Jewish Groups Call Upon UC Irvine “To Respond Promptly, and At The Highest Levels of the University…When Intolerant and/or Discriminatory Acts Occur”

Letter to UC Irvine Chancellor Gillman Regarding Implementation of the Regents Statement

May 25, 2016

Dear Chancellor Gillman,

We are 36 Jewish and civil rights organizations representing hundreds of thousands of supporters who are deeply concerned about the long-standing and pervasive problem of anti-Semitic anti-Zionism that has incited hatred of Jews and acts of aggression and violence against Jewish and pro-Israel students on your campus.

As you know, in March the UC Regents unanimously approved a Statement Against Intolerance, which acknowledges that anti-Semitism and anti-Semitic forms of anti-Zionism are no less discriminatory than racism, homophobia or sexism, and “have no place at the University of California.”

Recent events on your campus demonstrate the critical importance of promptly and comprehensively implementing the Regents statement at UC Irvine.

Last Wednesday evening, UCI Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) carried out a pre-meditated and violent disruption of an event hosted by Jewish and pro-Israel student groups.  According to eyewitness accounts and video footage, an angry mob of more than 40 members of SJP and other affiliated organizations attempted to forcibly enter the room where 10 students were watching a documentary film about the Israeli Defense Forces. Understandably terrified and fearing for their safety, Jewish and pro-Israel students who were at the film screening held the door shut to prevent aggressive protesters from entering the room, whereupon protesters pounded on the room’s door and windows and, for about an hour, screamed slogans that demonized and delegitimized Israel and called for and condoned terrorism against Jews, such as “Fuck Israel!”, “Intifada, Intifada, long live the Intifada!” and “When people are occupied, resistance is justified.”  Event attendees were effectively held hostage for more than 45 minutes after their event had ended, until they could be safely escorted from the room by police. Continue reading