University of California urged to combat anti-Semitism on campus
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University of California urged to combat anti-Semitism on campus

University California Los Angeles students stage a protest rally in a show of solidarity with protesters at the University of Missouri on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015 in Los Angeles. Thousands of students across the U.S. took part in demonstrations at university campuses Thursday to show solidarity with protesters at the University of Missouri, and to shine a light on what they say are racial problems at their own schools. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
University California Los Angeles students stage a protest rally in a show of solidarity with protesters at the University of Missouri on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015 in Los Angeles. Thousands of students across the U.S. took part in demonstrations at university campuses Thursday to show solidarity with protesters at the University of Missouri, and to shine a light on what they say are racial problems at their own schools. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

The University of California (UC) will establish a committee to evaluate anti-Semitism following rising tensions between supporters of Israel and pro-Palestinian groups on campus.

More than 30 Jewish organizations, including the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the Zionist Organization of America, wrote to the UC governing board demanding more is done to protect Jewish students.

They also urged anti-Semitism to be included within a proposed list of Principles Against Intolerence, which will outline the university’s role as a place of free speech, but which will equally protect against “acts of discrimination that demean our differences.”

University California Los Angeles students stage a protest rally in a show of solidarity with protesters at the University of Missouri on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015 in Los Angeles. Thousands of students across the U.S. took part in demonstrations at university campuses Thursday to show solidarity with protesters at the University of Missouri, and to shine a light on what they say are racial problems at their own schools. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
University California Los Angeles students staged a protest rally in solidarity with the University of Missouri in November against racism on campus (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

Recent incidents on campus that have been reported include the discovery of swastikas on a Jewish fraternity house at UC Davis and graffiti stating “Zionists should be sent to the gas chamber” on a bathroom wall at UC Berkeley.

There have also been reports of rising anti-Israel activity on campus and Jewish students being “harassed, assaulted, threatened, vilified and discriminated against, their property defaced and destroyed, and their events disrupted and shut down,” according to Tammi Rossman-Benjamin of AMCHA, a non-profit organization dedicated to combating anti-Semitism.

Pro-Palestinian groups are however upset that anti-Semitism is the only type of intolerance specifically mentioned at a time of growing anti-Muslim activity. They also argue that anti-Zionism should not be included on the list as a form of discrimination.

 

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