Thursday, February 26, 2015

UC Berkeley Passes Bill Condemning Anti-Semitism

In light of recent attacks on Jewish institutions both at home and in Europe, UC Berkeley's Academic Senate has passed, with a unanimous vote of 20- 0 SB 14/15-055 A Bill Condemning Anti-Semitism

 The sponsors included a unified group of Jewish  and non Jewish students and organizations, including Jewish Student Union (AEPi, Bears for Israel, Chabad Student Group, Chabearim, Jewish Business Association, Jews in Science and Engineering , JMED, Maccabeasts, JFem: Miriam IV, Mishelanu, Q-Jew, Tamid, Tikvah),  Pavan Upadhyayula (ASUC President), Eric Gabrielli (ASUC Senator), Vinay Ramesh (ASUC Senator), Paul Lee (ASUC Senator), Hannah Frankl (ASUC Senator), Bo Nguyen (ASUC Senator), Michaela Fried (Tikvah President), Grant Fineman (Alpha Epsilon Pi President), Glen Lipschitz (Alpha Epsilon Pi Vice President), Benjamin Feiner (Tikvah Vice President), Joshua Cahn (Co-Chief of Staff, ASUC Senator Herschmann), Sinead Brenner (Co-Chief of Staff, ASUC Senator Herschmann), Becca Berman (Bears for Israel President), Mila Shklyar (External Philanthropy Chair of Alpha Chi Omega), Alana Corre (JMED Co-President), Liza Leykina (JMED Co-President), Amiel Azizollahi (Chabad Student Group President), Avi Levine (Former Tikvah President), David Jacobowitz (Zeta Beta Tau External Affairs Vice President), Dree Kavoussi (ASUC Senator)
The text of the resolution follow. May this be a model for all universities to follow.

WHEREAS, the US State Department as of February 23, 2015 defines Anti-Semitism as:

"Anti-Semitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities," and;

WHEREAS, the United States State Department outlines the following contemporary examples:

  • “Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews (often in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion).
  • Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as a collective—especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.
  • Accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, the state of Israel, or even for acts committed by non-Jews.
  • Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.
  • Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interest of their own nations,” and;

WHEREAS, former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan stated that, the United Nations emerged from the ashes of the Holocaust.  And a human rights agenda that fails to address anti-Semitism denies its own history,” and;

WHEREAS, Jewish communities in both France and Denmark have been rocked by attacks on their holy places, members, and stores twice in two months, and;

WHEREAS, the swastika symbol was used during the Holocaust to symbolize the Nazi regime and their collaborators, and;
WHEREAS, Neo-Nazis use the swastika to this day to instill fear in Jews all around the world and trigger memories of the horrific atrocities and events of the Holocaust, and;
WHEREAS, early Saturday morning on January 31st, 2015, between the hours of 3 and 9 a.m., the fraternity house of the Alpha Epsilon Pi at UC Davis was vandalized with anti-Semitic graffiti, notably two large swastikas, and;

WHEREAS, in 2013, a Swastika was discovered scratched into a door in Clark Kerr Campus, and;
WHEREAS, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the
basis of race, color and national origin in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance which extended to protect Jewish students in 2004 on the basis that Judaism is both a religion and an ethnicity, and;

WHEREAS, On February 10th, 2014, at a meeting of the UCLA Undergraduate Students Association Council, a Jewish candidate for Judicial Board Justice was asked, “Given that you’re a Jewish student and very active in the Jewish community […] how do you see yourself being able to maintain an unbiased view in your position?” by a council member, followed by a debate not about the candidates qualifications, but about whether or not her identity and affiliation with the Jewish community created a unique conflict of interest, to which this debate was later denounced by the Daily Bruin Editorial Board as “discriminatory,” and;

WHEREAS, Incidents like ones at UC Davis have happened multiple times at other campuses around the UC System and the country and have been brushed off as harmless tagging of property, including in a residence hall at UC Berkeley in 2006, and;

WHEREAS, Many incidents of anti-Semitism occur both inside and outside of the classroom on UC campuses, and;

WHEREAS, the past response to anti-Semitism has not opened important conversations that need to happen, and;

WHEREAS, the ASUC has historically taken a stance against instances of prejudice, including Islamophobia, and as Jews are a minority, and;

WHEREAS, Anti-Semitism is the bigoted targeting of a historically oppressed minority and thus should be treated with the utmost care in relation to the hate crime incidents that happen on campus.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED,  That the ASUC adopt the definition of anti-Semitism as stated above, recognizing the rights and protections of Jewish students and the Jewish community, and;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the ASUC unequivocally condemns the hateful incidents at UC Davis, and;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the ASUC will actively fight against anti-Semitism according to the U.S. State Department’s definition as defined above, and;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the ASUC acts in accordance to their mission to represent and protect their students through the following:

  1. Commitment to taking action should happen with immediate urgency
  2. Awareness of any prejudice happening to any minority community should be a major concern and on the forefront of the ASUC’s agenda, and;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Associated Students of the University of California charter the Ad-Hoc Committee on Anti-Semitism so that it reads:
Section 1: Composition
Voting Members: ASUC President, two ASUC Senators, the Jewish Student Union President, one Faculty Member (nominated by the rest of the committee and approved by Senate) and one student-at-large (nominated by the rest of the committee and approved by Senate).

Section 2: Charge  

  1. The charge of the Ad-Hoc Committee on Anti-Semitism shall be discussing, deliberating, and further educating about Anti-Semitism on campus; and,
  2. Request an amount of funding from the Senate Finance Committee for students or student groups to use for Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) programming each academic year.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That President Upadhyayula sends a letter signed by every senator expressing our concern for the safety of the Jewish community on the UC Davis campus, and;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the ASUC calls on the executives (President Upadhyayula, EVP Kong, Student Advocate Ahuja, EAVP Quinn, and AAVP Chou) to ask Chancellor Dirks and the Dean of Students to meet regarding anti-Semitism and invite leaders of the Jewish community (to the discretion of the ASUC elected officials) to the meeting, and;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the ASUC encourages the student body to be conscious of unintended effects that their words and actions may have on others, and to become active allies of marginalized students, and;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the ASUC does not endorse the behaviors of students, staff, faculty, or administration that infringe upon the safety of another person and/or develop a hostile and unsafe environment, and;

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the ASUC should respect the right of the Jewish students at UC Berkeley to define, within the guidelines of the nationally recognized definition put forth by the United States State Department, what is and is not anti-Semitism, in the same manner in which other communities are granted that right.

1 comment:

Geoff Kl said...

so where is the cosponsorship by the any of the other campus minority groups, sjp or msa?

i thought they only hated zionists...not da jooo