necessary” they wrote.

Read the column. I named them.

Now I have been told by the Executive Director of Hillel at UVa, Rabbi Jake Rubin, that the President’s office and local law enforcement “have been incredibly responsive, helpful, and present during this difficult time.”

Good start, and Virginians thank them for it, but it does not answer the questions about enforcement of state and federal laws.

So, there is more to do.

Federal law. Federal antiterrorism statutes in play for the participants in the “by any means necessary” threats in support of Hamas are the province of the National Security Division of the Justice Department and the U.S. attorney for the Western District of Virginia, Christopher R. Kavanaugh.

Mr. Kavanaugh also serves as Chair of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee (AGAC)’s Terrorism and National Security Subcommittee and Co-Chair of the Domestic Terrorism Executive Committee. So, that investigation and prosecution would seem to be in good hands.

But Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI) protects students of any religion from discrimination, including harassment, based on a student’s actual or perceived:

  • shared ancestry or ethnic characteristics, or
  • citizenship or residency in a country with a dominant religion or distinct religious identity

UVa’s Office of Civil Rights does not enforce Title VI, but advises:

If you believe you have been discriminated against in a program of the institution which receives federal financial assistance, you should immediately contact the federal agency providing such assistance.

In this instance, that is the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. Jewish students may call 202-514-3847. I hope they will.

State Law. There are several to choose from.

Commonwealth’s Attorney jurisdiction.  “By any means necessary.” We note that the Code of Virginia prohibits the specific activity in which those University-funded organizations publicly engaged.

§ 18.2-46.5. Committing, conspiring and aiding and abetting acts of terrorism prohibited; penalty. (emphasis added)

C. Any person who solicits, invites, recruits, encourages, or otherwise causes or attempts to cause another to participate in an act or acts of terrorism, as defined in § 18.2-46.4, is guilty of a Class 4 felony.

Class 4 felonies in Virginia are punishable by 2 to 10 years’ imprisonment.

Attorney General Miyares, who promises action, may wish to ask Charlottesville Commonwealth’s Attorney Joseph Plantania, a committed progressive who conducts a prosecution clinic at UVa Law, what he plans to do concerning apparent violations of that law.

I am not sure that Mr. Plantania is the best choice to prosecute members of a school for which he works.

University jurisdiction. But we note that Code of Virginia § 23.1-805 C. requires each school’s threat assessment team to establish procedures for interim suspension of individuals whose behavior may present a threat.

Perhaps there an excellent reason to delay interim suspension while investigating those who engaged in public abetting of a designated terrorist organization.

If so, we should hear it from President Ryan and the Rector of the Board of Visitors.

DEI. Perhaps they can also explain what their massive DEI bureaucracy did to stop — or assist in — the support of antisemitic terrorists. Show us the records of DEI efforts against antisemitism.

Good luck. Don’t look to the Equity Center page. I searched for the term antisemitism and came up blank. There are nine faculty members in the Equity Center leadership. By way of explanation, they include Nancy Deutsch from the School of Education. They are obsessed with race.

Don’t look to the DEI Committees and Employee Resource Groups. Probably not helpful.

Jewish Faculty. To my great regret I am reminded of the experience of Martin Niemöller under the Nazis.

“Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) was a prominent Lutheran pastor in Germany. In the 1920s and early 1930s, he sympathized with many Nazi ideas and supported radically right-wing political movements.

But after Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933, Niemöller became an outspoken critic of Hitler’s interference in the Protestant Church. He spent the last eight years of Nazi rule, from 1937 to 1945, in Nazi prisons and concentration camps.

Niemöller is perhaps best remembered for his postwar statement, which begins “First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out…”

Source: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum – Holocaust encyclopedia.

Many prominent Jewish academics at UVa, the majority people of the left, supported the transformation of that University into a bulwark of progressivism.

Many actively helped divide the world into oppressed and oppressors, with no room for actual people who live daily lives divorced from politics, striving to raise their families and be successful in this world. They, including Jewish babies, are defined accurately as individuals, not groups.

But individuals did not fit the “narrative.”

Now progressive Jewish faculty are actively threatened by monsters they helped educate in that dangerous worldview.

And no, they did not deserve it. They are Americans. As such, they are as privileged in their views as any of us. They are guilty only of under thinking the end game of what they were doing.

They never saw it coming.

The Dean of UVa Law.  I am waiting to hear from the most senior Jewish member of the academic faculty, UVa Law School Dean Risa L. Goluboff.

The Dean is a legal historian and a civil rights lawyer who is the recipient of every progressive award in her profession. She also proudly and publicly identifies herself as a member of a Charlottesville area synagogue.

Read her May 2023 paper Charlottesville” as Legal Historyabout the Unite the Right riots in 2017.

She wrote “the moral asymmetry in the causes of the two groups pervades my sense of everything that occurred.” Many share that sense about both 2017 and 2023.

She also wrote that she saw the law there only in perspectives of race and free speech. She deferred an antisemitism perspective to others.

2023 was pure antisemitism. Race as she defines it did not intersect.

I have just written to ask her for comment on the latest inhumanity published and shouted in the shadow of the Rotunda.

The actions of the student organizations of Hamas sympathizers did not ask for a cease fire, they encouraged further attacks on Jews by any means necessary.

The horrible and stark difference:

  • The university community joined in counter-protests to the antisemites in 2017.
  • They largely stood silent or joined with the Hamas attack celebrants in 2023.

Bottom line. Two countries account for 81% of the 23 million people worldwide recognized as Jews or of sufficient Jewish ancestry to be eligible for citizenship in Israel under its Law of Return: the United States with 51% and Israel with 30%.

The left, which dedicated itself after the 60’s in dominating education, has done its work thoroughly in our K-12 schools and colleges.

A Harvard/Harris poll showed this week that nearly half of college-student-age responders side with Hamas against the “oppressors.”

Now there are people of a self-proclaimed Jew-murdering bent on the UVa campus. In a target-rich environment.

It is time for the adults, if enough can be found, to put a stop to it.

Jim Sherlock is an alumnus of the University of Virginia. This column is republished with permission from Bacon’s Rebellion.

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