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November 2, 2015 6:30 pm

Jewish Group Urges UC Berkeley to Probe Students for Justice in Palestine Over ‘Hateful, Antisemitic’ Actions at Campus Rally

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A Students for Justice in Palestine rally at University of California, Berkeley.

A Students for Justice in Palestine rally at University of California, Berkeley.

The Zionist Organization of America has urged University of California, Berkeley to investigate the campus chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine and possibly rescind its license to operate, the Algemeiner has learned.

ZOA National President Morton Klein and Center for Law and Justice Director Susan Tuchman called on Chancellor Nicholas B. Dirks to condemn SJP by name for its “hateful, antisemitic, wrongful and possibly unlawful actions.”

The ZOA said SJP may have violated the Berkeley Campus Student Code, especially for threats of violence, harassment and for terrorizing behavior.

The ZOA was responding to eyewitness reports of a demonstration organized by SJP two weeks ago at Cal’s Sproul Plaza, where speakers rallied audience members to chant “intifada” and one pro-Israel counter-demonstrator was aggressively harassed by another SJP activist.

ZOA said chanting intifada was the same as calling out, “Violence and murder, violence and murder, we support violence and murder against Jews!”

It called for a zero-tolerance policy for antisemitism to be adopted according to the State Department definition, which includes certain forms of anti-Israel or anti-Zionist speech, such as the demonetization or delegitmization of the Jewish state.

“The ZOA is fully committed to ensuring that Jewish students at UC Berkeley are afforded the kind of campus environment that every student deserves – one that is physically and psychologically safe and conducive to learning.  That is their legal right under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. We urge you to protect that right by responding immediately and forcefully to the SJP’s hateful, anti-Semitic and violence-inciting conduct before the situation escalates further. If someone gets hurt, then the college administration will bear responsibility,” the group said.

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