California university students fail to pass measure condemning antisemitism

The UCSD council joined dozens of college student groups that have declared solidarity with Hamas since Oct. 7 and blamed Israel for the terrorist group’s atrocities inflicted on Israelis.

By Dion J. Pierre, The Algemeiner

The student government at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) has failed to pass a resolution that would condemn antisemitism and apologize for endorsing a recent letter that accused Israel of “ethnic cleansing” and “apartheid.”

Last week’s vote followed nearly a month of recriminations touched off by UCSD Chancellor Pradeep Khosla’s “unequivocal condemnation” on Oct. 10 of Hamas’ massacre of civilians in Israel three days earlier.

The campus group Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) responded to Khosla on Oct. 25 with a statement castigating the chancellor and claiming Israel is guilty of “war crimes,” “ethnic cleansing,” and “apartheid” against the Palestinians. SJP did not condemn Hamas, the Palestinian terrorist group whose brutal onslaught across southern Israel on Oct. 7 initiated the current conflict in Gaza.

UCSD’s Associated Students Council quickly endorsed the SJP letter. According to the campus newspaper the UCSD Guardian, however, “senators” on the council were pressured to do so.

“I don’t think that it’s fair to be mad at all of [the Associated Students Council] because [they] felt bullied into the statement that they endorsed last week, but you need to imagine how we feel now and just imagine how I’m still afraid to wear my Jewish star necklace,” one speaker reportedly said during the public input period of the meeting last week. “I implore you — please take care of the Jewish students in this community.”

In response to the student government’s endorsement, several council members proposed a resolution condemning antisemitism and apologizing for endorsing SJP’s statement.

Ultimately, the resolution failed to achieve a majority of “yes” votes, with six senators voting in favor of the resolution, 11 voting against it, and nine members abstaining.

During a public session held to discuss the resolution, tempers flared.

“This is not free speech. These are the words of those calling for violence against Jews. I’m a Jewish mother, and I am carrying a Jewish baby,” said one PhD student, according to the UCSD Guardian. “I am here today to state my condemnation for the behaviors and words of this group and for not notifying the Jewish community and Tritons for Israel of the last meeting.”

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The campus newspaper noted that the student government is likely to reconsider the resolution at a future meeting with possible amendments.

In choosing to preserve its endorsement of SJP’s statement, the UCSD council joined dozens of college student groups that have declared solidarity with Hamas since Oct. 7 and blamed Israel for the terrorist group’s atrocities inflicted on Israelis.