A California Jewish group asserts that a new anti-Israel
resolution will most likely create more discord on college and
The University of California Student Association (UCSA), a
system-wide student organization with representatives from each
campus, has passed a resolution that accuses Israel of "racism" and
asks the UC Board of Regents to boycott and remove support from
companies that do business with the country. The language alleges
that Israel is responsible for violating human rights, and Roz
Rothstein of StandWithUs points out that it also attacks UC
officials' moves to address anti-Semitism on college campuses.
Planning for the initiative was kept secret until September 15,
the day of the vote. While no agenda was published in advance, and
no opponents of the measure were given an opportunity to have their
voices heard, leaders of Students for Justice in Palestine were
allowed to share their message at the meeting. Jewish students say
they were deliberately left out of the discussion, and Rothstein
suggests the UCSA "ambushed" them during the holiest Jewish
"Those who introduced the
anti-Israel resolution did so during the weekend of Rosh Hashanah,
one of the holiest weekends of the Jewish calendar year, when
Jewish students were unavailable to debate the anti-Israel
resolution," she explains. "It's not surprising that they
reported that no dissenting views were heard."
The UCSA, which claims its request reflects campus-wide
sentiment, reportedly told the Berkeley Jewish Student Union that
its decision was "spur of the moment," even though the association
has been discussion the resolution since August. The StandWithUs
CEO does not buy it.
"All students pay dues, and all students are entitled to an
opportunity to voice their opinion," she declares. "This is a
single-minded obsession with demonizing Israel, and this resolution
and the way it was voted in will no doubt bring bitter divisiveness
to UC campuses."
The UCSA condemns the UC Campus Climate Report on Jewish
Students and HR 35, a measure recently passed by the California
Assembly that asks colleges and universities in the state to
denounce anti-Semitism and anti-Israel protests.
The UCSA was initially created to be a voice for UC students,
and Rothstein asserts it is unacceptable that public funds are
going toward a group that shows such hostility to Jews.
UC Berkeley's Daily Californian editorial board and
student senators have published three articles condemning the
undemocratic resolution passed by the UCSA.