After anti-Israel students refused to remove a display glorifying terrorists, The Lawfare Project stepped in to demand the administration take action.
Following the defeat of University of California, Berkeley student Milton Zerman’s resolution condemning a terrorist display by pro-Palestinian students and asking for its removal, The Lawfare Project, a global network of legal professionals that defends the civil and human rights of the Jewish people and pro-Israel community and fights discrimination, sent a letter to University Chancellor Carol Christ demanding assurance that “Jewish students feel safe and welcome on campus.”
The Associated Students of the University of California Senate’s (ASUC) University and External Affairs Committee voted 4-1 on Monday against Zerman’s resolution, titled “Condemning Bears for Palestine [BFP] for Their Display in Eshleman Hall Glorifying Violent Terrorists.” The display, placed in the campus student union in December by the Bears for Palestine student group, showcased convicted Palestinian terrorist Rasmea Odeh, who murdered two students in a Jerusalem supermarket bombing 1969; Fatima Bernawi, who attempted to bomb a cinema in Israel in 1967; and Leila Khaled, who hijacked TWA Flight 840 in 1969 and attempted to hijack ELAL Flight 219 in 1970.
The February 3 vote on the resolution was delayed when “chaos erupted” from pro-Palestinian students threatening Jewish students.
“Jewish students were repeatedly harassed, heckled and threatened with physical threats of violence,” according to a Facebook post by Tikvah: Students for Israel, an on-campus pro-Israel group. “Despite multiple threats of violence, the ASUC administrator and moderator refused to get involved. One BFP member stepped into a student’s face and said ‘I’m going to kick your ass,’ while another Jewish student was chased out of the room by BFP members.”
Brooke Goldstein, Executive Director of The Lawfare Project, said in a statement that a Jewish student was told, “‘I give consent to kick your ass.’ Another Jewish student was aggressively shoved as they were entering the meeting room. Shouts of ‘Zionist out!’ echoed around the room as Jewish students were called ‘Nazis’ and told they would be sought out on campus.”
Christ is quoted as saying she was “not interested” in blaming pro-Palestinian students for the chaos nor for the threats against Jewish students.
“UC Berkeley’s response has been wholly unsatisfactory and has trivialized the devastating impact that Jewish and Israeli members of the Berkeley community felt upon seeing terrorist murderers lionized in a display in a public venue on campus,” Goldstein stated. “If this had happened to any other minority group on campus, the university would undoubtedly not have been so quick to dismiss those students’ concerns.”
The Lawfare Project asked Christ to “take ownership of this problem” and offered specific steps for creating a “more inclusive environment for all students…to heal and move forward.”
– The university must launch a full-scale investigation into the events of the meeting.
– Any students found to be violating campus rules and policies should be penalized.
– Clear-cut rules and procedures for acceptable conduct at future meetings of the ASUC must be distributed campus wide.
-Moderators at ASUC meetings and any member of the administration who is present at future ASUC meetings should be trained to recognize the various ways that anti-Semitism can be manifested.
– The university should ensure that members of the UC Berkeley Police Department are a visible presence at future ASUC meetings to ensure the safety of all students.
Citing US President Donald Trump’s Executive Order on Combating Anti-Semitism, Goldstein said, “If Berkeley fails to institute these steps and create a safe environment for Jewish students, they risk losing federal funding.”