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University of California Board of Regents Passes Groundbreaking pro-Israel Resolution

Tammi Benjamin-Rossman, Hebrew language lecturer at UC Santa Cruz and founder of AMCHA, Initiative for protecting Jewish students, was pleased to announce today, the UC Board of Regents historic action in Oakland yesterday: condemnation of Anti-Zionism as Anti-Semitism.  She wrote about this a major breakthrough in an AMCHA blog post, University of California Unanimously Passes Landmark Policy to Protect Jewish Students: 

At the UC Board of Regents meeting today, the University of California passed a resolution which condemned “anti-Semitism, anti-Semitic forms of anti-Zionism and other forms of discrimination” and stated “they have no place at the University of California.”

Anti-Zionism has now been linked to anti-Semitism and condemned by the most prestigious and largest public university in the United States. This is an unprecedented and remarkable step forward, which will benefit Jewish students across the country!

AMCHA began communicating with UC Regents and community members a year ago after hearing from concerned parents and students about the rapid rise of anti-Semitism at UC. In September the Regents appointed a task force to address the problem. The task force held numerous public meetings and hearings to hear from the community and experts. Last week they released the proposed Statement of Principles Against Intolerance that was approved unanimously yesterday by the Regents Committee on Educational Policy and today by the full board.

leaders of pro-isreal groups

Leaders and Representatives of multiple organizations (including AMCHA Initiative, Bruins for Israel, Iranian American Jewish Federation, Proclaiming Justice to the Nations, Simon Wiesenthal Center, StandWithUs, Students Supporting Israel at UCLA, and Zionist Organization of America), UC Students, UC Professors, and concerned UC Alumni at the UC Regents Meeting, March 23, 2016.

At yesterday’s meeting, dozens of UC students and faculty, representatives from Jewish organizations, including, the Anti-Defamation League, Simon Wiesenthal Center, Jewish Community Relations Council, and AMCHA Initiative, and State Assembly member Travis Allen testified before the Regents urging them to support the measure. In addition, over the last week, more than 4,000 UC students, faculty, parents, alumni and stakeholders; 60 Jewish and education advocacy groups, including Hillel International, Jewish Federations of North America, and the American Jewish Committee; as well as the California Legislature’s Jewish Caucus and U.S. Congressman Brad Sherman urged the Regents to condemn anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism in the Statement.

The vote, with the inclusion of the condemnation of anti-Semitic forms of anti-Zionism, represents a new direction in administration addressing modern anti-Semitism.  We are incredibly proud of this achievement. It was a challenging journey to arrive at this point, one that required the persistence of AMCHA, our extraordinary at-will coalition partners, students, activists, alumni and supporters.

Watch this YouTube video of the historic UC Board Of Regents vote:

We have written numerous articles and blog posts about the virulent anti-Zionism espoused by Muslim Student Union, Students for Justice in Palestine in the UC system and other elite campuses. That began with a January 2011 interview about the situation on the UCIrvine campus with local Orange County Jewish activist, Dee Sterling.  Especially concern was the disruption of a speech by Former Israeli Ambassador to the US, Michael Oren at UC Irvine in 2008, recounted his memoir, Ally: My Journey Across the American-Israeli Divide. That led to the successful prosecution under California heckling conspiracy statues in Orange County. That led to the conviction of 11 MSU student leaders from the Riverside and UC Irvine Campuses in 2011.

There were revelations about campus leftists controlling the Olive Tree Imitative program, funded in part by a grant from a local Orange County Jewish Federation affiliate at UC Irvine. That led to an alleged chance encounter in 2009 with Aziz Duwaik, the Hamas Palestinian Legislative Council Speaker. In June 2015, we interviewed the President of Anteaters for Israel Jewish student activist Sharon Shaoulian, who recounted actions by former Orange County J Fed President Elcott and the campus Hillel chapter executive during IFEST (Israel Festival) supporting pro-Palestinian MSU kiosks during Apartheid Awareness week. We reached out to former AFI leader and UC Irvine alumna, Reut Rory Cohen who provided the history of Orange JFed antagonism towards campus Jewish activism.   Ultimately, the cumulative effect of these exposes resulted in the resignation  in July 2015 of Orange County J Fed President Elcott.

We hope that Sharon Shaoulian, Reut Rory Cohen, Dee Sterling, Gary Fouse, Debra and Amichai Glazer involved at UCIrvine are pleased about yesterday’s UC Board of Regents vote. However, now the effort must begin in earnest enlisting the Chancellors and faculty Senates of each University and state college campuses in California to implement initiatives protecting Campus Zionism activism and free speech. That also goes to local JFeds and Hillel Chapters to clean up their acts to reform misguided efforts thwarting such campus activism.

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EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.

U.S. Anti-Semitism in 2015: 302 Incidents at 109 Colleges in 28 States

Credit Tammi Rossman Benjamin of University of California – Santa Cruz with establishing the AMCHA Initiative – an on-line data base reporting anti-Semitic incidents occurring with rising frequency  on US college campuses. The Initiative was created to protect  Jewish students  and  staff on campuses. The 2015 AMCHA report cite more than 302 incidents at 109 campuses in more than 28 states. Several more incidents were recorded on campuses in January 2016.  It is a chronicle of Jew hatred fostered by the alliance of the extremist Students for Justice in Palestine, Boycott, investment and Sanctions (BDS)  and neo-Nazi groups plaguing college campuses. Yesterday, we posted on the Florida State Senate unanimously passing legislation against companies boycotting Israeli companies. We understand a major  motivation for the anti-BDS  legislation being promoting across the country during current legislative sessions  was to address the virulent BDS anti-Israel protests on college campuses in the Sunshine and other major states.

map of anti semitic incident us college campuses

Map of 2015 Anti Semitic Incidents on US College Campuses. Source: AMCHA Initiative

Crossing-The-Line-1-620x328

Students chant “Allahu akbar” and “We are Hamas!” (Image source: Crossing the Line 2)

This Washington  Free Beacon report by Adam Kredo presents some troubling examples of campus Jew hatred that looks eerily like what happened in the 1930’s in Nazi Germany, “Anti-Semitic Incidents on U.S. College Campuses Spike:”

The array of incidents were recorded at many universities and often included Nazi imagery, slurs calling Jews “evil,” and calls for Jews be murdered, according to a report published by the AMCHA Initiative, an organization that seeks to protect Jewish students.

The organization created an online database that logs in real time reports of new anti-Semitic incidents at colleges across the nation. Several anti-Semitic incidents have been recorded in the first month of 2016.

Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, AMCHA co-founder and director, warned that anti-Semitism on campus is growing as a result of highly aggressive anti-Israel student movements such as the group Students for Justice in Palestine, which has used Nazi imagery in its campaign to demonize Israel.

“There is a clear correlation between anti-Israel activism—particularly BDS campaigns—and the anti-Semitic targeting of Jewish students,” Rossman-Benjamin told the Washington Free Beacon. “For instance, acts of anti-Jewish harassment, discrimination, and defamation are higher in schools where BDS activity is high. The connection between BDS and campus anti-Semitism is undeniable.”

Some of the incidents recorded at universities were violent in nature, according to the report.

At the University of Oregon, for instance, a man yelling anti-Semitic slurs threatened to shoot a Jewish student.

At Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, New York, an Orthodox Jewish student “was punched in the face and told ‘Leave the school, you Jew,’” according to the report.

Students also used social media networks such as Twitter to threaten Jewish students.

One female student-athlete at Delaware Valley College came under scrutiny for tweeting, “Can I kill all the [expletive deleted] Jews in Lakewood pleeeasse?!?!!”

Nazi-style demonstrations also were held on campuses in 2015.

Thirty members of a group called the Traditionalist Youth Network at Indiana University “marched on campus holding anti-Semitic signs and wearing Nazi memorabilia,” according to the report.

In a similar incident at the University of California at Santa Cruz, members of the Students for Justice in Palestine group—which has been shut down on some campuses for its virulent anti-Semitism—established mock checkpoints around campus and forced Jewish students to “show ID cards.”

At least 15 college campuses—including George Washington University, the University of Maryland, and Tufts University—had incidences of anti-Semitic graffiti, including swastikas and anti-Semitic slurs.

“Jews—the root of all evil” was written on a wall in the Brooklyn College campus library, the report found.

Other incidents across the country include mezuzahs being vandalized, swastikas being scrawled on school buildings, and convicted terrorists being invited to speak on campus.

At Towson University, one vandal repeatedly went across campus writing, “Hitler was right” and “with Jews you lose.”

Similarly, a the University of California at Berkeley, “Zionists should be sent to the gas chamber” was found “etched on school property,” according to the report.

Leila Beckwith, an AMCHA co-founder and professor emeritus at the University of California at Los Angeles, warned that college officials often dismiss discrimination against Jews.

“Anti-Semitism, what many of us thought only a decade or so ago was a sad part of our history, continues to rear its ugly head on campuses from coast to coast,” Beckwith said in a statement. “What those of us that monitor cases on a regular basis know is today’s anti-Semitism not only includes swastikas and historical anti-Jewish slang.”

RELATED ARTICLE: How Europe’s Radical Refugee Shakeup Could Push Britain Out of the EU

RELATED VIDEO: Crossing the Line 2: The New Face of Anti-Semitism on Campus:

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. The featured image of a college student holding an Israeli flag with swastika is courtesy of Crossing the Line 2.

California: Santa Cruz Muslim Threatened to Bomb Two Colleges

“University of California Santa Cruz police officers arrested a 25-year-old Santa Cruz man in connection to an anonymous social media post that referenced homicide, suicide, explosives, and a past university shooting.” “The post didn’t target any individuals, though it included general threats against two campus colleges, Oakes and Porter.” Hawari doesn’t seem to have actually had any explosives; he may have simply been trying to “strike terror into the hearts of the enemies of Allah” (Qur’an 8:60).

AYMAN-KAREEM-HAWARI

Ayman Kareem Hawari

An update on this story. “Man accused of making terrorist threats against UC Santa Cruz,” KSBW, August 21, 2015:

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. —University of California Santa Cruz police officers arrested a 25-year-old Santa Cruz man in connection to an anonymous social media post that referenced homicide, suicide, explosives, and a past university shooting.

A concerned parent called UCSC police at 7 p.m. Wednesday after he discovered the post.

Investigators identified Ayman Kareem Hawari as the post’s creator, UCSC Police Chief Nader Oweis said.

Officers arrested Hawari on a suspicion of making terrorist threats and resisting arrest. He was booked into the Santa Cruz County Jail Thursday.

So far, officers have found no connections between Hawari and the university.

“The post didn’t target any individuals, though it included general threats against two campus colleges, Oakes and Porter,” Oweis said….

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