Monday, August 24, 2015

Letter to UC President Janet Napolitano

I am cross-posting a letter from 43 different organizations to UC President Janet Napolitano commending her for supporting the proposed  adoption of the State Department's definition of anti-Semitism by the University of California Regents when they meet in September.

I have been a critic of Napolitano since her days as head of DHS, and I have occasionally criticized her as the UC president. However, I am pleased that she supports this measure.

From: Tammi Rossman-Benjamin 

Subject: Commending your support for the US State Department definition of anti-Semitism 
Date: August 24, 2015 at 7:30:07 AM PDT

Dear President Napolitano, 

We, the undersigned 43 organizations, comprised of a diverse set of religious, educational, civil rights and student organizations, join Hillel International and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in applauding your support for the University of California’s adoption of the State Department definition of anti-Semitism, and we hope that the UC Regents endorse your stand when considering a strong statement against intolerance at the upcoming Regents meeting.

Ira Forman, U.S. State Department Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, recently reaffirmed the importance of the State Department definition of anti-Semitism, particularly its "examples of when criticism of Israel can be considered anti-Semitic," stating that these examples provide "useful tools" in monitoring and combating anti-Semitism.

At present, despite the troubling rise of anti-Semitic incidents on UC campuses, the University does not have an adequate tool for identifying anti-Semitism. As the ADL noted in its 6/10/15 letter to the UC Regents: "In order to adequately address any problem, one must be able to accurately identify its elements…A clear and uniform definition of anti-Semitism will provide the UC system with a critically important tool to aid in counteracting anti-Semitism on campuses."

And as you know, last spring the student governments on three UC campuses -- UC Berkeley, UCLA and UC Santa Barbara -- unanimously adopted the State Department definition of anti-Semitism, recognizing that adopting such a definition was a crucial first step in addressing the anti-Jewish bigotry affecting many students on UC campuses.

All of our organizations, and indeed the vast majority of the Jewish community, stand united in support of the State Department definition of anti-Semitism and urge its adoption at the University of California.

We commend you for your unwavering leadership and thank you again for taking a courageous stand in this matter of such critical importance to the Jewish community.


Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity (AEPi)
Alums for Campus Fairness
AMCHA Initiative
American Institute for Jewish Research
Americans for Peace and Tolerance
Anteaters for Israel
Association of Reform Zionists of America (ARZA)
BEAR: Bias Education, Advocacy & Resources
Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law
Club Z
Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA)
CUFI on Campus
David Horowitz Freedom Center
Eagles Wings
Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET)
Fuel For Truth
Hasbara Fellowships
Institute for Black Solidarity with Israel
Iranian American Jewish Federation
Israeli-American Council (IAC)
Israel Peace Initiative (IPI)
Jerusalem U
Jewish Law Students Association at UCLA
Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa (JIMENA)
National Conference on Jewish Affairs
Middle East Political and Information Network (MEPIN)
Proclaiming Justice to the Nations   
Project Genesis
Religious Zionists of America
Religious Zionists of Chicago
Scholars for Peace in the Middle East
Sigma Alpha Epsilon Pi 
Simon Wiesenthal Center  
Students and Parents Against Campus Anti-Semitism
Students Supporting Israel at UCLA
The Israel Christian Nexus
The Israel Group
The Lawfare Project
Training and Education About the Middle East (T.E.A.M.)
Zionist Organization of America

Cc:  UC Regents
       UC Provost and Executive Assistant of Academic Affairs Aimee Dorr
       UC Vice President of Student Affairs Judy Sakaki
       UC Chancellors
       California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson
       California Senator Carol Liu, Chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Education
       California Assembly Member Jose Medina, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Higher Education
       California Assembly Member Shirley Weber, Chair of the Select Committee on Campus Climate
       California State Senator Marty Block, Chair of Legislative Jewish Caucus

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