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October 13, 2013 2:41 pm

UC Berkeley’s Jewish Student Union Rejects J Street

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The campus of the University of California, Berkeley. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

JNS.org The Jewish Student Union at the University of California, Berkley has denied membership to a college branch of the self-labeled “pro-Israel, pro-peace” lobby group J Street, citing its violation of the student union’s bylaws through the hosting of speakers who demonize Israel.

J Street U’s membership was voted down 8-2, marking the second time the Jewish Student Union has rejected the group since 2011.

“A lot of people have said that they want the (Jewish Student Union) to stay a place they feel comfortable saying they love Israel,” Jewish Student Union President Daphna Torbati told the Daily Californian.

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J Street’s hosting of the Israeli NGO Breaking the Silence, which works with Israeli veterans that heavily criticize Israel’s military operations, has raised concern among Jewish students that such programming “unfairly disparages Israeli soldiers” and alienates students, UC Berkeley student leaders said.

Shayna Howitt, a spokesperson for J Street U, responded that the group is “not afraid to stand up and question how we can best support Israel, because we’re committed to the safety of Israel.”

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  • Albert Cohen

    All Israel loving Jews should be proud of the Berkeley Jewish union for not admitting j street.
    As often mentioned j street should belong in the Arab league.

  • Claire Kahane

    This rejection of J Street U is so short-sighted. It rests on the supposition that J Street doesn’t love Israel, a position so far from the truth, so blind to current events, including the J Street conference a week or so ago, where members of the Knesset from the left and the right spoke supporting J Street’s project, working for a two-state solution, that I am reminded of Tea Party politics. As a UC Berkeley alumna and a professor emerita engaged in promoting the Humanities, I am deeply disappointed in the Jewish Student Union.

    • Tzofiya

      Kol haKvod to the Berkeley Jewish Student Union.

  • Dov

    J streert is a front for hamasnplo etc. Useful idiots of ther commies

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