SWELLING OF SUPPORT FOR UC STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES AGAINST INTOLERANCE
4,000+ Sign Petition Urging Regents Support; 60 Orgs Already Announced Support
Santa Cruz, CA, March 22, 2016 – A petition signed by 4,091 UC stakeholders was sent to the University of California (UC) Board of Regents today urging members to pass their task force’s proposed Statement of Principles Against Intolerance. The Statement, which condemns anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism and states they “and other forms of discrimination have no place at the University of California,” is expected to be voted on tomorrow.
The text of the petition, signed by 234 UC students, 286 UC faculty and staff, 561 UC donors, 760 parents of UC students, 1,257 UC alumni and thousands of California taxpayers, reads as follows:
“As concerned UC students, parents, faculty, alumni and stakeholders, we commend the Regents for recognizing the reality faced by Jewish students at UC — anti-Zionism is the face of contemporary anti-Semitism and it is fueling the rise of anti-Semitism on campus. Anti-Zionism is not criticism of Israel, Israeli policies, settlements, or the living conditions of Palestinians. It is flat out denying Israel’s right to exist and/or calling for its destruction. President Obama, Pope Francis, British Prime Minister Cameron, French Prime Minister Valls, the majority of presidential candidates and the world’s leading anti-Semitism scholars all recognize anti-Zionism as anti-Semitism. We applaud the Regents Working Group chair and members for condemning anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism. We know the Regents held numerous meetings, public forums, and hearings with members of the UC community and experts before developing this comprehensive approach that reflects months and months of work. It should be adopted in its entirely with broad support. A Statement of Principles without anti-Zionism would be ignoring the elephant in the room.”
Sixty Jewish and education advocacy groups including Hillel International, Jewish Federations of North America, the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee and the Simon Wiesenthal Center, as well as the California Legislature’s Jewish Caucus and U.S. Congressman Brad Sherman have expressed their support for the Statement.
Criticism of Israel, Israeli policies, settlements, the living conditions of Palestinians or criticism similar to that leveled against any other country is not anti-Zionism. Anti-Zionism is denying Israel’s right to exist and/or calling for its destruction.
A study of anti-Semitism at more than 100 U.S. colleges and universities in 2015 ranked 5 UC campuses in the top 10% of schools with the most anti-Semitic activity. In fact, 4 of those UC campuses rose to the top 5 worst schools. The study also found a strong correlation between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism. In fact, the presence of anti-Zionist activities, anti-Zionist student groups and faculty who endorse an academic boycott of Israel were strong predictors of anti-Semitism.
UC has experienced many incidents of anti-Jewish discrimination of late. Swastikas and “F*** Jews” were carved into two cars and tires were slashed on multiple vehicles, a female Jewish student at UC San Diego was followed and harassed by a male anti-Zionist student who yelled “racist Zionist cow” at her, swastikas were spray-painted on a Jewish fraternity after fraternity brothers spoke against divesting from Israel, and “grout out the Jews” and “Hitler did nothing wrong” were carved into school property after contentious BDS campaigns. In addition, a Hillel event for the LGBT community was protested and disrupted by anti-Israel students and faculty, flyers blaming Israel AND all Jews for 9/11 were plastered on campus and a Jewish student running for office at UCLA was questioned about her eligibility by anti-Israel activists simply because of her religion while a Jewish student government representative at UC Santa Cruz was warned to abstain from a divestment vote on Israel because of his “Jewish agenda.”
UC Jewish students report feeling afraid to tell fellow students they are Jewish, walk to the Hillel house for Sabbath dinner and wear a Jewish star necklace. Many report being bullied, harassed, intimidated and assaulted.
AMCHA Initiative is a non-profit organization dedicated to combating, monitoring and documenting anti-Semitism at institutions of higher education in America.