Students urge University of California to dismiss findings of widespread anti-Semitism on campuses
A report alleging systematic anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism on University of California (UC) campuses has come under fire from a group of students and faculty who say the university ought to disregard its findings.
The study, commissioned by UC President Mark Yudof and executed by his Advisory Council found that, among other things, “the use of the swastika drawn next to or integrated with, the Jewish Star of David is commonplace” on campus.
“Jewish students are confronting significant and difficult climate issues as a result of activities on campus which focus specifically on Israel, its right to exist and its treatment of Palestinians,” wrote the authors of the Jewish Campus Climate Report, which was published on July 9th by the on Campus Climate, Culture, and Inclusion advisory council.
A coalition of students, faculty, and staff, however, have started a petition, which has garnered 2,269 signatures, demanding Yudof and administrators “disregard” what they say is a “sub-standard and biased” report.
Petition organizers suggested they were dissatisfied with the reports findings, recommendations, and the manner in which it was conducted.
“Unfortunately, this report fails to meet minimum standards for accuracy and sound methodology and offers only a partial view of Jewish life and culture on UC campuses,” reads the petition. “In short, the report distorts campus life, and it includes recommendations that threaten free speech.”
A comment left by an individual identifying as “Shakeel Syed,” said “we will not stop to remind Israel of its apartheid policies with or without your stupid report until apartheid ends.”
Another commenter identifying himself as “Bud Mousa” wrote that the report is “just more Jewish strong arming, due to heavy Jewish/Israeli influence in the UC system.”
On Wednesday, Yudof issued a statement standing-by the report and affirming it “raises serious concerns for at least a sector of the campus community.” He added, however, that he plans to be the “first to defend our students’ and faculty's right to free speech under the U.S. Constitution.”
Nonetheless, Yudof also asked his office “to review closely the recommendations” and said he plans to deliver the petition to his staff for review.
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