Steps taken by the University of California are not sufficient to battle rampant anti-Semitism, UC regents stated Thursday, after UC leaders released a statement about intolerance that did not specifically address hatred against Jews.
"To completely disregard people who brought a problem to your attention, I think is frankly insulting,” Regent Norman Pattiz stated at a debate over the statement at UC Irvine.
The statement of intolerance was released in lieu of an official statement against anti-Semitism, local media reports. Campus Jewish groups and regents had campaigned for the UC board to adopt the official US State Department definition of anti-Semitism as “denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, and denying Israel the right to exist.”
Regents are livid over the toned-down statement, however – and at least one, Regent Dick Blum, the husband of US Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), have vowed to "remain critical" of UC unless further action is taken.
During the hearing, at least ten students took the stand anonymously to recount anti-Semitic incidents on university campuses.
Among them: graffiti in March proclaiming “Zionists should be sent to the gas chamber”; similar graffiti and swastikas found on a different university Hillel Houses in January; the statement "Hitler did nothing wrong" found etched into a cafeteria table; and the now-infamous interrogation of a Jewish student board candidate at UCLA in February over her background.
In February, a landmark study by Trinity College revealed that 54% of Jewish American college students experienced anti-Semitism on campus in 2014 – and 10% specified that discrimination had been levied against them in student organizations.
UCLA was named that same week as one of the "Top Ten" colleges in the US for anti-Semitic activity by the David Horowitz Freedom Center, a conservative think tank based in Southern California.