ZOA, 12 major Jewish Organizations letter the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education: Protect Jewish students from anti-Semitic harassment, intimidation and discrimination under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act

(Courtesy of the ZOA)

American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists
American Jewish Committee
American Jewish Congress
Anti-Defamation League
B’nai B’rith International
Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life
Institute for Jewish and Community Research
Jewish Council for Public Affairs
Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America
Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
Scholars for Peace in the Middle East
Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America
Zionist Organization of America

March 16, 2010

The Hon. Arne Duncan
Secretary
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-1510

Re: Protecting Jewish Students Under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Dear Mr. Secretary:

In your thoughtful speech last week in Selma, Alabama, commemorating the 45th anniversary of the “Bloody Sunday” confrontation between law-enforcement officials and civil-rights marchers, you appropriately emphasized both the important mission of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the critical nature of the work of the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR). We write to urge you to ensure that, in furtherance of that critical work, OCR interprets Title VI to protect Jewish students from anti-Semitic harassment, intimidation and discrimination.

To read the entire letter click   Here

UCI’s “internal review” into alleged Hamas fundraising enters its sixth month

On October 2, 2009 , the Orange County Independent Task Force on anti-Semitism  (OCITF)  received a carbon copy of a response to concerns raised by the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) from Diane Fields Geocaris, UCI’s Chief Campus Counsel. (To read the letter, click here.)  According to the ZOA, “the Muslim Student Union (MSU) a registered student group on campus, may have illegally used the University of California, Irvine (UCI) as a base for fund-raising for the terrorist group Hamas.” Continue reading

ZOA Responds to MSU Charges

UC IRVINE’S MUSLIM STUDENT GROUP LIES, ATTACKS AND THREATENS ZOA, ADL, OTHER ZOA “AFFILIATES,” SEEKING TO SILENCE US – BUT DOES NOT REFUTE ZOA’S CHARGES OF WRONGDOING

In response to the troubling concerns that the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) recently raised about the questionable and disturbing conduct of the Muslim Student Union at the University of California, Irvine, the Muslim Student Union sent a hateful, rambling letter to Diane Fields Geocaris, UC Irvine’s Chief Campus Counsel, filled with threats, name-calling and false accusations against the ZOA, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and other so-called ZOA “allied affiliates.”  Yet the Muslim Student Union never refuted the ZOA’s charges.  The group posted its letter, dated October 13, 2009, on its Web site.

These actions followed shortly after the ZOA sent letters to UC Irvine and the U.S. Department of Justice, raising concerns about whether the Muslim Student Union, a registered student group at UC Irvine, solicited funds on campus in violation of University policy, and used the campus as a base for fundraising for the terrorist group Hamas in violation of federal law.

The Muslim Student Union Reportedly Solicited Funds for

the Viva Palestina Convoy to Gaza

Last May, the Muslim Student Union sponsored radical Israel-bashing British politician George Galloway on campus to talk about his group, Viva Palestina, which organizes convoys of vehicles, goods and supplies to Hamas-controlled Gaza.  According to several witnesses and a videotape of the event, the Muslim Student Union and Galloway solicited funds from the audience for Viva Palestina.

There is evidence that these convoys to Gaza furnished material support and resources to Hamas, a group that the U.S. State Department has designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization, which would violate federal law.  Based on records produced by the University, the Muslim Student Union and Galloway solicited funds for Viva Palestina without University approval and without complying with numerous University policies regarding fundraising on campus.  In fact, University documents show that the Muslim Student Union misrepresented in writing to UC Irvine that the Galloway/Viva Palestina event was not going to be a fundraiser.  Several University officials were present at the event and knew or should have known that the solicitation of funds had not been authorized.  None put a stop to the misconduct and – at least according to records produced by the University – none reported the misconduct to senior UC Irvine officials.

The ZOA Reports Concerns about the Muslim Student Union’s Actions to

UC Irvine and the U.S. Justice Department

The ZOA provided UC Irvine and the U.S. Justice Department with detailed evidence supporting the ZOA’s claims, including a 31-page report about Viva Palestina recently issued by the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT).  The IPT’s Executive Director, Steven Emerson, is one of the foremost experts on domestic terrorism in the U.S.

The IPT report debunked the claim that Viva Palestina’s goal is to provide for the needy.  The report states that “Viva Palestina’s most visible leaders call for the elimination of the State of Israel . . . They treat Hamas leaders as the legitimate representatives of the Palestinian people and provide both material and moral support to the terrorist organization.”

The ZOA also furnished UC Irvine and the U.S. Justice Department with information from a participant in the Viva Palestina convoy of July 2009, for which the Muslim Student Union reportedly solicited funds at UC Irvine.  The participant confirmed that the convoy’s resources went to Hamas.  Given the seriousness of the alleged wrongdoing at UC Irvine and the possibility that a federal anti-terrorism law was violated, the ZOA sent copies of its letters to several public officials, including Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, U.S. Congressmen Brad Sherman and John Campbell of California, California Assemblyman Chuck DeVore, and leaders and members of several U.S. congressional committees who would be particularly concerned about the possibility that American college campuses are being used as a base to solicit funds for U.S.-designated terrorist groups like Hamas.

The Muslim Student Union Responds by Publishing a Letter to UC Irvine’s Chief

Campus Counsel, Lodging False and Malicious Accusations and Threats against the ZOA

Significantly, in its letter to UC Irvine’s Chief Campus Counsel, responding to the concerns raised about its conduct, the Muslim Student Union never refuted the ZOA’s allegation that the Muslim Student Union may have used UC Irvine as a base of fundraising for the terrorist group Hamas.  In its letter, the Muslim Student Union never refuted the ZOA’s allegation that the Muslim Student Union solicited funds for Viva Palestina in violation of University policy, and that in fact, the Muslim Student Union misrepresented to the University that the Galloway event was not going to be a fundraiser.  Indeed, the Muslim Student Union ridiculed the University’s protocol for fundraising, calling the detailed policies “university technicalities” – which the Muslim Student Union acknowledges having likely breached, both now and in the past.  In its letter, the Muslim Student Union never refuted the evidence that the ZOA provided to the University and to law enforcement – that the convoy to Gaza in July 2009, for which the Muslim Student Union reportedly solicited funds, provided support and resources to the terrorist group Hamas.

Instead, the Muslim Student Union launched a baseless and vicious attack on the ZOA, the ADL, the Orange County Independent Task Force on Anti-Semitism, StandWithUs, and nameless “others,” all of whom the Muslim Student Union has called the ZOA’s “allied affiliates.”

Continue reading

Task Force Will Continue to Monitor Anti-Semitism at UCI

Huntington Beach, CA – September 19, 2008 – The Orange County Independent Task Force on anti-Semitism will continue to monitor fresh allegations of ongoing anti-Semitic activity at The University of California, Irvine (UCI).  The Task Force consists of Jewish and non-Jewish members of the community, and includes current and former faculty members, religious and lay community leaders.

On February 12, 2008, the Independent Task Force completed its year long investigation at UCI.  Over 80 hours of interviews, as well as, documents, written complaints and numerous visits to the campus were used in the compilation of the subsequent Report and Recommendations.
The complete 34 page report can be found at:
https://octaskforce.files.wordpress.com/2008/02/orange-county-task-force-report-on-anti-semitism-at-uci.pdf
Over the past several months, the Task Force has continued to receive disturbing reports including the following:

•    Anti-Semitic programs sponsored by MSU have continued, with guest speakers ratcheting up anti-Semitic hate speech.

•    On March 30, 2008, twenty current and former Jewish and non-Jewish UCI students issued a press release expressing (in part) deep concern “…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…”

•    According to The Orange County Anti-Defamation Leagues (ADL) press release on March 5, 2008:

“……The Jewish communities in Orange County and Long Beach remain the religious group most targeted for attack. Unfortunately, many of these incidents continue to occur on school campuses.  We are particularly disturbed by those incidents that occur in the lower grades,” said Kevin O’Grady, ADL Orange County Regional Director.  Incidents across the region included vandalism, hate mail sent to community leaders and organizations, and white supremacist newspapers distributed throughout Orange County.
“Most disturbing, in the Orange County and Long Beach region, is existence of anti-Semitic speakers and faculty members on university campuses.  The continued willingness of the Muslim Students’ Union at the University of California, Irvine to invite highly anti-Semitic speakers to campus remains a concern.  These speakers continue to blame Jews for controlling American foreign policy, the world’s media and banking systems and for the U.S. involvement in Iraq.  Kevin MacDonald, an anti-Semitic professor at California State University, Long Beach continues to promote his version of academic anti-Semitism; a version that is supported by neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups.  While the leaders of both schools have broadly condemned hate speech, neither school has condemned speakers by name…”

http://www.adl.org/PresRele/ASUS_12/5251_12.htm

•    A press release dated May 13, 2008, issued by the “student leaders” of the five main Jewish campus organizations, called attention to the May 12-16th MSU event, “Never Again? The Palestinian Holocaust” stating, in part, the following:

“…In the upcoming week the pro-Israeli Students of the University of California, Irvine will witness acts of hatred from fellow students. Ringroad, a main road on UCI’s campus, will have a makeshift wall which will have pictures, articles, and a bloodied Israeli flag that blames Israel and Jews for a so-called Palestinian Holocaust in Israel .This threatening event will be taking place all week…”(emphasis added).
Letter from Jewish student leaders at UCI—May 13, 2008.

•    During “Palestine Awareness Week”, caricatures depicting stereotypical “hooked nosed Jews” and displays invoking “blood libel” appeared on MSU’s “apartheid wall” which mocks Israel as a “racist apartheid state”.

•    In May 2008, a female Jewish journalist reported that she and a male companion were allegedly “accosted in the parking lot by individuals purported to be male MSU supporters who allegedly climbed on the hood of her car to get the vin number. These men were allegedly upset that they were being filmed by the woman at a recently concluded MSU event.

•    In May 2008, a non Jewish Student Journalist allegedly had a camera thrust in his face by a purported MSU Member.

•    In May 2008, a student Journalist alleged that he was told not to film MSU female members by a senior campus official because it was allegedly upsetting the male Muslim students. MSU supporters routinely photograph people at their events with impunity.

•    In May 2008, students reported an attempt by senior campus officials to allegedly inhibit Jewish students from carrying protest placards on a sidewalk adjacent to an MSU speaker. The officials cited “fire safety” as the reason; meanwhile the sidewalk on the immediate opposite side was clogged by a bus load of visiting students, who had stopped to view the commotion.

•    In May 2008, concern was raised that MSU has been allowed to utilize its own members as “security” at its’ controversial and inflammatory events.

•    When asked about the relatively small number of campus police in attendance at large, often inflammatory MSU events, a senior campus police officer explained that “lack of funds” from the University was the reason. The officer complained that “several years ago an officer was injured at one of these events”.

•    Recently, the UC Irvine Anthill Pub prominently displayed a photograph of Amir Malik Ali.   Some of Malik Ali’s most notable statements made during his hateful speeches at UCI:
“The truth of the matter is your days are numbered. We will fight you. We will fight you until we are either martyred or until we are victorious.”  “They [Jews] think they are superman, but we, the Muslims, are kryptonite. They [Jews] know that their days are numbered.”

•    A Jewish student was quoted as saying the campus situation is sometimes “intense and hostile.” This student claims said that he wont “go around wearing a Jewish star because you never know what is going to happen.”

•    According to recently obtained documentation, MSU received $6,500 from Associated Students of UCI for “Palestine Awareness Week”.  The MSU sponsored hate speakers Amir Abdel Malik Ali, Imam Muhammad al Asi and noted Holocaust denier Norman Finkelstein.  Many campus student groups regularly receive funding for their particular programs; however there is no evidence to demonstrate that any groups other than MSU use such funds to promote programs featuring incendiary and hateful speakers.
•    According to the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is currently investigating alleged incidents of anti-Semitic harassment, intimidation and discrimination that occurred in May 2007 at UCI. This is the second Title VI investigation initiated by ZOA on behalf of Jewish students at UCI. The first complaint was initiated in 2004.

Anyone in the community with knowledge of, or who has witnessed acts of anti-Semitism at UCI, is encouraged to contact the Task Force:

Jan Mark Dudman Esq., President
Robert L. Winer M.D., Executive vice-President
Ted Bleiweis, Executive Director

ZOA: New UC President needs to stop anti-Semitism at UCI

The ZOA mentions the Task Force in its critique of UCI. The new UC President’s reply will be posted as well, when it’s published. Download the letter: ZOA Letter to UC President

ZOA CALLS ON UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA PRESIDENT TO RECTIFY ANTI-SEMITISM PROBLEMS AT UC CAMPUSES

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has urged the newly-appointed President of the University of California (UC), Mark G. Yudof, to address ongoing problems of anti-Semitism and Israel-bashing on two UC campuses: UC Irvine and UC Santa Cruz. In an eight-page letter to President Yudof dated August 8, 2008, the ZOA described in detail “the pattern of anti-Semitism on both of these campuses, and the hostile environment that the bigotry has engendered for students and faculty.” The ZOA noted that President Yudof has publicly identified himself as a Jewish activist and a strong defender of Israel, and thus presumably would “share our concern about campus anti-Semitism.” The ZOA called on President Yudof to take several “reasonable steps . . . to rectify the ongoing problems.” (To read the ZOA’s letter to UC President Yudof, click here.)

With respect to UC Irvine, the ZOA described the events regularly sponsored by the university’s Muslim Student Union (MSU), which “demonize and vilify Jews, Zionism and Israel.” According to the ZOA, “[t]he events’ titles alone convey just how false and hateful the events are,” including “Zionism Hijacking Judaism,” “Israel: The 4th Reich,” and “From Auschwitz to Gaza: The Politics of Genocide,” a program absurdly suggesting that the systematic and deliberate murder of Jews in Auschwitz is comparable to the situation today in Gaza. Last May, the MSU sponsored such programs as “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine”; “Death to Apartheid: A Farewell to Zionism”; and “Silence is Consent: Stop the Palestinian Holocaust.” The ZOA pointed out that “[t]hese events promoted the monstrous lie that Israel is committing genocide and perpetrating a holocaust on the Palestinian Arabs.”
Continue reading

Federal Government Initiates New Investigation Into UC Irvine’s Response To Campus Anti-Semitism

This just in from the ZOA

By letter to the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) dated April 25, 2008, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has indicated that it will be investigating several incidents of alleged anti-Semitic harassment, intimidation and discrimination that occurred in May 2007, at the University of California, Irvine (UCI). The ZOA had brought these incidents to OCR’s attention almost one year ago, asserting that the incidents show that UCI has continued to respond ineffectively to campus anti-Semitism, in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI). Title VI requires that recipients of federal funding (like UCI) ensure that their programs and activities are free discrimination based on “race, color, or national origin.” If the recipient is found to have violated Title VI, it can lose its federal funding.

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