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.”
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.