Editor's note: The following correspondence was initiated by JewHatredonCampus.org founder David Horowitz who sent a letter to UCLA Chancellor Gene Block explaining the reasons why UCLA was ranked among the 10 Most Anti-Semitic College Campuses in America and to offer our assistance in rectifying this dismal rating. Dr. Block asked UCLA's Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Jenina Montero to respond. Montero claimed that UCLA is taking an active role in combating anti-Semitism, but neglected to address any of the specific instances described in our original report or our claim that Students for Justice in Palestine's stated purpose (the destruction of the only Jewish state) violates UCLA's Student Code of Conduct and it's Diversity Statement. David Horowitz responded to Vice Chancellor Montero asking her to address these points and explain how UCLA is remedying them. The full correspondence follows below.
Letter to UCLA Chancellor Gene Block from David Horowitz and JewHatredonCampus.org
Dr. Gene Block
University of California Los Angeles
Dear Chancellor Block,
My organization, “JewHatredonCampus.org,” has published a list of the 10 Most Anti-Semitic college campuses, which includes UCLA. Our list has been published on websites that reach more than 100 million viewers.
The specific events meriting the inclusion of UCLA on this list include:
• Multiple attempts in student government to pass a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) resolution against Israel. The BDS movement is an anti-Semitic campaign – described as such by former Harvard president Larry Summers - whose purpose is to destroy the Jewish state. These attempts culminated in the passage of the BDS resolution this past November.
• The organization of a “Palestine Awareness Week” at UCLA featuring a mock apartheid wall plastered with anti-Israel propaganda designed to portray Israel, the only liberal democracy in the Middle East, as an apartheid state. This event is part of an international genocidal campaign to delegitimize and destroy the state of Israel. The week also featured an event titled “Roadmap to Divestment: a screening and discussion.” This week notably preceded the re-introduction of the BDS resolution in student government.
• The posting of inflammatory and hate-filled messages on social media attacking student senators who supported Israel during Operation Protective Edge (a military initiative to defend Israel against rocket fire from Gaza) and around the time that both BDS resolutions were introduced.
• An attempt by members of Students for Justice in Palestine to force candidates for student government to sign a pledge to not take trips to Israel sponsored by the pro-Israel groups AIPAC, ADL, or Hasbara Fellowships. No students were asked to sign a pledge not to take trips sponsored by other organizations. This is a blatant violation of the freedom of association guaranteed by the First Amendment. Cornell University law professor William Jacobson called these tactics a “move to disqualify a generation of pro-Israel students from campus government.”
• An event featuring Professor Steven Salaita who was fired from the University of Illinois for his anti-Semitic comments on twitter such as “Will you condemn Hamas? No. Why not? Because Hamas isn’t the one incinerating children, you disingenuous prick.”
• An event featuring Professor Omar Barghouti, founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The BDS movement is an anti-Semitic campaign – described as such by former Harvard president Larry Summers, whose purpose is to destroy the Jewish state. Barghouti, ignoring the existence of 57 Islamic states, has declared, “Let’s be very honest, forget democracy. This is an ethnocracy… this is a Jewish supremacist state.”
• An event featuring anti-Israel speaker Ali Abuminah titled “No Rest Until We Divest.” Abuminah has accused Israel of practicing “apartheid,” “ethnic cleansing,” and “attempted genocide” against the Palestinians. In his words, “Israel’s problem is not, as its propaganda insists, ‘terrorism’ to be defeated by sufficient application of high explosives.” Rather, Abunimah explained, “its problem is legitimacy, or rather a profound and irreversible lack of it.… Israel simply cannot bomb its way to legitimacy.”
• An event featuring BDS proponent Angela Davis. According to the Daily Bruin, Davis told the crowd that Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians is worse than the treatment of blacks under apartheid in South Africa.
• One additional event which occurred after our initial report was released was the anti-Semitic and discriminatory discussion by members of UCLA’s student government on whether being Jewish might bias the decisions of judicial board candidate Rachel Beyda.
We believe that several of these activities violate UCLA’s policy on “Harassment” which states that:
Harassment is defined as conduct that is so severe and/or pervasive, and objectively offensive, and that so substantially impairs a person’s access to the University programs or activities that the person is effectively denied equal access to the University’s resources and opportunities… Sanctions may be enhanced where an individual was selected for harassment because of the individual’s race, color, national or ethnic origin, citizenship, sex gender, gender expression, religion…”
Additionally, these activities also violate UCLA’s Student Code of Conduct which holds that:
UCLA students are proud to be members of this community… Bruins hold themselves accountable to the commitments they make and for their conduct. When faced with adversity, Bruins engage in thoughtful reflection and exhibit superior ethical decision-making skills. They respect the rights and dignity of all members of our community by listening attentively, communicating clearly, and remaining open to understanding others and their diverse points of view. Bruins embrace these values, for these are the values of a TRUE BRUIN.
And finally, these actions violate the University of California’s Diversity Statement which states that:
The diversity of the people of California has been the source of innovative ideas and creative accomplishments throughout the state’s history into the present. Diversity – a defining feature of California’s past, present, and future – refers to the variety of personal experiences, values, and worldviews that arise from differences of culture and circumstance. Such differences include race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, language, abilities/disabilities, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, and geographic region, and more… Diversity should also be integral to the University’s achievement of excellence. Diversity can enhance the ability of the University to accomplish its academic mission. Diversity aims to broaden and deepen both the educational experience and the scholarly environment, as students and faculty learn to interact effectively with each other, preparing them to participate in an increasingly complex and pluralistic society. Ideas, and practices based on those ideas, can be made richer by the process of being born and nurtured in a diverse community. The pluralistic university can model a process of proposing and testing ideas through respectful, civil communication. Educational excellence that truly incorporates diversity thus can promote mutual respect and make possible the full, effective use of the talents and abilities of all to foster innovation and train future leadership.
References: http://www.deanofstudents.ucla.edu/Portals/16/Documents/UCLA%20Student%20Conduct%20Code%209-29-14%20final.pdf; http://regents.universityofcalifornia.edu/governance/policies/4400.html
Evidently, in the eyes of the UCLA administration, Jewish students are not protected under these policies. This is the primary reason for UCLA’s inclusion in the list of the 10 Most Anti-Semitic campuses, and one we would like you to remedy.
These actions, which have been led by Students for Justice in Palestine on your campus, violate UCLA’s anti-discrimination policy and create a hostile environment for Jewish and pro-Israel students on your campus. Why is Students for Justice in Palestine receiving funding and other campus privileges from UCLA, when its very purpose violates UCLA policy?
As an organization dedicated to combating campus anti-Semitism, we offer our assistance in rectifying this disturbing situation on your campus and ensuring that Jewish students at UCLA can live and study in an environment free from fear and harassment.
I would recommend that your first step be to conduct an immediate inquiry into whether the organization Students for Justice in Palestine, which is responsible for these actions, is violating your “Student Code of Conduct” and policy on “Harassment.” If you conclude this is the case, then you should remove their campus privileges and funding. This will send a strong message that harassment and intimidation of any minority, including Jews, will not be tolerated at UCLA.
Please contact me at the address below to let me know your plan of action, or if there is any way we can assist you to ensure that UCLA once again becomes a safe and welcoming environment for Jewish students.
CC: William E. Mitchell, Nicholas T. Goldsborough, Steven L. Klosterman, Rhea P. Turteltaub, Julie A. Sina, Srinivas B. Pulavarti, Jocelyn M. Tabata, Chris Adams, Susan E. Baumgarten, Keenan Behrle, Jeffrey P. Brown, Steven A. Olsen, Maurice M. Salter, Jeffrey A. Seymour, Peter J. Taylor, Shirley Wang, Annette Johnston Welton, Yolanda J. Gorman, Russell A. Hagey, Jordan L. Kaplan, Karen Malmuth Kaufmann, Betsy Wood Knapp, J. Alberto Lemus, Meyer Luskin
Response to JewHatredonCampus.org from UCLA Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Janina Montero
Thank you for writing. Chancellor Block has asked me to respond. Please know that the chancellor, I and our whole leadership team take anti-Semitism very seriously. We strive to maintain a University that is inclusive, welcoming and respectful of all our members. While no campus is immune to anti-Semitism, which can emerge during the sometimes difficult, even painful political debates that occur in our larger society, the Chancellor, the Dean of Students, I and others have and will continue to stress to our students the necessity of working together without stereotyping, intimidation or hostility.
Most of the time our students are able to live up to that standard, but occasionally some falter. When four students on the Student Council faltered in this case, a university administrator urged them to rethink their assumptions and the vote to confirm our Jewish student’s appointment to the judicial board was unanimous. Nonetheless, this incident concerned us all. The student newspaper condemned it, I publicly did the same and the chancellor was concerned enough to send a statement addressing the matter to all 80,000 of our students, faculty and staff. We also stressed the many resources we provide to anyone who feels they have been the victim of bias or has safety concerns.
Since then all four students involved in the incident have apologized and each of them co-sponsored a resolution condemning anti-Semitism that was unanimously passed by our student government. We recognize there is much work to be done to improve our campus climate, but these are encouraging steps in the right direction that originated with our students.
I meet regularly with Jewish students to find ways to support them, increase campus sensitivity and strengthen multi-ethnic community and cooperation. The Chancellor also meets with Jewish students. And even in the midst of these conflicts, we are proud that there remains a strong and vital Jewish intellectual, social, and cultural presence at UCLA. Israeli scholars, Jewish student groups, and writers and artists from Israel, the U.S. and throughout the Jewish diaspora contribute to the life of this campus and we are all better for it. TheNazarian Center for Israel Studies and the Center for Jewish Studies at UCLA play enormous roles in contributing to that. We will continue to work with all those of good will to ensure that ours is a campus where, even in difficult times, we value the safety and dignity of all.
Vice Chancellor, Student Affairs
Response to UCLA Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Janina Montero from David Horowitz
Vice Chancellor, Student Affairs
Dear Janina Montero,
Thank you for your response to our letter about anti-Semitism on your campus. Of course we applaud the steps you have taken to deal with the particular anti-Semitic incident regarding the Jewish student attacked by members of the Muslim Student Association and Students for Justice in Palestine. But let's face some unpleasant facts. You did so because it became a public issue and you had a lot of bad press, and the one thing university administrators won't tolerate is public embarrassment. You say four individuals apologized. Well and good. But what of the organizations on your campus behind this incident and also many other expressions of hatred for Jews and the Jewish state?
Thank you as well for the resolution condemning anti-Semitism. But words are cheap, and the ongoing actions on your campus speak much louder than than words.
Students for Justice in Palestine a recognized student group with all the privileges that entails, including university funding. Yet Students for Justice in Palestine is an organization whose sole purpose is the destruction of the only Jewish state in the world and the only democracy in the Middle East. SJP is a supporter of Hamas and the genocidal campaign to obliterate the Jews in the Middle East. SJP is the spearhead of divestment campaigns on your campus, which former Harvard president Larry Summers described as "anti-Semitic." SJP sponsors an Israeli hate week which features an "apartheid wall" - to stigmatize Israel as worse than South Africa. SJP spreads the genocidal lie that Israel occupies Arab land. SJP's campus chant is "from the river to the sea Palestine will be free" - that is Israel will be obliterated. I have included at the bottom of this email the many anti-Semitic acts sponsored by SJP with university funds and university support that were in my original letter and that you ignored.
What I would like from you is to address our concerns directly. What I would like is an explanation as to why SJP, a group that systematically violates UCLA's "Principles of Community," makes campus life miserable for Jewish students, and spreads lies about the Jewish state - lies designed to help its terrorist enemies destroy it, is supported by your office and by university funds. I do not think an organization attacking African Americans or other minority groups would be tolerated by your office, let alone funded. Our organization would like you to apply the same standard to SJP that you would apply to any other hate group. I look forward to your reply.
IX. UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LOS ANGELES
In addition to trying (and ultimately succeeding) in passing a BDS initiative in student government, UCLA’s SJP chapter attempted to require student government candidates to sign a pledge not to take trips to Israel sponsored by pro-Israel organizations. No candidates were asked to sign a pledge foreswearing their participation in any other programs. SJP members also used social media to attack Jewish students and smear their reputations.
A. Inflammatory/hateful social media posts: attacks against pro-Israel senators were made online, many after Operation Protective Edge (a military initiative to defend Israel against rocket fire from Gaza) and around the time that BDS was introduced (both BDS resolutions).
B. SJP introduced an initiative that would require candidates for student government to sign a pledge to not take trips to Israel sponsored by AIPAC, ADL, or Hasbara Fellowships.
C. January 2014: Speaker event with BDS movement founder Omar Barghouti. Barghouti opposes the existence of a Jewish state and Jewish rights to self-determination in Israel, and he has slandered Israel repeatedly.
D. February, October, and November 2014: Panel discussions before undergraduate BDS hearings in February and October and another in the law school before the graduate student union BDS vote in November.
E. February 2014: BDS was introduced (and didn’t pass).
F. March and May 2014: Verbal assault: The email accounts of pro-Israel students and Hillel professionals were hacked, aggressive newspaper articles were published, and accusations were made in the school senate. The verbal assaults occurred after BDS failed in March and during a Yom Ha’atzmaut celebration in May.
G. April 2014: Event with Ali Abuminah titled “No Rest Until We Divest.”
Abuminah has accused Israel of practicing “apartheid,” “ethnic cleansing,” and “attempted genocide” against the Palestinians. In his words, “Israel’s problem is not, as its propaganda insists, 'terrorism' to be defeated by sufficient application of high explosives.” Rather, Abunimah explained, “its problem is legitimacy, or rather a profound and irreversible lack of it.… Israel simply cannot bomb its way to legitimacy.”
H. May 14, 2014: SJP UCLA brings BDS proponent Angela Davis to campus. She tells the crowd that Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians is worse than the treatment of blacks under apartheid in South Africa.
I. November 3-7, 2014: Palestine Awareness Week at UCLA featuring a mock apartheid wall and an event called “Roadmap to Divestment: a screening and discussion.” This week notably preceded the re-introduction of the BDS resolution in student government.
J. November 5, 2014: Speaker event with Salaita, who has made numerous bigoted statements about Jews and Israelis.
K. November 2014: UCLA student government passes BDS resolution in an 8-2-2 vote.