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

Just when you you thought it was safe for your Jewish Student at UC Irvine

Muslim students shut down pro-Israel event at UCI

Peter Fricke

Peter FrickeInvestigative Reporter
Campus Reform
Today at 5:33 PM EDT
  • The protesters reportedly consisted of members of the Muslim Student Union and Students for Justice in Palestine.
  • UPDATE: UCI released a statement responding to the incident, saying it is investigating “whether disciplinary or legal action is appropriate.”

An event held by a Jewish student group at the University of California, Irvine was disrupted Wednesday night by a crowd of Muslim students chanting anti-Semitic and anti-police slogans.

Ariana Rowlands, president of the College Republicans club at UCI, told Campus Reform that her group had just wrapped up its weekly meeting Wednesday night, and were gathered outside the building preparing to hang posters advertising an upcoming appearance by Milo Yiannopoulos when they heard a commotion nearby.

[RELATED: Milo quotes spark ‘homophobia’ scare at UC Irvine]

Wandering over to investigate, the CR members encountered a large group of students—Rowlands estimated there were perhaps 50 in total—holding signs and screaming in unison to protest a movie screening being held by Students Supporting Israel (SSI).

Shawn Steel, a Republican National Committee member who was on campus to address the CR meeting, posted a video on Facebook depicting a portion of the demonstration.

“Intifada, Intifada/long live the Intifada,” the protesters shout at the start of the video, following that up with a call-and-response chant of “displacing people since ‘48/there’s nothing here to celebrate!”

For video click http://www.campusreform.org/?ID=7605 Continue reading

Students Speak Out About Anti-Semitism on University of California Campuses

Does the UC System Have an Anti-Semitism Problem?

The Times of Israel Blogs,  September 25 2015

 

It was her first week back at the University of California, San Diego, and Sara Ahdoot had already become the target of an anti-Semitic attack.

A psychology senior at UCSD, Ahdoot had planned to celebrate the start of her last year of undergraduate studies with a bang: by going out to a club. However, what was supposed to be a fun night out soon became a nightmare that many Jewish college students hope to never encounter. Shortly after arriving, Ahdoot noticed a familiar face — a male member of the pro-Palestinian group at her school, Students for Justice in Palestine. He noticed her too.

“I have felt uncomfortable around this student for the past two years and he saw me at a night club,” she recounted. “And after he saw me, he confronted me with nothing but hate and would not leave me alone.”

Throughout the night, Ahdoot was harassed about her Persian origins, yelled at and flipped off.

“They followed me, and called me by my first and last name. They were yelling that I was a ‘racist Zionist cow.’ I have never felt so unsafe in my life.”

Fearing that the attack would turn violent, she fled the club on the verge of tears. For her whole college career, Ahdoot was proud of her Judaism and her love for Israel — the Jewish state. She wore her Star of David necklace everywhere she went, letting the world know that she wasn’t ashamed of her identity, or her homeland.

And yet, the night after Yom Kippur, the holiest day in Judaism, she experienced attacks from a fellow UCSD student that saw her identity and homeland as patently unacceptable. Ahdoot said, “I didn’t know anyone would actually come in my face or put me in danger until tonight. This problem is way more serious than I had imagined.”

The University of California’s Anti-Semitism Problem

Long-time examiners of anti-Semitism within the University of California system know that Ahdoot’s story is nothing new. Over the past academic year, Jewish students across the UC system have experienced an unsettling rise in anti-Semitic attacks on their identity. Just as the racism once manifested within Jim Crow laws has evolved and choked the basic equal protections enshrined in our criminal justice system, so too has anti-Semitism transformed and seeped its way through the bedrock of these universities. It has evolved to become as a new political anti-Semitism — the result of an overwhelming tide of anti-Israel activism on campuses that overstep reasonable criticism of Israel’s domestic policies into demonizing perceptions of Israel and those who call it home.

Yael Steinberg, an alumni of UC Davis is no stranger to this demonizing rhetoric when she encountered anti-Israel sentiment on campuses across the UC’s overstepping into anti-Semitism. “I have seen discussions of [boycotts against Israel] turn nasty — from describing Jews as ‘privileged’ and ‘rich,’ to calling Jews ‘baby killers’ and told to wipe the blood off their boots. It’s terrible. Jews on campus face this intolerance the most when in conjunction with discussions about Israel, which often crosses the line from debate into hate speech.” Continue reading

CBS News Investigation Alleges UC Irvine Employee Posted Anti-Semitic and Racist Pictures on Social Media

CBS2 Investigation: College Security Guard Leaves Trail Of Racism

David Goldstein Reporting

WARNING: Some of the images in this video may be offensive to some readers.] Click HERE to see video

IRVINE (CBSLA.com ) — A 31-year-old man who patrols two Orange County college campuses posted pro-Nazi and anti-black sentiments on the Internet, according to CBS2 investigative reporter David Goldstein. Continue reading

The Wall of Hate Suffers A “Rain Out” This Morning

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

The so-called “apartheid wall”,  erected year after year on the UC Irvine Campus by the Muslim Student Union, never looked better or more truthful.

Is the American Jewish Committee finally getting it right on campus anti-Semitism?

With any luck, the AJC’s reversal may facilitate a unified  Jewish communal response to the resurgence of anti-Semitic incidents that have  been seen around the country, and especially in California, over the past  decade…”

AJC Gets It Right on Campus Anti-Semitism, At Last

David Harris Stood Behind Moves to Protect Jewish Students
By Kenneth L. Marcus

Published August 23, 2011, issue of September  02, 2011.  Jewish Daily Forward

In early August, the American Jewish Committee’s executive director, David  Harris, finally renounced his organization’s highly controversial joint  statement on campus anti-Semitism.

The initial statement, which AJC anti-Semitism expert Kenneth Stern had  published four months before, with Cary Nelson, president of the American  Association of University Professors, had generated considerable criticism  within the Jewish community. Interestingly, the AJC reversal coincided with  disturbing revelations in the University of California, Berkeley campus  anti-Semitism case.

The context for the AJC statement can be found in California. Jessica Felber  had gotten national attention earlier this year when she filed a federal lawsuit  alleging an anti-Semitic attack at the University of California’s flagship  Berkeley campus. In her federal complaint, the recent graduate detailed how a  Palestinian activist assaulted her on campus by ramming her from behind with a  loaded shopping cart. In mid-August, Felber revealed to the court that this  assault was part of an ugly pattern on that campus.  In another incident, a campus protester stopped a lecture to berate Felber for  the Hebrew lettering on her sweatshirt, yelling that she must be a “terrorist  supporter.” In a third, the head of Berkeley’s Students for Justice in Palestine  allegedly spat at her.

Felber is not alone; a second Berkeley student, Brian Maissy, has now joined  her lawsuit.  Maissy submitted a declaration describing the “terrifying” atmosphere on the Berkeley campus during “Apartheid Week,” when protesters  toting realistic-looking guns taunt passing students, demanding to know, “Are  you Jewish?”  Even more disturbing, Mel Gordon, a senior member of the Berkeley  faculty, is now supporting Felber’s lawsuit with written testimony that he had  been, “savagely beaten and spat upon” by the Students for Justice in Palestine.  Gordon described “serious injuries” that he received from blows to the  stomach. Continue reading

Rutgers Hillel fights campus Anti-Semitism and Anti-Israelism; Gets community involved.

The event caught the attention of Jewish leaders from surrounding communities, and almost 400 people showed up to protest

Rutgers Hillel celebrates successes in combating anti-Israelism on campus

Jacob Binstein, New Jersey Jewish Standard
June 3, 2011 (From IJCR)

It was a tough year for friends of Israel on the Rutgers campus.

But last Tuesday night, at the Rutgers Hillel Gala held in Livingston, student activists got a warm reminder that they don’t stand alone as community leaders from all corners of the state came out to support the 68-year-old campus organization. Continue reading

New English Review: Jewish Federation leader allegedly hits UCI Professor with coiled up flyers after “heated verbal exchange”.

Does The Olive Tree Initiative Lack Credibility?

Jerry Gordon

New English Review (July 2011)

On May 9th, the President of the Jewish Federation & Family Services of Orange County, California (JFOC), Shalom Elcott, was loitering on the plaza during the first day of the 2011l anti-Israel Apartheid Awareness Week organized by the Muslim Student Union (MSU)at University of California, Irvine (UCI). He encountered Professor Amihai Glazer. Glazer was one of 60 faculty members who had signed a letter expressing the view that antisemitism did indeed exist on the UCI campus – Islamic antisemitism. The conversation became heated when Elcott suddenly hit Glazer with coiled up flyers after Glazer told him he had “a credibility problem.”

Elcott is the brother of Prof. David Elcott of NYU Wagner College. David Elcott is a former US Interreligious Affairs Director of the American Jewish Committee. He left to become executive director of the J Street ally, the Israel Policy Forum (IPF). His successor at the IPF is MJ Rosenberg an active supporter of J Street’s mantra of “pro- Israel and pro-Peace” seeking immediatedeclaration of a Palestinian State.

One potential problem at UCI was the Olive Tree Initiative (OTI). The OTI was co-founded as a student led group in 2008 that included former Muslim Student Union President, Ali Malik, Isaac Yerushalmi, former head of Anteaters for Israel, and then graduate student, now director of the OTI, Daniel Wehrenfennig. The objective of the OTI program, sponsored by the JFOC Rose Project, was to send Jewish and non-Jewish students to Israel and the West Bank to expose them to a variety of views from Israeli and Palestinian representatives so they might gain an understanding of all sides of the issues.

Jewish student leaders at UCI Hillel, local JFOC officials and Jewish students who have gone on OTI sponsored trips persist in saying that antisemitism doesn’t exist on campus. Continue reading

Sign the Petition to UC President Mark Yudof

Dear Task Force friends,

As a follow-up to last  year’s letter to UC President Mark Yudof, which 12 organizations  — including  your own — signed, my colleague Dr. Leila Beckwith and I have recently posted  another on-line letterto President Yudof, urging him to forcefully and  promptly address the problem of the harassment and intimidation of Jewish students on UC campuses.  We are hoping that thousands of Jewish community members will join us in signing this follow-up letter.

Could you please forward the following to your email subscribers?

Many thanks,
Tammi

Dear Jewish Community of California,

Bigotry against Jewish students has occurred on University of California campuses over many years and on many campuses.  Jewish students have been subjected to: swastikas; acts of physical aggression; speakers, films and exhibits that use anti-Semitic imagery and discourse; speakers that praise and encourage support for terrorist organizations; the organized disruption of events sponsored by Jewish student groups; and most recently the promotion of student senate resolutions for divestment from Israel that seek to demonize and delegitimize the Jewish State.

Last May, more than 700 Jewish UC students signed a petition expressing outrage at anti-Jewish rhetoric and imagery on their campuses.  They asserted that these incidents are as offensive and hurtful to Jewish students as a “Compton cookout” or a noose are to African American students. In addition, dozens of Jewish students from three different UC campuses, who responded to an on-line questionnaire, described feeling harassed and intimidated by the promotion of hatred against the Jewish State and of Jews.  Almost all of the students felt that the administrators on their campuses did not treat Jewish concerns as sensitively as they did the concerns of other minorities such as African Americans and Latinos.

In June 2010, leaders of 12 Jewish organizations, including the Orthodox Union and the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, wrote to UC President Mark Yudof, expressing their concerns about the hostile environment faced by Jewish students on UC campuses, and calling on him to address this serious problem immediately.  President Yudof responded by asking Jewish leaders to have patience and faith in the newly-established Advisory Councils on Campus Climate, Culture, and Inclusion. Over the last year, however, these Advisory Councils have failed to address, or even acknowledge, the problem of anti-Semitism on UC campuses.  In fact, the aims and actions of the Advisory Councils since their inception, as revealed by documents released under a  Freedom of Information request, show that Jewish students are not a focus at all. Continue reading

Jewish Students to ASUCI: “When will the student government stand up for me?”

(The OCITF applauds the Jewish students for speaking out against censorship and “years” of anti-Semitism at UC Irvine)

Jewish Student Leader addressing the UCI Student Council:

….The same powers that oppressed my mother and the Jews of Egypt, have followed us here to this campus…”

“How many members of this council understand the history of anti-Semitism on this campus and the history of the Muslim Student Union on this campus?”

Note: Only one member of the Student Council that unanimously voted for resolution R45-66 Resolution condemning academic repercussions for nonviolent protest, was present at the disruption of Ambassador Oren’s Speech.

OC Register Editiorial “It is up to UCI Chancellor Michael Drake to set the rules and boundaries of behavior and enforce them…”

Editorial: Stifling discussion isn’t free speech

2010-02-25 17:35:05

protester-israel-ambassad

The campus at UC Irvine has become a hotbed of tension between Muslim and Jewish students, divided along the always-contentious debate surrounding Israel and Palestine.

The latest major incident occurred Feb. 8, when a raucous group of 11 students, mostly from UCI and including the president of the UCI Muslim Student Association, repeatedly interrupted a speech being delivered by Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren. Protesters in the audience stood up and shouted barely understandable tirades, condemning Israeli policies, in general, and the ambassador, in particular, while he was attempting to address 500 attendees at UCI’s Pacific Ballroom, according to news reports and videos (see videos at our blog, ocregister.com/orangepunch.) Continue reading

To: UC Irvine Chancellor Michael Drake

“We have 1,000 guest speakers on campus every year. Could I evaluate them and say this one is anti-Semitic? I could not. What I could say is that as a person and a campus, we abhor hate speech, period.” –Chancellor Michael Drake. Read it here

Courtesy of the  ZOA.   This petition is being circulated by a concerned community member.

OVER  5,500 SIGNATURES!!

sign the petition here:

To:  UC Irvine Chancellor Michael Drake

We, the undersigned, call on you to speak out and publicly condemn the annual Israel-bashing event on campus that is being sponsored by UC Irvine’s Muslim Student Union from May 5-21, 2009. The title alone – “Israel: The Politics of Genocide” – reflects that this event, like previous Muslim Student Union events, will demonize Israel and make false and hateful accusations against Israel and Jews. Individuals scheduled to speak at this event have a record of making hateful and vilifying statements about Jews, Zionism and Israel. A program like this one can promote violence against Jews on campus and beyond.

In addition to publicly condemning this event that will promote hatred of Jews and Israel, we call on you to condemn the Muslim Student Union, the perpetrators of the anti-Semitic bigotry. This group continues to violate the values and principles of the UC Irvine community that specifically call for “a learning climate free from expressions of bigotry.”

As an American, you have the right to speak out and explicitly denounce anti-Semitism, especially when it occurs on your campus. As an educational leader, you have the moral obligation to speak out.

Sincerely,

The Undersigned