Implementing a comprehensive intolerance plan will show the strength of Chancellor Gillman’s commitment to safeguarding the rights of all students – including Jewish and Zionist students – to freedom of expression and full participation in campus life.
Now 54 Groups Urge Chancellor Gillman to Implement Comprehensive, Campus-Wide Plan to Prevent Intolerant Conduct and Protect Student Rights
Image from the shutdown of a May 2017 pro-Israel event by Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) members, who entered the event and shouted loudly and continuously, explicitly stating to speakers, “You people…should not be allowed on this f*****g campus!” The event was effectively ruined and attendees and speakers had to be escorted safely out by police. Source Credit: Gary Fouse
Last May, following the disruption of a Students Supporting Israel event by Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), AMCHA coordinated a letter signed by 53 organizations asking Chancellor Gillman to implement a plan to address campus intolerance that would outline disciplinary actions against those who violate the free speech rights of others.
On August 22, UC Irvine took disciplinary measures against SJP that included placing the group on probation for two years as well as requiring that members meet with the dean of students to discuss free speech issues and consult with a representative prior to hosting any campus event. SJP has appealed this decision. The outcome of the appeal process is expected to take a few weeks and will be final.
This morning, AMCHA sent another joint letter from 54 organizations to Chancellor Gillman, commending him for the disciplinary action taken against SJP and urging him to implement a comprehensive, campus-wide plan to protect Jewish and Zionist students, and all students, from future shut downs, disruptions and other intolerant behavior.
Letter To Chancellor Gillman Signed by 54 Groups
Dear Chancellor Gillman,
Our 54 Jewish, Christian, education and civil rights organizations, representing hundreds of thousands of supporters, commend you for taking disciplinary action to address the profoundly intolerant behavior of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) members that intentionally suppressed the freedom of speech, assembly and association of Jewish and pro-Israel students on your campus.
While many of our organizations focus on protecting Jewish students from intolerant behavior that is anti-Semitic, we firmly believe that all students must be equally protected. When adequate and equitable responses to all forms of intolerant behavior are applied, each and every student’s rights to freedom of expression and full participation in campus life are safeguarded and everyone benefits.
We commend you and Professor Erwin Chemerinsky for the leadership and guidance you have been providing to other university leaders on this critical issue through your new book, Free Speech on Campus, and your recently published Wall Street Journal op-ed. We could not agree more with your view about the importance of protecting the freedom of speech, assembly and association of all students, and, as you so eloquently and appropriately note in your op-ed, the importance of university leaders disseminating “a clear statement of free-speech values” to their respective campus communities.
Along those lines, we urge you to use the important lessons from the May 10th disruption and your extensive expertise on this critical campus challenge to implement a comprehensive plan at UCI that will undoubtedly benefit your students, and can serve as a model for institutions of higher learning across our country.
Some recommendations include:
Make public and disseminate widely in the campus community a formal statement containing the following:
Assurance that all students will be equally protected from intolerant behavior that violates their freedom of expression or their right to full participation in campus life, regardless of their beliefs or identity;
Explanations of the kinds of speech and expressive behavior that violate University policy and the law, and are liable to disciplinary action; and
Descriptions of all University policies, procedures and protocols that protect freedom of expression and prohibit intolerant behavior, along with a commitment to their equitable enforcement for all students, regardless of identity, opinion or legally protected status.
Establish educational and training programs that can:
Help members of the campus community to be aware of all campus policies and procedures regarding intolerant behavior;
Teach and encourage the expression of a wide range of views in a productive and respectful manner; and
Inculcate an understanding of and appreciation for the First Amendment and its critical role in supporting the academic mission of the university.
We believe that taking these steps will show the campus community, UC Irvine stakeholders, the general public and our concerned supporters the strength of your commitment to safeguarding the rights of all students – including Jewish and Zionist students – to freedom of expression and full participation in campus life, and can serve as an important national model.
Thank you for your leadership.
The Undersigned 54 Groups:
Academic Council for Israel Accuracy in Academia Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity (AEPi) Alums for Campus Fairness (ACF) ACF – UC Davis ACF – UCLA ACF – UC Riverside ACF – UC Santa Barbara AMCHA Initiative American Council of Trustees and Alumni American Institute for Jewish Research Americans for Peace and Tolerance American Truth Project BEAR: Bias Education, Advocacy & Resources California Association of Scholars Christians and Jews United for Israel Club Z Coalition for Jewish Values Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) Davis Faculty for Israel Eagles Wings Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) Fuel For Truth Hasbara Fellowships Institute for Black Solidarity with Israel Iranian American Jewish Federation Iranian Jewish Women’s Organization Israeli-American Coalition for Action Israel Matters Committee Davis CA Israel Peace Initiative (IPI) Jerusalem U Jewish Israel Cafe Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa (JIMENA) Middle East Forum Middle East Political and Information Network (MEPIN) National Conference on Jewish Affairs National Council of Young Israel NCSY Proclaiming Justice to the Nations Roc4Israel Russian Jewish Community Foundation Scholars for Peace in the Middle East Simon Wiesenthal Center StandWithUs Stop BDS on Campus Students and Parents Against Campus Anti-Semitism Students Supporting Israel National Students Supporting Israel at Columbia Students Supporting Israel at UCLA Students Supporting Israel at UC Irvine The Israel Christian Nexus The Israel Group Training and Education About the Middle East (T.E.A.M.) World Jewish Congress
Sampling of Antisemitic Activity August & September, 2017
September 6, 2017 – GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY – Two swastikas were were found painted in red on the inside of an LXR Hall elevator. (TARGETING JEWISH STUDENTS AND STAFF: GENOCIDAL EXPRESSION; HISTORICAL)
September 6, 2017 – FORDHAM UNIVERSITY – A Resident Assistant reported the presence of a swastika in a Tierney Hall restroom on September 6. An investigation revealed the symbol was present since at least August 27. (TARGETING JEWISH STUDENTS AND STAFF: GENOCIDAL EXPRESSION; HISTORICAL)
September 6, 2017 – STANFORD UNIVERSITY – According to an email from Hillel@Stanford, the outer wall of one of the campus residence halls was defaced with a modified swastika. (TARGETING JEWISH STUDENTS AND STAFF: GENOCIDAL EXPRESSION; HISTORICAL)
At the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Source Credit: Facebook
September 5, 2017 – UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT URBANA-CHAMPAIGN – At the rally “Smashing Fascism: Radical Resistance Against White Supremacy,” co-sponsored by SJP, an SJP representative said that “white supremacy and Zionism are birds of a feather…Therefore, if one opposes white supremacy, one must also oppose Zionism.” The same SJP member then led the crowd in chants of, “No Zionists, no KKK, resisting fascists all the way.” A flag of Israel with the word “Genocide” on it, that was covered in bloody hand-prints, was heldup during the speaking, then marched throughout campus. Prior to the rally, SJP released a statement defending the rally that demonized Zionism and delegitimized Israel. (TARGETING JEWISH STUDENTS AND STAFF: DENIGRATION; DEMONIZATION; DELEGITIMIZATION)
September 5, 2017 – GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY – A swastika was found carved into the interior of a Village C West elevator. (TARGETING JEWISH STUDENTS AND STAFF: GENOCIDAL EXPRESSION; HISTORICAL)
September 1, 2017 – UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT URBANA-CHAMPAIGN – SJP promoted a rally it co-sponsored, entitled “Smashing Fascism: Radical Resistance Against White Supremacy,” by discriminating against Zionists and demonizing Zionism, stating, “Join SJP and other amazing, radical organizations on campus at this rally next week. There is no room for fascists, white supremacists, or Zionists at UIUC. Tuesday, September 5th @ 11:30am, Alma Mater. #SmashingFascism #NoJusticeNoPeace” (TARGETING JEWISH STUDENTS AND STAFF: DISCRIMINATION; DEMONIZATION)
September 1, 2017 – UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT URBANA-CHAMPAIGN – Two swastikas and “I hate Jews” were found scrawled on the doors of the bathroom in Altgeld Hall. Date of incident is approximated from article. (TARGETING JEWISH STUDENTS AND STAFF: GENOCIDAL EXPRESSION; HISTORICAL)
August 31, 2017 – UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT – A Jewish student was wearing a kippah and walking away from a Hillel event when a women inside a passing car rolled down her window and yelled “Go to the f**ing ovens!” at the student. (TARGETING JEWISH STUDENTS AND STAFF: VERBAL ASSAULT; GENOCIDAL EXPRESSION; HISTORICAL)
August 27, 2017 – TUFTS UNIVERSITY – A widely shared student activist-created handbook entitled “Tufts University Disorientation Guide” described Hillel as “an organization that supports a white supremacist state” which “exploit[s] black voices for their own pro-Israel agenda.” The handbook was posted by students on two official Class Facebook pages. In defense of publishing the guide, one co-author stated, “Israel is certainly implicated in systems of white supremacy. The fact that many white Jewish people feel favorably toward the Jewish state and the occupation of Palestine comes from a desire to preserve whiteness in the way it is unfolding in Israel and Palestine.” (TARGETING JEWISH STUDENTS AND STAFF: DENIGRATION; DEMONIZATION)
At Columbia University/Barnard College. Source Credit: Issuu.com and SJP
August 27, 2017 – COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY/BARNARD COLLEGE – SJP and JVP participated in producing a “Disorientation Guide 2017,” a zine made by students at Barnard and Columbia to welcome incoming students in August 2017. Pages 12-13 introduced SJP and JVP and their campaign, “Columbia University Apartheid Divest.” Language on the pages delegitimized Israel with false accusations of “apartheid” and calls for BDS, stating, “We organize in accordance with…Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against the state of Israel until it ends the occupation of Palestine and dismantles its apartheid state.” Language further promoted the “right of return,” which would effectively eliminate Israel as a Jewish state and deny Jewish self-determination, if put into practice. (ANTISEMITIC EXPRESSION: DENYING JEWS SELF-DETERMINATION; DELEGITIMIZATION; BDS ACTIVITY (CALLS FOR BDS))
August 27, 2017 – WEBER STATE UNIVERSITY – About a dozen white nationalist posters that contained racist and antisemitic comments were found on campus. (ANTISEMITIC EXPRESSION: HISTORICAL)
August 21, 2017 – WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY – Several swastikas and the word “bomb” above the time “1 am” were scratched into the dorm walls of Stimson Hall, prompting an evacuation. (TARGETING JEWISH STUDENTS AND STAFF: GENOCIDAL EXPRESSION; INTIMIDATION; HISTORICAL)
August 14, 2017 – AVILA UNIVERSITY – A swastika was found chalked on the exterior of Dallavis Hall. (TARGETING JEWISH STUDENTS AND STAFF: GENOCIDAL EXPRESSION; HISTORICAL)
At the University of Virginia. Source Credit: Twitter
August 11, 2017 – UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA – About 100 white nationalists marched on the campus carrying tiki torches and chanting Nazi slogans, including “Sieg heil” and “blood and soil” and giving the Nazi salute. There were reports of at least one t-shirt containing a slogan from Adolf Hitler. According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, the white nationalists “were marching through the heart of the campus, out of view of the [University] president’s residence, stomping the ground and chanting, ‘You will not replace us’ and ‘Jews will not replace us.’” (TARGETING JEWISH STUDENTS AND STAFF: GENOCIDAL EXPRESSION; HISTORICAL)