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UCLA showing progress re: Jewish students

Becky Yeh - California correspondent   ( Friday, November 30, 2012

The student body president of a major California university feels his school is taking "a step in the right direction" by recognizing offenses against Jewish students.

The University of California Student Association's (UCSA) Board of Directors has asserted that Jewish students were not deliberately excluded from voicing their opinion on a resolution the body passed. The UCSA condemned HR 35 -- a measure passed by the state Assembly that encourages higher institutions to denounce anti-Semitism and anti-Israel protests, and passed a resolution to that effect, while Jewish students, unaware of the meeting, were celebrating a holy holiday.

Bocarsly, David (UC)The UCSA also accused Israel of racism and violating human rights, and even asked other colleges and universities to divest from the nation. So UCLA student body president David Bocarsly called on the Student Association to apologize -- a request that has now received a response.

"A lot of the members of the Jewish community at UCLA are very thankful that a representative to UCSA issued a response recognizing some of the things that were offensive and the UCSA resolution," Bocarsly accounts. "They are still in talks about making sure certain issues are addressed, because some of them weren't mentioned in their response."

Jewish students say they were excluded from sharing their opinion at the meeting, while Palestinian students were invited to speak. But the UCSA notes in its response that it was "unaware that the resolution would be presented by Students for Justice in Palestine" and of the confidential e-mails between SJP members.

"There will be continued dialogue, but we think that this is a step in the right direction," the student body president offers. "Hopefully the relationship between Jewish students and other student leaders on campus will be improved from here on out."

The UCSA agrees that the confidential communication between Palestinian students made the process undemocratic.

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