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TAKE ACTION: Email Chancellor Gillman and ask how he plans to implement the Regents’ statement to ensure that anti-Semitism and anti-Semitic forms of anti-Zionism have no place at UC Irvine

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36 ADVOCACY GROUPS TO UC IRVINE CHANCELLOR GILLMAN: WHAT IS YOUR PLAN FOR IMPLEMENTING THE REGENTS PRINCIPLES AGAINST INTOLERANCE?


Recent antisemitic activity demonstrates the critical need for promptly implementing the Regents’ principles at UC Irvine


 

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Police gather as students protest at UCI on Thursday night. Ariana Rowlands, Contributing Photographer

Police gather as students protest at UCI on Thursday night. Ariana Rowlands, Contributing Photographer


 

TAKE ACTION: In light of two recent egregious acts of anti-Semitism at UC Irvine, it is clear that UCI Chancellor Gillman needs to implement the Regents Principles Against Intolerance, which state that anti-Semitism and anti-Semitic forms of anti-Zionism “have no place at the University of California.” Please email Chancellor Gillman (chancellor@uci.edu) to politely ask what his plan of action is for implementing the Regents’ principles: What are the rules, policies and procedures he will enact and the educational initiatives he will establish to ensure antisemitism and antisemitic forms of anti-Zionism have no place at UC Irvine?


 

Recently, two anti-Semitic incidents occurred at UC Irvine that demonstrate the critical need for the university to promptly implement the Regents Statement of Principles Against Intolerance adopted in March. The statement stipulates that anti-Semitism and anti-Semitic forms of anti-Zionism are to be treated no differently than any other form of bigotry and “have no place at the University of California.”

On May 18, members of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and the Muslim Student Union (MSU) carried out a pre-meditated disruption of an event hosted by Jewish and pro-Israel students. According to witnesses and university officials, protesters shouted threatening and violent profanities and attempted to push their way inside the room where the event was being held. Jewish and pro-Israel students were effectively held hostage for almost an hour after the event had ended, and escorted out of the building with police protection.

Two weeks earlier, a hate-filled series of events entitled “Anti-Zionism Week 2016” was co-sponsored by SJP and MSU, whose members were complicit in the violent disruption on May 18. The week’s events included talks and exhibits that were filled with classic anti-Semitic tropes intended to foment hatred of Israel and its supporters, including a talk by a member of the virulently anti-Zionist group Neturei Karta who accused American “Zionists” of controlling the government and media. It is not hard to see how such hateful events could have incited violent behavior toward Jewish students a short time later.

In both 2015 and 2014, similar violent disruptions of Jewish student events by UCI SJP and MSU members occurred in close proximity to hate-filled “Anti-Zionism Week,” once again highlighting the strong connection between anti-Zionist expression and anti-Jewish hostility that has become apparent on campuses across the country.

In addition, we have received several reports from Jewish and pro-Israel students at UCI about the hostile environment that anti-Zionist activity has created for them, for example:

  • I used to be quite active in the Jewish community for my first two years in college. However, after what I have experienced, I have withdrawn myself from Jewish events for fear of being identified and targeted.
  • I saw my colleagues feel intimidated to be openly Jewish on campus. Three students were physically assaulted on campus during an Anteater for Israel event. Students felt unsafe walking through campus alone to attend Shabbat dinners. Jewish students felt intimidated to voice their support of Israel in the classroom out of fear of sanction by their professors.
  • The SJP often (weekly to bi-weekly) hold up a sign that says death to Zionism across the main walkway on campus, preventing people from easily crossing, hold die ins, walk down the main drag screaming “Free Free Palestine”, “From the River to the Sea Palestine must be Free”, “End the occupation” “Death to Zionist” etc. There are a lot of anti-Semitic symbols on the wall that comes every year. I have heard people be told “You Jews are occupying our land and killing our people.” I have heard about people being called kikes and dirty Jews. There have been multiple social media pages attacking Jews during my time at UCI.

In light of these recent incidents and student accounts, last week AMCHA Initiative organized a letter signed by 36 Jewish and civil rights groups asking UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman specifically how he will implement the Regents Statement of Principles Against Intolerance.

Chancellor Gillman replied to our organizations, stating that he and members of his administration “strongly support the Regents’ recently adopted Principles Against Intolerance, and especially their statements against anti-Semitism and anti-Semitic forms of anti-Zionism.” However, he did not describe his plan of action for implementing the Regents’ principles on his campus. Therefore, yesterday our organizations sent a second letter to Chancellor Gillman, reiterating our request for him to answer the following question:

What rules, policies and procedures will you invoke or enact, and what educational initiatives will you establish, to ensure that anti-Jewish bigotry will be treated as promptly and vigorously as all other racial, ethnic, or gender bigotry, and that antisemitism and antisemitic forms of anti-Zionism have no place at UC Irvine?

We are delighted that Congressman Brad Sherman recently sent his own letter to Chancellor Gillman, stating: “Given the May events, it is clear that UCI has not yet enforced the Board of Regents’ ruling…I urge you to enforce the Principles Against Intolerance in an effort to foster a productive campus environment that is safe for all.”

Here are a few of the news stories published about AMCHA’s efforts to protect Jewish students at UC Irvine:

 

We need your help in showing Chancellor Gillman that the Jewish community and its supporters cares deeply and is watching.

Please join us in asking Chancellor Gillman to express the concrete steps he plans to take towards implementing the Regents’ statement. Email him at: chancellor@uci.edu


 

Interested in knowing about recent antisemitic activity on campus?
See our:


2016 Antisemitism Tracker

 

In the past few weeks of April, AMCHA has documented over 20 incidents of antisemitic activity, including:

 
May 20, 2016 – UC DAVIS –
SJP and JVP protested the Artists 4 Israel Graffiti Art show hosted by campus Jewish societies by unfurling a large banner that read, “Stop Whitewashing Apartheid.” According to a participant at the event, SJP and JVP protesters called students partaking in the Artists 4 Israel event “white supremacists” and told the Moroccan President of Aggies for Israel to, “Go back to Germany.”
(TARGETING JEWISH STUDENTS & STAFF: VERBAL ASSAULT; DELEGITIMIZATION)

May 19, 2016 – UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN MADISON –
During a two-week vote distributed to all union members, the Teaching Assistants’ Association (TAA/AFT Local 3220) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the oldest graduate student labor union in the United States representing over 9,000 graduate workers and students, voted (with 81% of voting members) in favor of adopting a resolution to divest from Israel. The resolution also called on the TAA’s employer, the University of Wisconsin System, and parent international, the AFLCIO, to divest from the state of Israel.
(BDS ACTIVITY: BDS VOTE )

May 18, 2016 – UC IRVINE –
A Students Supporting Israel event co-sponsored by Hillel was successfully disrupted by SJP and others. According to SSI, “The police had to escort attendees out of the event for their own safety.” Hillel released a statement elaborating that SJP and others, “made aggressive and threatening remarks to participants and physically intimidated and threatened one student attempting to enter the event.” A video of the event showed protesters shouting, “Intifada, Intifada/long live the Intifada,” “displacing people since ‘48/there’s nothing here to celebrate!” and “when people are occupied/resistance is justified.”
(TARGETING JEWISH STUDENTS & STAFF: SUPPRESSION OF SPEECH/ASSEMBLY/MOVEMENT; CONDONED TERRORISM; DEMONIZATION)

May 18, 2016 – DEPAUL UNIVERSITY –
SJP posted a press release that demonized and delegitimized Israel and called on DePaul University to, “stop welcoming zionism to our institutions.” The press release expressed anger at an Israeli art exhibit on campus stating that an exhibit on Israel, “disguises the active apartheid settler colonial state of Israel.” The press release further stated that there is “nothing Vincentian, humane or productive about showing the figure of Catholicism engaging with zionists.”
(ANTISEMITIC EXPRESSION: DENY JEWS SELF-DETERMINATION; DEMONIZATION; DELEGITIMIZATION)

May 5, 2016 – CUNY HUNTER COLLEGE –
SJP held the event, “Hunter SJP Presents: From the River to the Sea, Rejecting Oslo” which denied Jewish self-determination and endorsed a “one state solution” which would eliminate Israel as a Jewish state. The image promoting the event was of a Palestinian throwing stones.
(ANTISEMITIC EXPRESSION: CONDONING TERRORISM; DENY JEWS SELF-DETERMINATION)

May 5, 2016 – HAVERFORD COLLEGE –
In response to a YikYak post that said, “It’s Holocaust Remembrance day #Neverforget” a self-identified Haverford University student posted, “Couldn’t forget even if I wanted to. Those jews are milking it for all it’s worth all while committing worse atrocities.” The student followed in conversation on YikYak with, “‘That’s antisemitic’ you guys say all while slaughtering Palestinians by the thousands” and “…Netanyahu is a worse guy than Hitler. He loves using terms like ‘antisemitic’ and ‘but the Holocaust’ but tbh [to be honest] the Holocaust has very little lasting effects on the Jewish people.”
(TARGETING JEWISH STUDENTS & STAFF: VERBAL ASSAULT; COMPARING JEWS TO NAZIS; ACCUSING JEWS OF INVENTING OR EXAGGERATING THE HOLOCAUST; DEMONIZATION)

May 4, 2016 – UC IRVINE –
Neturei Karta Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss spoke as part of “Anti-Zionism Week” on “The difference between and anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism.” The event was sponsored by the Muslim Student Union, Students for Justice in Palestine, the American Indian Student Association, and Jewish Voice for Peace. During his talk, Weiss made several remarks about Zionism and Zionists that employed classic anti-Semitic tropes accusing Jews of mendacity, criminality and controlling the government and media, canards made popular in the fabricated anti-Semitic text, Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Weiss likened Zionism to “a Madoff scheme,” claimed Zionists have “billions and billions of dollars” and use their money to intimidate “the media” and “any politician who dares …to show too much sympathy for the Palestinian cause”, and stated that “newspapers are conglomerates that are owned or controlled by Zionist organizations.”
(ANTISEMITIC EXPRESSION: HISTORICAL; DEMONIZATION)

May 4, 2016 – PRINCETON UNIVERSITY –
Antisemitic graffiti was found in a restroom in the Friend Center on Wednesday, the first evening of Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day. The graffiti contained negative commentaries alluding that Jews are “ruling the United States.”
(ANTISEMITIC EXPRESSION: HISTORICAL)

May 3, 2016 – UC IRVINE –
An event on campus in support of “Anti-Zionist Week” involved, according to MSU, a “[m]ock funeral procession of a Palestinian martyr. #AZW2016″ where participants held a large banner saying, “End Apartheid” with another participant holding a sign saying “Long Live the Intifada.”
(ANTISEMITIC EXPRESSION: CONDONED TERRORISM; DELEGITIMIZATION)

May 2, 2016 – UC IRVINE –
On the first day of “Anti-Zionist Week” held by The Muslim Student Union, Jewish Voice for Peace, Students for Justice in Palestine, and the American Indian Student Association, an apartheid wall was erected on campus. One panel of the wall condoned terrorism with an image of convicted hijacker Leila Khaled with a gun under the caption, “Women Leading Resistance” and another panel showed a tank under the caption, “Expect Resistance.” A nearby sign read, “Resistance is justified when people are occupied.” A different panel of the wall showed all of Israel as, “occupied territory” and another panel called for BDS.
(ANTISEMITIC EXPRESSION: CONDONED TERRORISM; DENY JEWS SELF-DETERMINATION; DELEGITIMIZATION; BDS ACTIVITY (CALLS FOR BDS))

See the full list from 2016 HERE.
 


 

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