Thursday, November 29, 2012 | return to: news & features, international


UCLA students regret resolution’s procedure, ‘marginalizing language’ on Israel

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NOTE: In an article posted in this space on Nov. 29, 2012, statements of regret and quotes from a press release erroneously were attributed to the board of directors of the University of California Student Association’s (UCSA). Here is an updated and corrected article from

UCLA representatives to the University of California Student Association board of directors on Nov. 20 expressed regret for several aspects of a UCSA resolution two months earlier that condemned HR35 — a unanimously passed State Assembly resolution urging California schools to squelch nascent anti-Semitism and crack down on anti-Israel demonstrations.

The UCLA representatives wrote in an email that they were "unaware that the resolution would be presented by members of U.C. Berkeley's Students for Justice in Palestine" and also unaware of "the confidential e-mail communication happening between members of SJP." The UCLA representatives, whose email was posted on the "Bruins for Israel Facebook page, said they agreed that such procedure "undermines the democratic process."

"This issue has prompted the board to re-evaluate its procedures and guidelines regarding the co-sponsoring of resolutions by third-party organizations," the UCLA representatives said.

The UCLA representatives recognized the "negative impact that the resolution's language had on the Jewish community and our campus climate" through the inclusion of phrases such as "illegal occupation" when referring to Israel. The UCSA resolution's language "blurred the lines between advocating for free speech and taking a stance on the Israeli-Palestinian issue," according to the UCLA representatives.

The resolution the UCSA passed two months earlier supports the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement and condemns HR 35, a state Assembly resolution urging California schools to crack down on anti-Semitism and anti-Israel demonstrations. The student resolution, which was passed Sept. 15, charges Israel with “racism” and claims HR 35 conflates “speech critical of Israeli policies with anti-Semitism,” calling it a “serious attack on academic freedom and faculty.” It also says HR 35 “unfairly and falsely smear[s] as ‘anti-Semites’ those who do human rights advocacy focusing on Israel’s illegal occupation.” The student resolution also recognizes the legitimacy of BDS actions “as important social movement tools.”

Jewish groups lashed out at the UCSA resolution, both for its content and the fact it was presented and voted upon on a Saturday, with no advance warning so that Jewish students could attend the meeting. Regarding the scheduling of the discussion and vote on Shabbat, the board said it was not done “with the intention of excluding Jewish students from the conversation,” but rather because of scheduling constraints.  —


Posted by Michael Harris
12/06/2012  at  07:36 PM
So why not repeal it?

The proper way to address a resolution that should not have been passed is to pass another one repealing the inappropriate language. We’ll see if the students have enough integrity to do that.

Of course, these students learned a valuable lesson, one that I hope will stay with them: that the BDS movement will lie, and will subvert the rules of any institution, to get them to take any type of decision that can be waved triumphantly by the BDSers as support for their entire “river to the sea” agenda. 

Just look at the latest lie from the UK, where BDS groups, trying to get a soccer tournament in Israel cancelled, claimed support from prominent UK soccer stars, several of whom immediately said they had never signed the petition in question.

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Posted by paul
12/07/2012  at  12:50 PM
We should repeal it!

I agree with you Mike. BDS,is against democracy and Israel as well. Now, let me tell you that Israel,isn’t a racist State. Israel want nothing else, only peace. And, Israel promote democracy for every body including the Israeli Arabs who has the right to vote. We should thank Israel. It’s a beautiful country. I don’t understand all those who wants punish Israel. Israel defend itself from Hamas,Hezbollah and from all those who attack Israel. And, the Jewish Voice For Peace who support BDS, is truthfully, Jewish Voice Pro War and distraction of the State Of Israel.

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