Plans by extremist JVP, SJP and other anti-Israel groups to intimidate and silence students at UCLA have failed. The UCLA Judicial Board has ruled that students educational trips to Israel do not present a "conflict of interest" for those in student government. Members of the student government who had been on trips to Israel sponsored by pro-Israel organizations did not need to abstain from voting on divestment. The Judicial Board’s full opinion will be released by June 4.
Via The Jewish Journal
UCLA’s undergraduate judicial board — the student government’s
equivalent of the Supreme Court — ruled Wednesday in a 4-0 vote that
student government officers may take sponsored trips to Israel without
it constituting a conflict of interest. Two of the judges abstained.
The ruling marks only the latest conflict between the UCLA chapter of
Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and pro-Israel students on the
campus. SJP filed a complaint in April against students Sunny Singh and
Lauren Rogers, charging that they created a potential conflict of
interest when they went on free trips to Israel, with the
Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee, respectively.
The pro-Palestinian group asked the court to review the legitimacy of
the votes cast by Singh and Rogers last February towards a SJP-sponsored
resolution that called on UCLA’s administration to divest from
companies that do business in the West Bank. That resolution failed 7-5.
Although the ballot was secret, the going assumption is that both Singh
and Rogers voted against the resolution.
On the evening of May 15, the Judicial Board heard about 4.5 hours of
arguments, with both Singh and Rogers undergoing cross-examination by
SJP’s student counsel, Dana Saifan, who questioned Singh about the
contents of a liability clause ADL asked him to sign before his trip,
asking why he didn’t submit into evidence his entire ADL trip
Singh said that his application was filled out on an old laptop that he no longer had in his possession.
Singh’s and Rogers’ counsel called as witnesses ADL regional director
Amanda Susskind and Robert Peckar, immediate past national board chair
of Project Interchange, the name of the AJC-sponsored Israel trip. They
both argued that their motivation to bring Singh and Rogers to Israel
was not a quid pro quo. They had no expectation and made no request for either to vote against anti-Israel resolutions in the student government.
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