After a long semester of anti-Semitism on North American college campuses, the Student Senate at UC Davis has voted overwhelmingly to pass an Israel divestment resolution, by a final vote of 10-0, with two abstentions. This is not the first resolution that the students of UC Davis have passed, however. Earlier in the semester, on…
In a major setback to the BDS campaign, the Washington State Supreme court reversed a lower court’s ruling yesterday and struck down the state’s anti-SLAPP statute as unconstitutional. The Olympia Food Co-op, based in Olympia, Washington, provides “wholesome foods and other goods and services . . . through a locally oriented, collectively managed, not-for-profit cooperative…
In response to growing worries about Anti-Semitic behaviors, especially in the University of California school system, over 500 of the school’s alums sent a letter to UC President Janet Napolitano telling their alma mater that it is imperative the system implement means to restrict and inhibit acts of Anti-Semitism against students. President Napolitano agrees. According…
The UC Regents will meet at UCSF-Mission Bay this coming May 20th and 21st, where there will be time for public comments sessions, at 3pm and 8:30pm respectively. At a time where the campus climate, specifically at UC schools, is not a conducive one to success for Jewish students, this meeting presents a constructive opportunity…
Earlier this month, in glorious fashion, students at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine voted to defeat the notorious BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) movement against Israel. According to a piece in Legal Insurrection by Cornell law professor William A. Jacobson, the referendum, which called for the economic, cultural, and academic boycotts of Israel, was rejected…
For the first time in the U.S., a state legislature condemned the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. The Tennessee General Assembly approved the resolution overwhelmingly, declaring that BDS is “one of the main vehicles for spreading anti-Semitism and advocating the elimination of the Jewish state”. The resolution condemns similarly the BDS activities…
The Louis D. Brandeis Center joins the AMCHA Initiative and twenty other groups in writing a letter to UCI Chancellor and Vice Chancellor about the “Anti-Zionist Week 2015” at UC Irvine.
May 1, 2015
UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman
UCI Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Thomas Parham
Dear Chancellor Gillman and Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Parham:
The 22 organizations below are extremely concerned that two UCI registered student organizations—the Muslim Student Union and Students for Justice in Palestine—have announced that on May 4-7, 2015, they will be hosting “Anti-Zionism Week 2015.”
This means a week of events, speakers, discussions, displays and possibly street theater that are meant to create animosity towards Israel and anyone who supports it.
Please be aware that many UCI students, faculty, and community members self-identify as Zionists. An “Anti-Zionism Week” will be offensive, divisive, and hurtful to them, and could create a hostile campus environment.
If past years of anti-Zionism weeks offer any guidance, these events, individually and/or collectively, will in great likelihood include statements and create an atmosphere that is not only anti-Zionist but also anti-Semitic under the U.S. State Department’s definition of anti-Semitism. In particular, the State Department’s definition notes the ways that anti-Semitism manifests itself in regard to speech about the State of Israel:
- Demonizing Israel: using symbols and images associated with classic anti-Semitism to characterize Israel or Israelis; comparing Israeli policies to that of the Nazis; blaming Israel for all political tensions.
- Double Standards toward Israel: requiring of Israel behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation; focusing only on Israel for peace or human rights investigations.
- Delegitimizing Israel: denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination in their ancestral homeland; denying Israel the right to exist.
Recently, the student senates of UC Berkeley, UCLA, and UC Santa Barbara responded to the escalation of anti-Semitic activity on UC campuses by unanimously passing resolutions condemning anti-Semitism, citing this above definition. These resolutions resolved to use the State Department’s definition to help identify anti-Semitic activity. In 2014, the student government at UC Irvine passed a resolution affirming its “strong opposition” to anti-Semitism and all forms of racism and discrimination. Link to that resolution: HERE.
The Louis D. Brandeis Center joins the AMCHA Initiative and twenty other groups in writing a letter to Senator Stone on urgent concerns about SCR-35.
Dear Senator Stone,
This article about LDB’s National Law Student Leadership Conference was published in the Spring 2015 Edition of the “Decalogue Tablet,” a publication of the Decalogue Society of Lawyers. The Decalogue Society is a Chicago-based organization founded in 1934 to promote justice in society and to advance and improve the law, administration of justice and legal…
The Louis D. Brandeis Center joined the AMHCA Initiative and twenty-four other groups in writing a letter on anti-Semitism at Stanford University to its President, John Leroy Hennessy.
President John LeRoy Hennessy
Office of the President
Stanford, CA 94305-2061
Dear President Hennessy,
We are 26 organizations representing hundreds of thousands of people who are very concerned about the safety and well-being of Jewish students at Stanford University.
We understand from several on-line reports that the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house was spray-painted with swastikas on Saturday night. We commend you for issuing a statement the next day in which you affirmed that the university “will not tolerate hate crimes” and that the incident will be fully investigated, both by campus police and by the university under Stanford’s Acts of Intolerance Protocol. However, we strongly encourage you to publicly acknowledge that a swastika is an antisemitic symbol associated with genocide perpetrated against the Jewish people, and that although it affects the entire campus community, it particularly targets Stanford’s Jewish members for hatred and discrimination.
Campus antisemitism is a serious and growing problem.
A recent study published by Trinity College and the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law reveals that 54% of Jewish American college and university students report experiencing or witnessing antisemitism on campus in the recent school year. The research reveals that this is a much more widespread problem than most realized.
In the last year, more than 20 college and university campuses around the country have been defaced with swastikas, in each case causing particular distress to Jewish students. There have also been multiple reports of antisemitic name-calling, threats, assaults and other acts of hate and discrimination. These acts are often linked to anti-Israel activity on campus, particularly boycott, divestment, sanctions (BDS) campaigns, such as the extremely divisive anti-Israel divestment vote in the Stanford student senate last quarter.