Friday, March 21, 2014

Confronting campus Anti-Semitism in California

The Assembly Select Committee on Campus Climate was created in January to explore and evaluate "system-wide and campus-wide policies and practices for responding to student harassment and hate crimes and determine what needs to be done to improve campus climate for California students."

The committee, chaired by Assemblywoman Shirley Weber met today in San Jose State's Morris Daily Auditorium.

, originally published in the Jewish Press
“Unfortunately, antisemitism at U.S. colleges, and, especially, in California, is growing at an alarming rate,” stated Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, a UC professor and AMCHA Initiative cofounder.
“It is a concern we hear about daily from members of California’s Jewish community, including university alumni, rabbis, professors, religious school principals and, of course, students, parents and grandparents.”  

“Students have reported to us that they feel uncomfortable speaking freely about their support for Israel and have felt unsafe at times in their classrooms and on campus because they are Jewish,” explained Leila Beckwith, a UC professor and AMCHA Initiative cofounder.

“In addition, we believe that a number of professors and departments are inappropriately using taxpayer dollars to promote their personal anti-Israel and antisemitic agendas, contributing to, and sometimes, inciting a hostile and potentially dangerous environment for Jewish students.”

The Amcha Initiative has documented these incidences involving the targeting of Jewish and Israeli students at California schools. Many incidents remain unreported.

UC Davis, February 2012:  Students interrupted and heckled speakers at a pro-Israel event, causing it to be shutdown.
UC Davis, November 2012: Forty protesters blocked Jewish students from entering a university administrative building and bullied and harassed Jewish students who slipped through the blockade.
• San Francisco State University, November 2013: General Union of Palestine Students (GUPS), hosted an event where participants could use stencils that said, “My Heroes Have Always Killed Colonizers,” Also available were stencils of convicted hijacker Leila Khaled holding a gun. Leila Khaled is a member of the State-Department designated terrorist group, the PFLP, which is responsible for 159 violent terrorist acts.
• San Francisco State University, 2013-2014: The President of GUPS repeatedly threatened SFSU Jewish students, Israelis, and anyone who supports Israel. He also glorified the PFLP. For example, this student was shown wielding a knife on social media with the caption, “I love this blade…it makes me want to stab an Israeli soldier” and “the only peace I’m interested in is the head of this [expletive] scum on a plate, as well as the heads of all others like her, and all others who support the IDF.” He also stated that he hopes members of the SFSU student group Hillel “trip down the stairs and break their necks.”
• UC Davis, UCLA and UC Riverside, January 2014: Three University of California campuses hosted known anti-Semitic speaker Omar Barghouti. At the events, Barghouti spewed classic anti-Semitic rhetoric and lies.
San Francisco State University, March 2014: Professors hosted an official department event to inform students about a recent Middle East trip where they met with multiple individuals affiliated with US State Department-designated terrorist organizations responsible for the murder of numerous Jews worldwide.

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