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March 23, 2016 2:42 pm

U of California Regents Adopts Report Condemning ‘Antisemitism and Antisemitic Forms of Anti-Zionism’

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The University of California, Berkeley campus. Photo: Wikipedia

The University of California, Berkeley campus. Photo: Wikipedia

The Regents of the University of California (UC) voted unanimously on Wednesday to adopt the entirety of a controversial report concerning principles of intolerance on its campuses, The Algemeiner has learned. This report now constitutes the policy and informs the practices of the university, particularly with respect to antisemitism and anti-Zionism.

A key edit to the wording of the Final Report of the Regents Working Group on Principles Against Intolerance was made at the last minute, according to Simon Wiesenthal Center Campus Outreach Director Rabbi Aron Hier, who testified at the meeting.

Hier told The Algemeiner that the original phrase in the report’s opening section stated, “Antisemitism, anti-Zionism, and other forms of discrimination have no place at the University of California.” It was revised to: “Antisemitism and antisemitic forms of anti-Zionism … have no place …”

Hier said this change was satisfactory, as it implicitly refers to the U. S. State Department’s definition of antisemitism, which offers guidelines for determining when criticism of Israel crosses the line into antisemitism.

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Prior to the vote, controversy had arisen over whether the Regents ought to explicitly adopt the State Department definition, as reported by The Algeimeiner. Proponents argued that adopting it was a necessary step toward improving the climate for Jewish students on UC campuses, while others objected, claiming that adopting it would inappropriately hamper legitimate criticism of Israeli policies and practices.

Hier told The Algemeiner that the Simon Wiesenthal Center commends the University of California Regents for “unequivocally declaring that antisemitism and antisemitic forms of anti-Zionism have no place at UC.” By doing so, he added, “They have drawn a line against the world’s oldest hate.”

Referring to Tuesday’s terrorist bombings in Belgium, Hier said, “The latest horrific mass murders in Brussels were inspired and fueled by genocidal words and images. It should serve as a stark reminder and warning that while we cherish freedom of speech, all words have consequence and those spewing and expressing hatred should be held accountable for their deeds and actions.”


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