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November 19, 2015 8:05 am

UC Santa Cruz Student Warned to Abstain From Pro-BDS Vote Due to His ‘Jewish Agenda’

avatar by Sean Savage / JNS.org

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An anti-Israel demonstration at UC Santa Cruz. Photo: UC Students for Justice in Palestine/Facebook.

An anti-Israel demonstration at UC Santa Cruz. Photo: UC Students for Justice in Palestine/Facebook.

JNS.org – A Jewish member of the student government at University of California, Santa Cruz was warned to “abstain” from voting on a pro-BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement) resolution because he is the president of the schools’ Jewish Student Union and was “elected with a Jewish agenda.”

The incident occurred prior to a vote by the UCSC student council to annul a veto an earlier Israel divestment bill. On Nov. 17, the UCSC voted 28 in favor and five against, with seven abstaining, to reinstate a divestment resolution that was vetoed in 2014.

In a text message sent to UC Santa Cruz Jewish Student Union (JSU) President Daniel Bernstein, the sender wrote, “You will be abstaining, as the president of JSU that is the right thing.”

“There was also a comment tonight that you were elected by a..hmm Idk if these are the right words but let’s say…a Jewish agenda,” the text message added.

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In response, Bernstein posted on Facebook, “The implication that I, as a Jewish student and leader in the Jewish community, should not be allowed to vote on an issue that so deeply impacts the Jewish community, and that I should abstain because I cannot be trusted due to an alleged, ‘Jewish agenda,’ echoes the racism Jews have faced all over the world throughout our history.”

“I am calling on the leadership at UC Santa Cruz, from the student level on up to start taking concrete action to get the anti-Semitism at this campus under control,” Bernstein wrote.

The controversial incident at UCSC is just the latest of its kind involving a Jewish student at a California school. In February, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) student Rachel Beyda was asked if her Jewishness could be a “conflict of interest” when she applied to be a member of UCLA’s student judicial board. A similar incident also took place at Stanford University this year, when student senate candidate Molly Horwitz’s Jewish background was called into question.

“It is deeply disturbing that on a campus that claims to be so dedicated to opposing racism, Jewish students are still subjected to classic anti-Semitic slurs and marginalized because of their involvement in the Jewish community,” Roz Rothstein, CEO and co-founder of the pro-Israel education group StandWithUs, said in a statement.

“The anti-Israel extremism of BDS has contributed to the rise of anti-Jewish racism across the UC system, and hopefully this incident will serve as yet another urgent wake up call to the leaders of the university. This highlights the need for college campuses to adopt the State Department’s definition of antisemitism,” Rothstein said.

Andy Borans, executive director of the Jewish fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi), described the incident against Bernstein — who is a member of AEPi — as “blatant antisemitism.”

“When a student like Daniel Bernstein, a democratically elected student representative, is told that he should abstain from a vote affecting the entire campus community because he is a Jewish student, we must not sit idly by,” Borans said.

He added, “We call on the UC Regents and the Santa Cruz community to take a stand against antisemitism and provide a safe environment for all students.”

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  • Robert Davis

    As long as arabs will squat Judea/Samaria/Gaza jews must be prepared to keep being INTIMIDATED by arabs and leftwing nazis socialists who have no other way to weaken Israel so it can be defeated by arab imperialism. This is why it is so important for the Israeli Government to expel all arabs from Western Palestine so as to stop antisemit INTIMIDATIONS. When arabs are expelled those antisemits and arabs will have no reason any longer to come up with intimidations and on top of that will have the proof their intimlidations do not work and they are wasting their time.

    • Robert Davis

      P.S. Those intmidations exist only since obanana squats the WH and it is evident he is the one behind these intimidations which bear his trademark.

  • dante

    what’s really interesting is that Jews are actually able and willing, often too willing, to put aside their identity as Jews when evaluating issues affecting Jews and Israel.

    Arabs and Muslims, as groups, are markedly less able and, where able, less willing to set aside their loyalty to Arab or Muslim causes.

    but, it’s the Jews and only the Jews that are subjected to some sort of special scrutiny or discrimination. support hamas? no problem; you can vote on bds. support hizbiblis, led by the fat little coward from lebanon? no problem; step up to the podium. support jihadist calls for murder. welcome; take your ballot.

    it’s a symptom of the rot of the left and decay of the university and their wholesale capitulation to mindless hatred.

  • Divest from UCSC, Endorse Israel

    Divest from UCSC, Endorse Israel

    • jim Toledo

      Typical that when a issues involving blacks, Muslims, gays everyone gets their hair, but where’s the same outrage for the anti-Semitic’s. Am sure they are following the lead of the so call progressive professors

    • Steven Richardson

      Absolutely right!!! Pull the Jewish philanthropy out of the UC system. This is anti-intellectual just as much as it is anti-semitic. UC, you ate no longer a truly academic institution. Go get your funds from muslims and other Jew haters. Shame on you.

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