AMCHA’S Responses to Antisemitic Activity – California Legislature
2. Anti-Israel Groups try to Remove Reference to U.S. State Department’s Definition of Antisemitism in SCR 35
- INCIDENT: SCR 35 is a resolution that would “urge each University of California campus to adopt a resolution condemning all forms of anti-Semitism and racism, and would condemn any act of anti-Semitism augmenting education programs at all publicly funded schools in the State of California.” Some groups are determined to remove from the resolution any reference to the U.S. State Department’s definition of anti-Semitism, or worse, to replace it with the Merriam Webster dictionary definition, which is vague and not applicable in many instances to modern manifestations of antisemitism.
- 4/28/15 – AMCHA’S RESPONSE: AMCHA Initiative coordinated a coalition letter of 22 groups to Senator Stone, the author of the resolution, stating, “We are grateful for your role in authoring SCR-35. However, we are extremely troubled by the efforts of some groups to remove from the resolution any reference to the U.S. State Department’s definition of anti-Semitism, or worse, to replace it with the Merriam Webster dictionary definition. We think that doing so would be disastrous, and would completely undermine and pervert the original intent of this very important resolution…Student leaders on UC campuses have themselves recognized the clear connection between virulent anti-Israel expression and these recent antisemitic incidents. In response to the alarming increase in anti-Jewish bigotry, resolutions condemning anti-Semitism were unanimously approved at UC Berkeley, UCLA and UCSB. Importantly, in identifying anti-Semitic activity, each resolution invokes the U.S. State Department’s definition, which recognizes certain kinds of anti-Israel expression that demonizes or delegitimizes Israel by denying it the right to exist, or that applies a double standard requiring of Israel behavior not expected of any other democratic nation, as anti-Semitism. In addition, all three unanimously-approved resolutions resolve that their student governments will adopt the State Department’s definition of antisemitism. Please ensure that the U.S. State Department’s definition is not removed from SCR-35.”
1. Anti-Israel Group Condemns HR-35 and Demands State Legislators Rescind the Resolution
- INCIDENT: HR 35 is a resolution condemning antisemitism on California campuses and offering substantive recommendations for combating it, which was passed unanimously by the California State Assembly in August 2012. Several anti-Israel groups have asked state legislators to rescind HR 35, including the California Scholars for Academic Freedom (CS4AF).
- 10/17/12 – AMCHA’S RESPONSE: AMCHA Initiative wrote a letter to California State Assembly members exposing the anti-Jewish bigotry of CS4AF. While CS4AF claims to protect California scholars from violations of academic freedom, their real goal is to protect academics who promote academic boycotts of Israel.