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VOICES: UCLA – Investigate SJP Harassment and Bullying

June 18, 2014

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  • In practice this is singling out Jewish students for intimidation…It is a subterfuge to attack Jews and Israel for the attackers’ personal political agenda.
  • The group SJP, and other groups, have clearly been attempting to transport the battle field of the Middle East onto the US campuses. This is totally unacceptable. Californians expect you, as the Chancellor, to use the good services of your office to set the RIGHT TONE for the proper academic and social atmosphere on campus.
  • The intimidation of student population at UCLA by the Students for Justice in Palestine group is unbelievable. This creates an environment of fear, intimidation, misunderstanding, and hate. When my son was there, would I have wanted such treatment for him by this group? Would you?
  • Chancellor Block – As a taxpayer/supporter of UCLA, it is time to fully institute AMCHA’s recommendation regarding the SJP and other student organizations funded or partially funded by taxpayer and tuition money. No organization funded as described above should be allowed to practice intimidation of students or other such activities. These type of activities are contrary to what academia should stand for.
  • Institutions of higher learning should be promoting critical thought processes and rational thinking. The SJP and other organizations that preach hate, violence and intimidation have no place on college and university campuses.
  • I urge you to adopt AMCHA’s Initiatives related to the SJP, an organization that does not deserve to receive any funds from UCLA and, in my opinion, shouldn’t even be permitted to exist on the UCLA campus.
  • The First Amendment is not absolute. Long ago, our Supreme Court recognized that certain reasonable time, place and manner, and other restrictions are imperative to preserve law and order and a system of justice and equity. Thus, it is not okay to yell “fire” in a crowded theater. It is not okay to incite riotous, violent, or lawless behavior. It is not okay to harass, intimidate, bully, or defame others. (See, e.g. Linmark Associates, Inc. v. Township of Willingboro, 431 U.S. 85 (1977) [time, place, and manner restrictions are permitted]; Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire, 315 U.S. 568 (1942) [“fighting words” are not protected speech]; Virginia v. Black, 538 U.S. 343 (2003) [cross-burning may constitute criminal activity]; Gertz v. Robert Welsh, Inc., 418 U.S. 323 (1974) [there is “no constitutional value” in false and defamatory statements of fact]; Miller v. California, 413 U.S. 15 (1973) [local governmental may restrict publication of obscenity.])
  • Chancellor Block, I urge you to adopt AMCHA’s recommendations: 1) that SJP be investigated and sanctioned if found in violation of UC policy, and 2) that policies be established for prohibiting student groups from engaging in behavior targeting any member of the campus community for harassment, discrimination, bullying or defamation.
  • As the parent of a UCLA graduate and a California taxpayer, I am following with great interest the University’s responses to the tactics of harassment and intimidation of pro-Israel students by the UCLA chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine. I completely endorse the suggestions made by Tammi Rossman-Benjamin of AMCHA in her meeting with you earlier this month. SJP at UCLA (and other campuses) targets one specific ethnic group and has been notorious for both violating university policies at many schools (for example Northeastern, NYU, Michigan) and for escaping the consequences of their actions. UCLA need not be complicit in accepting this, and should develop policies which protect ALL students against such bullying behavior.
  • Not only do I support the Amcha call for an investigation, I am asking that if found appropriate, that you suspend the group. SJP has already been suspended at Northeastern University. You cannot let any of your students be intimidated and attend classes in fear because of others on campus.
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