In Letter to University of California, Irvine Chancellor, B’nai B’rith Expresses Concern for Anti-Semitic Trends at School
B’nai B’rith International President Dennis W. Glick and Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin sent a letter to the chancellor of the University of California, Irvine, expressing “deep dismay at the severe and persistent anti-Semitic harassment experienced by Jewish students at the University of California, Irvine.”The letter was sent following recent anti-Israel demonstrations at a campus appearance by Israel’s ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, where students repeatedly disrupted his remarks. Such heated protests contribute to a persistent atmosphere of hatred and intimidation for Jewish students at the school.
B’nai B’rith also provided Chancellor Michael Drake a copy of the European Union Fundamental Rights Agency’s working definition of anti-Semitism that has been in worldwide use since 2005, in the hope it will be used to help students and faculty better understand and identify all forms of anti-Semitism. B’nai B’rith helped develop this description as an essential tool for educators, government officials, journalists, and others to understand contemporary manifestations of anti-Semitism.
The letter to the chancellor notes: “Sadly, the hate-filled demonstrations surrounding the appearance by Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren at UCI on February 8 were merely recent examples of the anti-Semitic animus that has resulted in the intimidation of the school’s Jewish population for many years.”
And later: “Too often, anti-Israel messages propounded on the UCI campus have far exceeded the line separating legitimate policy criticism from anti-Semitic polemics. B’nai B’rith therefore calls on your administration to recognize these manifestations of anti-Semitism as precisely that and to condemn them as such.”
The letter asks the university to make combating the insidious anti-Semitism on campus a high priority.
“The university’s leadership must make clear that denial of the Jewish right to self-determination—to peace and security for Jews in their homeland—is, very simply, anti-Semitism. And to intimidate and incite against Jews—in speeches, sermons, placards, demonstrations, and publications—is most certainly anti-Semitism. We implore the UCI administration not to turn a blind eye to intolerance.”
Click here to read the entire letter.
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