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AMCHA Calls on UC to Adopt U.S. State Department Definition of Antisemitism


Calls on UC to Adopt U.S. State Department Definition of Antisemitism



Contact: Nicole Rosen


Santa Cruz, CA, March 12, 2015– Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, AMCHA Initiative co-founder and director, issued the following statement after the UCLA student senate unanimously approved a resolution condemning antisemitism on Tuesday, and UC President Janet Napolitano and UC Regents Chair Bruce Varner publicly condemned campus antisemitism on Wednesday.  The UC Berkeley student government passed a similar resolution recently.

“In response to escalating antisemitic activity on several UC campuses, including swastikas drawn on a Jewish fraternity house at UC Davis and the inappropriate questioning of a candidate for student judiciary board about her Jewishness and Jewish affiliations at UCLA, the student senates at UC Berkeley and UCLA have each unanimously approved resolutions condemning campus antisemitism.  

“Considering the virulent anti-Israel expression that has pervaded UC campuses, it is important to note that both student senate resolutions drew upon the U.S. State Department’s definition of antisemitism, which acknowledges that contemporary antisemitism often “manifests itself with regard to the state of Israel,” and that examples could include:

  • “Demonizing Israel:
    • Using the symbols and images associated with classic anti-Semitism to characterize Israel or Israelis
    • Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis
    • Blaming Israel for all inter-religious or political tensions
  • “Double standards towards Israel:
    • Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation
    • Multilateral organizations focusing on Israel only for peace or human rights investigations
  • “Delegitimizing Israel:
    • Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, and denying Israel the right to exist”

“AMCHA Initiative heartily applauds UC Berkeley and UCLA student senates for these groundbreaking resolutions.

“We also applaud yesterday’s statement by UC President Janet Napolitano and Board of Regents Chair Bruce Varner, which strongly condemns the recent antisemitic incidents at the University of California and affirms that acts such as these “will not be tolerated.”

“UC officials’ leadership here should be commended.  But it is only a first step.  The Regents must adopt the U.S. State Department’s definition of antisemitism to appropriately identify and address antisemitic behavior at the University of California and prevent future acts of hate and discrimination.”


AMCHA Initiative is a non-profit organization, based in California, dedicated to monitoring, investigating and combating antisemitism at institutions of higher education in America.  AMCHA Initiative’s efforts are bolstered by a network of more than 5,000 members and supporters of the Jewish community — including university alumni, parents and grandparents, rabbis, religious school principals and synagogue members — who have joined together to speak in one voice to ensure the safety and well-being of Jewish students on college and university campuses across the country.




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