Requested Actions From the Amcha Initiative re; Anti-Semitism on University of California Campuses
My friends and colleagues at the AMCHA Initiative have put out a posting on recent developments at the University of California in regards to the anti-Semitism problem on UC campuses. If you care about this issue, here are some things you can do. To access the links in the text, go to the link below.
Recent Developments in
Fighting Anti-Semitism on California Campuses
How You Can Get
been significant developments in the past two months concerning the protection
of Jewish students from anti-Semitism on California college campuses. Two of
them are very positive: a resolution condemning anti-Semitism on California
campuses was unanimously approved by the California State Assembly, and a report
documenting a hostile environment for Jewish students at the University of
California was issued by the UC President’s Advisory Committee on Campus
Climate, Culture and Inclusion.
Unfortunately, both the State
Assembly's resolution and the UC report on Jewish student campus climate have
been loudly protested by members of student, community, and faculty
organizations who themselves have been implicated in promoting anti-Jewish
bigotry on UC campuses.
In addition, this summer the UCLA Academic
Senate Committee for Academic Freedom issued a very troubling statement
affirming a professor's right to promote an anti-Semitic boycott of Israel on
his class website.
You can read more below about these developments, the
AMCHA Initiative's continuing efforts to promote the safety and well-being of
Jewish students on California campuses, and how you can get involved.
wish you and your loved ones a Shana Tova U’metuka, a sweet year filled with
Tammi Rossman-Benjamin and Leila
Beckwith AMCHA Initiative Co-founders
Assembly Unanimously Condemns Campus
In a bold and courageous
action, the California State Assembly has unanimously passed resolution
HR 35. This resolution, while not binding, recognizes a
serious problem of anti-Jewish bigotry on California campuses and urges more
decisive action by university administrators.
TAKE ACTION: Thank your California Assembly Representative for
his/her courageous action in approving an important resolution condemning campus
You can find your Assembly Member here, then fill in his/her last name to the following email
California Will Not Support Resolution Condemning
University of California President Mark Yudof has
acknowledged an acceptance of most of California State Assembly resolution HR 35
concerning campus anti-Semitism and its findings, however, he has stated that
the UC will not support the resolution due to reservations he has about two key
recommendations. These reservations came to light in his letter to the author of HR 35, Assemblymember Linda Halderman,
as well as in his response to a letter sent by the AMCHA
Initiative asking him to clarify why he
did not support the resolution.
President Yudof and UC are ready to
accept the recommendations to swiftly and unequivocally condemn acts of
anti-Semitism on campus and to use resources, such as the European Union Agency
for Fundamental Rights’ Working Definition of anti-Semitism to guide policy and
However, President Yudof alleges that
due to considerations of the 1st Amendment and academic
UC will not accept the recommendations to ensure that anti-Semitic activity will
not be tolerated in the classroom or on campus, and that no public resources
will be allowed to be used for anti-Semitic activity.
contrast, there have been incidents of racist bigotry in which university
officials, including President Yudof, without any concern for the 1st amendment,
acted in complete accord with the recommendations that they are now disputing.
In AMCHA's latest reply, President Yudof is urged to accept Resolution HR 35,
particularly to ensure that a double standard does not exist in which
anti-Jewish bigotry is responded to differently than bigotry against other
ACTION: Write to President Mark
Yudof (email@example.com) urging him to fully support the unanimously-approved
State Assembly resolution condemning anti-Semitism and to ensure that an
anti-Jewish double standard does not exist at the University of California.
Consider copying your letter to other UC leaders and the State Assembly members
who co-authored HR 35, whose email addresses are provided here for your convenience. In addition, please copy or
blind-copy the AMCHA Initiative
UC Committee on Campus
Climate Report: Hostility on Campus for Jewish
The University of
California President’s Advisory Committee on Campus Climate, Culture, and
Inclusion released a report on July 9, 2012 entitled, “Jewish Student Campus Climate
Fact-Finding Team Report & Recommendations.” The report was the culmination
of investigatory visits to six UC campuses by two members of President Yudof's
Advisory Committee on Campus Climate, Richard Barton, the Anti-Defamation League
National Education Chair, and Alice Huffman, California NAACP
Barton and Huffman found that manifestations of anti-Israel
sentiment, including Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns, promote
hostility and create significant and difficult campus climate issues for Jewish
students, including harassment, intimidation, and undermining Jewish students’
sense of belonging.
The report made eight recommendations for reform,
including: adopting a definition of anti-Semitism, such as the EUMC working
definition, that recognizes that there are ways in which anti-Semitism is
manifested in regard to Israel; adoption of a hate-speech free campus policy;
access to kosher food, and inclusion of Jewish students in future Campus Climate
meetings. Currently, the UC administration is reviewing the findings and
Unfortunately, several known anti-Israel groups,
including the UC Ad Hoc Committee on Jewish Campus Climate and Jewish Voice for
Peace, have expressed their opposition to the report. Jewish Voice for Peace has
also condemned State Assembly resolution HR 35, which condemns anti-Semitism on
campus. These groups claim that the report seeks to silence legitimate
anti-Israel discourse and misrepresents the characterization of support for
Palestinian rights. They have urged President Yudof to table the report and its
recommendations. AMCHA has sent letters to the Advisory Committee on Campus
Climate to demonstrate support for the findings of the Committee's report and to
explain why the groups in opposition to the report are problematic.
TAKE ACTION: Sign the StandWithUs petition, that affirms the report's findings, urges its
endorsement by UC, and calls on the Advisory Council on Campus Climate, Culture
and Inclusion to work toward implementation of the report’s
recommendations. To access the links in the text, go to the website I have linked.
UC Regents Neglect
Their Responsibility to Keep Propaganda Out of the
In early July, the UCLA
Committee on Academic Freedom made the appalling decision that Professor David
Delgado Shorter's promotion of an academic boycott of Israel on a course website
meets academic standards. In response, AMCHA sent a letter to the UC Regents, signed by more than 1,000 AMCHA
supporters. The letter asked the Regents to publicly acknowledge their legal
responsibility under UC Regents' policy and California State Law to ensure that
UC classrooms are free from the promotion of political propaganda. In two
separate letters to AMCHA co-founders UC Regents Chairwoman Sherry Lansing claimed that the
UC Regents do not sanction anti-Semitism,
but she nevertheless refused to take any action to enforce University policy and
the law, stating: "we simply must support free speech and academic freedom
on all UC campuses. Therefore, we are not able to agree to your
requests." AMCHA replied to both of Chairman Lansing's letters,
expressing deep distress at the Regents' unwillingness to exercise their legal
and moral obligations.
ACTION: Write to UC Regents
Chairwoman Sherry Lansing and the Board of Regents (firstname.lastname@example.org)
expressing your disappointment with their unwillingness to exercise their legal
and moral responsibility to ensure that University of California classrooms are
not used for political indoctrination, including the promotion of
anti-Semitism. Consider copying your letter to other UC and state
leaders, whose email addresses are provided here for your convenience. In addition, please copy or
blind-copy the AMCHA Initiative
Born 1945 in Los Angeles. Currently employed since 1998 as adjunct teacher at University of California at Irvine Ext. teaching English as a second language.
Served three years in US Army at Erlangen, Germany 1966-68.
1970-1973- Criminal Investigator with US Customs
1973-1995 Criminal investigator with Drug Enforcement Administration. Stationed in Los Angeles, Bangkok, Milan, Italy, Pittsburgh and Office of Training, FBI Academy, Quantico, Va until retirement. Author of Erlangen-An American's History of a German Town-University Press of America 2005.