Students express concerns about UC Irvine
Published: 04/02/2008A group of current and former University of California, Irvine students are “deeply concerned” about anti-Semitism on their campus.In a news release issued earlier this week, 20 students countered an earlier release from Jewish student leaders at UC Irvine denying anti-Semitism was a serious problem on their campus and defended the administration’s handling of the matter.
“We are current and former students at UC Irvine who are deeply concerned about the anti-Semitism at UCI that has been frequently couched as false and hateful attacks on Israel,” the new release said. “We do not believe that UCI Chancellor Michael Drake has exercised his responsibility as an educator and university leader in response to the anti-Semitism.”
One of the signers of the new release says he attends California State University, Fullerton.
The release also repeated earlier criticism of the decision by Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life to provide Drake with a “coveted platform” to speak at its recent summit in Washington.
Jewish Students respond to Jewish students:
PRESS RELEASE ISSUED BY CONCERNED STUDENTS AT UC IRVINE
We are current and former students at UC Irvine who are deeply concerned about the anti-Semitism at UCI that has been frequently couched as false and hateful attacks on Israel. We do not believe that UCI Chancellor Michael Drake has exercised his responsibility as an educator and university leader in response to the anti-Semitism. We strongly disagree with the press release issued by five Jewish students at UCI on March 26, 2008, supporting Chancellor Drake.
1. We are deeply disappointed that Chancellor Drake continues to refuse to condemn ongoing hate-filled programs and speeches on campus that demonize Israel and Jews. These hateful programs have included “Holocaust in the Holy Land;” “Israel: The 4th Reich;” and recently in February 2008, “From Auschwitz to Gaza: The Politics of Genocide.” Hateful and bigoted speakers have made such statements as “Zionist Jews . . . are the new Nazis,” and that “the apartheid state of Israel is on the way down . . . your days are numbered. We will fight you until we are martyred or until we are victorious.” Speakers have blamed Jews for 9-11. The medieval anti-Semitic blood libel – that Jews use the blood of non-Jews for ritual purposes – has been dredged up on campus: Last May, former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was caricatured as a cannibal, and other Israeli leaders were described as his “supporting cast.” The Star of David appeared at the bottom of the image. Also last May, a poster outrageously and falsely claimed that “children as young as 3 will be shot on sight” by Israelis, and there were images of the Israeli flag smeared with blood.
Student leaders refute claims of dangerous anti-Semitism.
IRVINE – Jewish student leaders at UCI took the unusual step this week of issuing a press release saying Jewish student life is thriving there, and no one is in danger from anti-Semitism on campus.
The move comes in the wake of assertions from outside groups that UC Irvine is so rife with anti-Semitism that it’s become an unsafe place for Jewish students.
Tensions between fervent Jewish and Muslim students on campus, primarily over the Israeli government’s relationship with the Palestinians, have spilled over into the international blogosphere and even been investigated by the federal government. Continue reading