UNIVERSITY LEADERSHIP VOICES:

Presidents, Chancellors, Regents and other University leaders’ statements of recognition of antisemitic activity occurring on campus

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Loyola University Chicago:

Loyola University Chicago President Father Michael Garanzini.

Loyola University Chicago President Father Michael Garanzini, Source Credit juf.org

  • April 30, 2015 – Loyola University Chicago President Fr Garanzini (Loyola President Father Garanzini discusses recent BDS initiative on campus) – “What I see happening now that is very disconcerting is a rise of what I don’t think is only anti-Israel sentiment, but a kind of resurgence of anti-Semitism, as if the Jews have some kind of magical power over the rest of the world, which has to be fought. That’s the way the Jews were portrayed negatively and unfairly in the past. There’s something in the air again that is anti-Semitic and that’s very troubling….I tried to point that out to the president and vice president of student government. I said you don’t have a united position. You just saw how terribly torn your fellow students are about the issue. Well, it won 16 in favor, 15 against, and two abstentions. I said if you want to play the numbers, it’s really a 17-16 vote, but let’s forget about the numbers. You don’t have a mandate to speak out on anything. What you have is a divided student body and did you see the pain that it caused just discussing this? ..And I said, some of this smacks of anti-Semitism. I just fear and feel that, so I’m warning you because that…has no place on this campus….The last time I wrote back to the president of student government, after they’d sent me an open letter, I said, ‘You know, it is ironic that I am writing you this asking you to be cautious on Good Friday when you receive this, because it was precisely on a day like this that Christians used to do horrible things to Jewish people throughout Europe. It’s ironic and sad that we’re talking about his very thing at Passover.’  I said, ‘it’s just a very thin line here and that’s what I worry about.’” Read more
  • March 26, 2015 – Current Provost and incoming President Dr. John Pelissero (responding to the BDS initiative) – “BDS activists use the student government senate to advance an anti-Israel policy position. The action was harmful and divisive, creating a tense relationship between our Jewish and pro-Palestinian students.’” Read more

 

University of California System:

 

  • September 17, 2015 – Regent Norman Pattiz (Recognizing that the concerns of the Jewish community regarding antisemitism have been ignored completely in consideration of the Statement of Principles against Intolerance) – “This problem was brought up because a particular problem exists…to completely disregard those people who brought a specific instance to your attention to be able to deal with it…I think is, frankly, insulting…The Jewish community has a right to bring up a concern to the Jewish community…I don’t care whether in a separate statement or an overall statement, but to ignore the people who are bringing the situation up to begin with is a disservice to that community. There are an awful lot of lessons that need to be learned about the various areas of intolerance that exists on this campus…Why are they different?” Read more
  • September 17, 2015 – Regent Bonnie Reiss (Recognizing that the concerns of Jewish students regarding antisemitism have been ignored in consideration of the Statement of Principles against Intolerance) – “When we hear lines of students coming forth and giving us examples of swastikas on Jewish fraternities, on challenging a Jewish student at UCLA’s qualifications to serve on a counsel just as a result of her religious identity, of statements that “Hitler was right,” I hope I’m not the only one feeling chilled about that and feeling the need for us as leaders of UC to make a statement and tell those students ‘we hear you and that is not acceptable’….In this case, the political debates that have been happening, and god bless free speech that we support, have led to many acts against one particular group of students…and that is Jewish students. And this statement doesn’t say to Jewish students, ‘we hear you.’” Read more
  • September 17, 2015 – Student Regent Avi Oved (Recognizing that the concerns of Jewish students regarding antisemitism have been ignored completely) – “[this statement] did not do justice to those who have been victimized by their identities far too long on our campuses…No one should ever be compelled to hide their identity for fear of repercussion…Student communities need to be able to self-define instances of discrimination and intolerance so that we can use these definitions as guides to detect such instances on our campuses….We choose to tackle this incredibly difficult and sensitive issue not because it is easy, but because it is the right thing to do. This challenge is one we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to overcome.” Read more