Dear Chancellor Fox, Vice Chancellor Rue, and President Yudof:
We are Jewish students at UCSD who are deeply dismayed and offended that the following UCSD academic departments and administrative offices were listed as Endorsers and Sponsors of the Muslim Students Association’s “Justice in Palestine Week: 21st Century Apartheid” (See posters here), which took place 5/14 – 5/17:
African American Studies Minor
Critical Gender Studies
Chican@/Latin@ Arts and Humanities Minor
Ethnic Studies Department
Cross Cultural Center
As in previous years, the MSA’s week of events included numerous speakers and exhibits that demonized Israel through rhetoric and imagery deemed anti-Semitic by the U.S. State Department and promoted efforts to harm the Jewish state through boycott, divestment, and sanctions campaigns.
We feel that these annual events foment hatred and hostility not only towards Israel, but towards Jewish students like ourselves who identify with Israel, causing us to feel uncomfortable and unsafe on our own campus. Moreover, we believe these events violate UCSD’s Principles of Community, which “reject acts of discrimination,” “promote open expression.. within the bounds of courtesy, sensitivity…and respect,” and support a community “where all people can work and learn together in an atmosphere free of abusive or demeaning treatment.”
While we acknowledge the MSA students’ right to freedom of speech, we are outraged and distressed that university departments and administrative offices condone and support such hateful and divisive behavior, which so blatantly violates UCSD’s Principles of Community.
As you may remember, two years ago a delegation of Jewish students met with you and Vice Chancellor Penny Rue to express their distress that so many university departments and administrative offices had endorsed or sponsored the MSA’s “Justice in Palestine Week 2010: End the Apartheid.” Unfortunately, the serious and legitimate concerns which the students raised were not addressed at that meeting, and consequently Jewish students like ourselves continue to feel that faculty and administrative endorsement and sponsorship of anti-Semitic events contribute to a hostile environment for many on our campus.
We are aware that as a result of an investigation by the Department of Justice and the Department of Education into incidents of racist bigotry occurring at UCSD in 2010, the University recently agreed to adopt a comprehensive set of remedial programs and activities directed specifically at addressing racial discrimination and harassment. We believe that nothing less is required for Jewish students, who feel harassed and intimidated not only by the lies, defamation, and anti-Jewish bigotry promoted during the annual “Justice in Palestine” events, but especially by their endorsement and sponsorship by UCSD academic and administrative units.
Therefore, we urge you to do the following:
1) ensure that no University money or endorsement is given to events that are hateful and discriminatory towards a particular group of students or that violate UCSD’s Principles of Community;
2) broaden the scope of the remedial programs and activities outlined in the Resolution Agreement between UCSD, the DOJ, and the DOE to include anti-Semitic discrimination and harassment.
We look forward to hearing from you soon. Sincerely, The Undersigned