Pro-Palestinian students set up tents at UC Riverside, protest at Cal Poly Pomona

UCR sit-in demands university action as Cal Poly Pomona students protest

UC Riverside and Cal Poly Pomona students have joined campuses across the country to rally in support of Palestinians during the war with Israel.

UCR students set up a Gaza Solidarity Encampment on Monday, April 29, while about 200 Cal Poly Pomona students demonstrated on their campus.

RELATED: Will more graduations get canceled? Southern California colleges grapple with safety and graduation amid Gaza protests

By early afternoon, a few dozen UCR students had erected about 25 tents in front of the campus Bell Tower. Some wrote messages with sidewalk chalk, while others did homework on the grass or spoke to passersby.

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At Cal Poly Pomona, protesters marched around 12:30 p.m. from the quad area toward the student center. Students held signs and large Palestinian flags and wore Keffiyehs.

They entered the ground floor of the student center, chanting phrases such as, “Disclose, divest. We do not stop, we do not rest.”

Pro-Palestinian demonstrations also took place across Southern California on Monday.

A UC Irvine protest, which followed a two-hour march on campus last week, drew about 50 people by early afternoon. At UCLA, dozens of faculty members staged a walkout, marking the latest chapter in continuing pro-Palestine and pro-Israel protests at the university.

A  University of California statement released Friday, April 26, opposed “calls for boycott against and divestment from Israel.”

At UCR, student organizers said their demonstration was just beginning.

“We are starting day one with more (participants) than we anticipated, and we are expecting that number to continue to grow throughout the week,” UCR senior Hibah Nassar said.

A statement released by UCR spokesperson John Warren said the university is “monitoring the activity to ensure the safety and security of the campus community.”

“All operations on campus are proceeding as usual,” it said.

As for Cal Poly Pomona’s rally, the word went out on social media.

“We are calling on our community to come and join us as we rally for the people of Palestine calling on our institution to meet our demands!!,” an Instagram post from Students for Justice In Palestine at Cal Poly Pomona, or @sjpcpp, states.

“Biden Biden, what do you say? How many kids have you killed today?” Cal Poly students chanted.

While in the student center, students climbed the stairs and addressed the crowd, stating their demands for the campus. They include cutting academic ties with Israeli universities, asking campus President Soraya Coley to demand a ceasefire and asking for an end to relationships with Lockheed Martin and Boeing.

Protesting students declined to be interviewed Monday. A social media post asked them to avoid the news media and campus officials.

A statement from Cal Poly Pomona said the college supports freedom of speech and the right to peacefully assemble. It also asked protest participants to be respectful.

The protest dispersed shortly before 2 p.m.

The UCR sit-in, which continues, is organized by the group Students for Justice in Palestine, along with other organizations, which Nassar said include UCR Faculty for Justice in Palestine, a graduate student group and “a coalition of allied organizations.”

The encampment isn’t going anywhere until the university complies with participants’ demands, she said.

“UCR joins students across the country in demanding that our universities divest from the companies which profit off of the occupation, apartheid, and genocide in Palestine,” reads a post on the group’s Instagram account, @sjpucr.

Click here to read the full article in the Press Enterprise

Golden Gate Bridge briefly blocked by pro-Palestinian protesters

Pro-Palestinian protesters blocked off multiple lanes of the Golden Gate Bridge Wednesday morning.

Shutterstock

All northbound and southbound lanes were stopped at mid-span on the bridge shortly before 8 a.m., according to CHP data. 

Both lanes had reopened by 8:30 a.m.

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Images published to X by a KQED reporter showed protesters holding large banners that said “Stop arming Israel” and “Hands off Rafah.” The latter is a reference to the Palestinian city in Gaza that Israel targeted with airstrikes this week in an operation that it said freed two hostages taken by Hamas.

Click here to read the full article in the SF Chronicle

Lawsuit accuses UC Berkeley Law School of ‘unchecked spread of anti-Semitism’

A Zionist organization sued the University of California on Tuesday, accusing the UC Berkeley Law School of promoting anti-Semitism and discriminating against Jews by allowing student groups to bar Zionists as speakers at their meetings.

“Zionism is an integral component of Jewish identity,” attorneys for the Louis D. Brandeis Foundation said in a lawsuit filed in federal court in San Francisco. “Anti-Zionism is discrimination against those who recognize the Jews’ ancestral heritage — in particular the Jews’ historic connection to the land of Israel.”

The suit says it “targets the longstanding, unchecked spread of antisemitism at the University of California Berkeley.”

They cited a policy announced in August 2022 by Law Students for Justice in Palestine and now followed, according to the suit, by 23 of the 100 organizations in the 1,100-student law school. Saying Zionism is used to justify the displacement and oppression of Palestinians, the groups have adopted bylaws saying they would not invite pro-Zionist speakers, who describe Israel as a Jewish state.

The lawsuit said the climate on campus has become more hostile since the Oct. 7 assault on Israel by military forces from Hamas, which rules Gaza, followed by weeks of attacks by Israel’s military on Gaza and the West Bank.

“A Jewish student draped in an Israeli flag was attacked by two protesters who struck him in the head with a metal water bottle,” Brandeis lawyers said. “Jews on campus have been receiving hate emails calling for their gassing and murder. And Jewish students have reported being afraid to go to class, which would require them to pass through the pro-Hamas rallies taking place in Berkeley’s main thoroughfares.”

The lawsuit asked a federal judge to prohibit the university from funding or recognizing “any student organization that excludes Jews.” But the student groups say they do not exclude Jews or Zionists, only pro-Zionist speakers. And UC Berkeley spokesperson Dan Mogulof said Tuesday the university “has long been committed to confronting antisemitism, and to supporting the needs and interests of its Jewish students, faculty, and staff.”

He cited UC Berkeley’s establishment last year of an Antisemitism Education Initiative, the first of its kind by a major university, with workshops and lectures on Zionism and discrimination against Jews. UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ said in a message to students Nov. 3 that hateful speech and actions against either Jews or Palestinians “has no place on our campus or in our discourse.”

Christ also said she condemns “the harassment, threats, and doxxing that have targeted our Palestinian students and their supporters,” as well as the “alarming increase in antisemitic expression in our country, in general, and on our college campuses, in particular.”

UC President Michael Drake announced last week that the university was establishing an office to combat discrimination and would provide training against both antisemitism and Islamophobia.

But Steven Solomon, a UC Berkeley law professor and a plaintiff in the suit, said Jewish students at the school are not being protected. 

“The students are cowed, they’re fearful, harassed. Some of them are not attending class,” Solomon told the Chronicle Tuesday. “They’re dehumanized in ways that would not be tolerated for any other group on campus.”

In a column published by the Wall Street Journal on Oct. 16, Solomon described the student groups that rejected Zionist speakers as antisemitic and urged law firms not to hire any of his students who agreed with the groups.

The law school’s dean, Erwin Chemerinsky, has said he disagrees with the student organizations’ exclusion of Zionist speakers — a policy, he told the groups, that might bar him from speaking because he supports “the existence of Israel.” But he has also said they have a right to invite only speakers who agree with their views.

The new lawsuit, with its attacks on the policies and climate at the school, “describes a place that doesn’t exist” and gives short shrift to the students’ constitutional right of free speech, Chemerinsky said Tuesday.

The student groups’ rejection of pro-Zionist speakers was challenged last November in a civil rights complaint filed with the U.S. Department of Education by two lawyers, who said in their complaint that the groups’ policies were “contributing to the creation of a hostile environment for Jewish students, faculty and staff.” 

In response to that complaint, Zoha Khalili, an attorney at Palestine Legal, said the student groups “care about human rights” and have a legal and moral right to boycott Zionist speakers.

Chemerinsky said the law school filed its response to the complaint early this year. He said the Department of Education notified a number of law schools this month that their policies were being investigated and that UC Berkeley was not on the list.

But in Tuesday’s lawsuit, the Brandeis Foundation said that in order to join or meet with groups at the Berkeley law school, “Jewish students, faculty, and guest speakers must deny a central part of their cultural, ancestral heritage and a fundamental tenet of their faith.”

Click here to read the full article in the SF Chronicle

The Civil War in the Democratic Party: Pro-Palestine vs. Pro-Israel

California Democratic Convention events canceled after interruptions from pro-Palestine demonstrators

In the midst of enraged pro-Palestine protesters demonstrating around the country, the New York Post exposed on Friday that they are  “funded in large part by an uber-wealthy American-born tech entrepreneur, Neville Roy Singham, and his wife, Jodie Evans.”

“Since 2017, Singham has been the main funder of The People’s Forum, which has co-organized at least four protests after 1,200 innocent Israelis were slaughtered by Hamas on Oct. 7.

“One rally, in Times Square, happened on October 8 before Israel had even counted its dead.”

“Based in Midtown Manhattan, The People’s Forum calls itself a ‘movement incubator for working class and marginalized communities to build unity across historic lines of division at home and abroad.’” More to come on that.

Saturday, a much larger pro-Palestine protest at the California Democratic Convention forced scheduled meetings and convention events to be cancelled. Protestors even blocked the doors of two separate entrances to the Sacramento Convention Center.

“Hundreds of Pro-Palestine demonstrators interrupted California Democrats’ convention on Saturday in Sacramento to call for a cease-fire in Gaza, eventually forcing the cancellation of evening events,” KCRA reported. Reporter Michelle Bandur Tweeted, “Protesters interrupt #CADEM convention.. shouting ‘Cease Fire in Gaza’ while Rep. Katie Porter speaks. Kicked out of hall into lobby for sit-in.”

CBS News offered more details:

“At the corner of 15th and J Street, thousands of protesters gathered in front of the Sacramento Auditorium. Hundreds of Palestinian flags were in the air Saturday afternoon as people chanted and called for a cease-fire in Gaza.

This all started with a sit-in protest inside the Safe Credit Union Convention Center. The interruption forced the Democratic convention to come to a standstill for several hours.

Shortly after, demonstrators were seen leaving the convention center, marching down J Street and converging in front of the auditorium.

For several hours, the Sacramento Police Department shut down J Street between 14th and 16th streets, leading to a massive traffic back-up stretching to the I Street bridge.

Politico reporter Dustin Gardiner posted many updates:

What is going on in the Democrat Party?

Following the Hamas missiles attacks from the Gaza Strip into Israel on October 7, killing 1,400 Israeli citizens, Democrats’ deep divide over support for Israel or pro-Palestine, as well as the U.S. response to the war, has bubbled to the surface.

Israel is now at war with Hamas. And Hezbollah.

November Quinnipiac Poll found:

“60 percent of Democrats disapprove of the Israeli response to the Oct. 7 attack with 27 percent approving. Democrats were also split on whether to send more military aid to Israel, with 48 percent against it and 45 percent in support.”

Republicans (73 – 18 percent) approve of Israel’s response, while Democrats (60 – 27 percent) disapprove. Independents are divided, with 44 percent disapproving and 40 percent approving.

The responses broken down by age are:

  • 18 to 34 year olds: 20 percent approve, while 66 percent disapprove in today’s poll compared to November 2 when 32 percent approved and 52 percent disapproved.
  • 35 to 49 year olds: 43 percent approve, while 41 percent disapprove in today’s poll compared to November 2 when 48 percent approved and 38 percent disapproved.
  • 50 to 64 year olds: 58 percent approve, while 29 percent disapprove in today’s poll compared to November 2 when 58 percent approved and 26 percent disapproved.
  • 65 years and over: 57 percent approve, while 32 percent disapprove in today’s poll compared to November 2 when 59 percent approved and 27 percent disapproved.

As the anti-Israel, pro-Palestine protesters stormed the Sacramento Convention Center shutting down events, they chanted “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”

“The slogan has been widely interpreted as a call for Israel, which is located between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, to be eradicated and replaced by ‘Palestine,’” The Algemeiner explains. “It has also been used to defend the deadly Hamas terrorist attacks against Israel that took place on Oct. 7.”

California State Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) issued a press statement late Saturday evening condemning the disruptive protests:

“Today, anti-Israel protesters stormed the Sacramento Convention Center and shut down the grassroots California Democratic Party Convention. In doing so, they chanted, among other things, ‘from the river to the sea,’ which is a call for the eradication of the State of Israel. They also chanted ‘resistance is justified when people are occupied,’ an apparent reference to Hamas’s October 7 attack — the largest mass murder, rape, and kidnapping of Jews since the Holocaust.

“A number of Jewish delegates — who were already very anxious attending the convention, given the spike in antisemitism since the October 7 massacre by Hamas — now believe it is unsafe to participate at all. We must never allow the Democratic Party to be unsafe for anyone.

“We fully support the right to protest loudly and vociferously. But storming through security and shutting down a democratic process — particularly with chants calling for the destruction of Israel and appearing to justify the Hamas attack — is completely unacceptable.”

Sen. Wiener has consistently called for the war in Gaza to end quickly, and the hostages released — “every single one of them.”

“So many of us want the rockets and the bombing of Gaza to stop. So many of us want a ceasefire and release of all hostages,” Wiener said. “So many of us want residents of Gaza to receive immediate, ample humanitarian aid. In addition, Hamas must no longer be in a position to massacre Israelis and others.”

Scott Wiener loses a lot of pro-Israel supporters with his call for Israel to “replace the right-wing Netanyahu government with a government that will pursue peace and a two-state solution.” However, political statements aside, Senator Wiener’s pro-Israel statements clearly go against many in his party, and have been unequivocal.

Unfortunately, in California, most Democrats have been silent about the unbridled explosion of antisemitism at public campuses in University of California, and California State University.

November 7th, the California Jewish Legislative Caucus, co-chaired by Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel (D-Encino) sent a letter calling on University of California President Michael V. Drake and California State University Chancellor Mildred García to act to counter the wave of antisemitic incidents sweeping their campuses since Hamas’s terrorist attack on October 7.

By November 15th, the University of California announced it was pledging $7 million to address Islamophobia and antisemitism on campuses, EdSource reported.

However, UC President Michael Drake doesn’t provide many details as to how the $7 million will be used other than “emergency mental health resources,” for “students, faculty or staff struggling with recent events or with the climate on their campus.’”  He did assure that they will be “responding appropriately to incidents of violence,” and creating “a systemwide civil rights office.”

Drake said “$2 million will go toward new educational programs across the campuses, including programs focused on better understanding antisemitism and Islamophobia and the history of the Middle East. The remaining $2 million will go toward training campus leadership, faculty and staff who want ‘guidance on how to navigate their roles as educators in this space.’”

It sounds to me that UC President Drake has a serious HR crisis on his hands – as well as a politically and sociologically ideological crisis, which has been brewing for years, unfettered by any university leadership. It’s far too easy to spend the public’s millions with no real results – as long as it appears you are doing something to stave the conflicts.

Back to the California Democratic Convention protestors – how did it end? Did they all come together, sing Kumbaya, and pencil out an agreement? Nope.

Protesters really needed to use the loo but were denied:

Click here to read the full article in the Califoria Globe

California Democrats say pro-Palestinian protesters who broke rules will be ‘held accountable’

Chair Rusty Hicks said delegates who joined protest that led party to cancel caucuses would be ‘held accountable.’

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The chair of the California Democratic Party vowed repercussions Sunday for members who took part in a raucous pro-Palestinian demonstration that forced an early halt to meetings the night before.

“Any delegates who actively participated in or aided the furtherance of those activities or events in violation of our party’s code of conduct will be held accountable,” Chair Rusty Hicks told party members gathered for a convention in Sacramento.

Protesters demanding a cease-fire in Gaza overwhelmed security guards and poured into the convention center on Saturday evening, leading the party to cancel planned caucuses. Earlier in the day, demonstrators shouted over and cut short a forum for U.S. Senate candidates.

Hicks did not elaborate on potential punishments. The party’s code of conduct says violators can be barred from attending events or stripped of their delegate status.

The chair said he was “deeply saddened and disappointed” by the disruptions, saying two security guards sustained “minor injuries” and that Jewish attendees “were openly intimidated and harassed.”

“Every delegate, volunteer, staff person and attendee has the right to be safe and to feel safe in the peaceful expression of their own voice and viewpoint,” Hicks said.

The conflict in Gaza has loomed over the convention, highlighting a gulf between progressives demanding a cease-fire and pro-Israel Democrats who have stopped short of that position.

None of the candidates running for an open U.S. Senate seat won the party’s endorsement, which requires a 60 percent vote. Rep. Barbara Lee — the only House Democrat in the race to back a cease-fire — secured a plurality, slightly eclipsing Rep. Adam Schiff.

Many delegates holding cease-fire signs also sported Lee gear. Activists backing a cessation of hostilities called it a moral imperative and warned they would withhold votes from Democrats who did not join them.

Saturday’s turmoil also drew pushback from some Jewish party members who noted protesters chanted “from the river to the sea,” a Palestinian liberation slogan that can be viewed as a call to do away with the state of Israel. Some demonstrators also chanted “intifada, intifada.”

The California Legislative Jewish Caucus said in a statement that some Jewish delegates “now believe it is unsafe to participate at all.”

Click here to read the full article in Politico

California Democratic Convention events canceled after interruptions from pro-Palestine demonstrators

Hundreds of Pro-Palestine demonstrators interrupted California Democrats’ convention on Saturday in Sacramento to call for a cease-fire in Gaza, eventually forcing the cancellation of evening events.

“Due to circumstances beyond our control, and for the safety and security of our delegates and convention participants, we are canceling tonight’s caucus meetings, hospitality suites, and VoteFest taking place at the convention center,” Shery Yang, the communications director for the California Democrats told KCRA 3 in a statement. “More information for tomorrow’s General Session will be shared this evening.”

The cancelation was the culmination of a day of protests inside and outside the SAFE Credit Union Convention Center, where Democrats were meeting to vote on a U.S. Senate endorsement and to adopt an official party platform.

“They shut it down because a lot of protesters kind of went in and they weren’t able to check them. I can understand that,” said Fatima Iqbal-Zubair, chair of the progressive caucus. “That’s what happens sometimes when you have civil disobedience.”

She said a “disruption has to happen in a democracy for something drastic to change.”

Three congressional representatives running for California’s open United States Senate seat were speaking at the event on Saturday afternoon, U.S. Reps. Katie Porter, Adam Schiff and Barbara Lee.

Protesters demanding a cease-fire disrupted each of their speeches, The Associated Press reported.

After protesters interrupted Porter’s speech, KCRA 3’s Michelle Bandur saw security move the crowd out of the main hall.

For the next several hours, the demonstrators took over the lobby for a sit-in.

“We’ve tried everything that we can do the Democratic way, and now protesting is our right and we’re making them listen to us,” Veronica Boulos said.

Some delegates sat in their chairs in disbelief, saying they wanted to hear from the candidates running for Senate, not from protesters.

“They’ve made their point and now they’ve been asked to be quiet and they’re not being quiet. They’re totally out of control,” said Dick Mesa.

Outside the convention center, tensions escalated with a group supporting the pro-Palestine side clashing with supporters of Israel and stealing their Israeli flag.

“If I have to stand here and take the brunt of abuse from these people to prove that we stand with Israel and our Jewish brothers and sisters, so be it I will take that brunt,” said the man with the flag, who said his name was Billy.

The war has divided some in the Jewish community with the group Jewish Voices for Peace setting out 500 pairs of shoes outside the convention center, which they said represents 5,000 children killed in the conflict.

“There is a lot of Jewish solidarity, there’s a lot of Jews for a cease-fire. We don’t want what happened to us to happen to anyone else,” said Tobie Klabansky. “Never again means never again for anyone.”

On the other side, Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel, D-Encino, and State Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, condemned the protest in a statement on behalf of the California Legislative Jewish Caucus.

“Today, anti-Israel protesters stormed the Sacramento Convention Center and shut down the grassroots California Democratic Party Convention,” they said. “In doing so, they chanted, among other things, ‘from the river to the sea,’ which is a call for the eradication of the State of Israel. They also chanted ‘Resistance is justified when people are occupied,’ an apparent reference to Hamas’s October 7 attack — the largest mass murder, rape, and kidnapping of Jews since the Holocaust.”

The statement went on to say that in the wake of rising antisemitism and in light of the protest, some Jewish delegates now believe it is unsafe to participate in the convention.

“We fully support the right to protest loudly and vociferously. But storming through security and shutting down a democratic process — particularly with chants calling for the destruction of Israel and appearing to justify the Hamas attack — is completely unacceptable,” the said.

The Sacramento Police Department said protestors who made it back inside the SAFE Credit Union Convention Center Saturday evening were in a general public area and did not go past the point of admission.

As of 7:45 p.m., the building was on lockdown with about 200 people inside. No one was being allowed inside though people were being let out, KCRA 3’s Michelle Bandur reported.
By 10 p.m., all protesters had left the convention center.

In a vote before events were shut down, no Senate candidate received the 60% required for the party’s official endorsement.

Click here to read the full article at KCRA

Organizers Behind Pro-Palestinian ‘Insurrection’ at Capitol Have Pro-terror History

he pro-Palestinian protesters who staged an “insurrection” on Wednesday by illegally occupying a Capitol office building were led, in part, by a group that calls itself “Jewish Voice for Peace” (JVP) but has a history of supporting Palestinian terrorists.

As Breitbart News reported:

Pro-Palestinian protesters, who want a ceasefire that would benefit the Hamas terrorist organization in Gaza, stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday and staged a protest inside the Cannon Rotunda that one observer likened to an “insurrection.”

The Cannon Rotunda is part of the Cannon House Office Building. It is separate from the iconic Capitol building but is considered part of the Capitol complex. It is the oldest congressional office building on Capitol Hill.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), who falsely accused Israel of bombing a Gaza hospital Tuesday, addressed the protesters.

As The Hill reported, three protesters were arrested for assaulting police officers.

The demonstration, it noted, was “organized jointly by the Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) and IfNotNow” — both radical left-wing organizations that oppose the State of Israel.

IfNotNow supports radical anti-Israel Reps. Tlaib and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN). In addition, as Breitbart News noted in 2019:

IfNotNow seeks to disrupt the connections that many American Jewish organizations have with Israel. It blames American Jewish support for Israel for the persistence of the Israeli occupation of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), though most Palestinians in that territory live under the administration of the Palestinian Authority.

In addition to staging sit-ins and protests, members of IfNotNow attempt to infiltrate Jewish summer camps and tours of Israel, where they launch demonstrations or expose the mainstream Jewish community to anti-Israel propaganda.

In one episode in 2018, members of IfNotNow were arrested while reciting the Kaddish — the traditional Jewish prayer for the dead — near the offices of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, memorializing Palestinians killed in “protests” at the Gaza border. (The vast majority of Palestinians killed were members of Hamas, and they were trying to infiltrate Israel to carry out attacks, not stage a non-violent protest against Israeli policies.)

Recently, JVP spoke at a “Free Palestine” rally in Dearborn, Michigan, that defended Hamas. The JVP representative did not criticize the terror attack against Israelis — but did, ironically, criticize peace agreements between Israel and Arab states.

JVP, as Breitbart News has noted, also invited convicted Palestinian terrorist Rasmea Odeh — responsible for the murders of two Israelis in 1969 — to address its conference in Chicago in 2017 before she was deported for lying to U.S. immigration authorities.

Odeh remains an inspirational figure to the radical left in Chicago.

The Black Lives Matter (BLM) Chicago chapter took to X to defend Odeh in the aftermath of Hamas’s terrorist attacks on Israel, which left over 1,400 dead and well over 4,000 wounded, with more than 200 taken hostage.

“For everyone withdrawing support, saying they stood with us & now they’re removing signs, bye, toodles,” BLM Chicago posted on X. “We’ve always been for Palestinian freedom… we stood with Rasmea, there’s no way you could have been with us at any point & missed that to be shocked now.”

Odeh, who served ten years of a life sentence for the Super Market bombing murders of Leon Kaner, 21, and Edward Joffe, 22, was released in a prisoner swap for a captured Israeli soldier and subsequently made her way to the United States after allegedly lying to immigration officials, as Breitbart News noted. 

In 2017, she cut a plea deal with U.S. prosecutors to avoid prison time and leave the country. She claimed the Department of Justice, led at that time by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, was “too racist” to bother challenging in court, as Breitbart News noted.

She found herself at the center of anti-Trump demonstrations and issued a defiant address in Chicago, Illinois, before her departure from America under the plea agreement, as Breitbart News reported.

In additional tweets in the aftermath of the attacks, BLM Chicago accused Israel of “terrorism” and “genocide” while also posting a now-deleted image of a silhouette with a parachute bearing a Palestinian flag, and attempted to walk the pro-terrorism post back the next day, as the Daily Beast noted.

Click here to read the full article in Breitbart CA

UC System Pushes Back Against Anti-Israel Movement

BDSposterThe BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanctions) movement has been gaining momentum at American colleges in recent years with its message that Israel’s policies toward Palestinians amount to apartheid. According to the last annual report issued by the Israel on Campus Coalition, in the 2014-15 school year, there were 1,630 anti-Israel events at 181 colleges and universities in the United States. The main group behind the BDS movement — the Students for Justice in Palestine — grew by a third in terms of campus chapters and now has a presence at 150 schools.

But the University of California may slow that momentum. At a Board of Regents meeting Tuesday in San Francisco, a proposal meant to curb harassment of Jewish students at UC’s 10 campuses was unveiled. It declares “anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism and other forms of discrimination have no place at the University of California” and that university officials must “challenge speech and action reflecting bias, stereotypes, and/or intolerance.”

This is significantly stronger language than a previous proposal unveiled last year — and quickly rejected — that was more generally worded without a specific reference to anti-Zionism. UC regents are expected to vote on the language at their meeting next Wednesday in San Francisco.

But that vote will only come after they hear sharp protests from students and faculty who see this policy as damaging their speech rights and exonerating Israeli for its treatment of Palestinians.

Professor: Criticizing Israel not equal to bigotry

UC Berkeley literature professor Judith Butler told the Los Angeles Times that the language of the policy allowed for arbitrary definitions of what is unacceptable speech:

[She] questioned who would define that term or decide what crossed the line into discriminatory speech.

And although the statement provides no sanctions, calling on university leaders to “challenge” bias, Butler wondered whether those singled out as criticizing Zionism would be denied faculty research funds, promotions or other benefits.

“To include anti-Zionism as an instance of intolerance and bigotry is actually to suppress a set of political beliefs that we actually need to hear,” she said. “It saddens me and strikes at the heart of the task of the university.”

UCLA student Eitan Peled, a member of the liberal Jewish Voice for Peace group, blasted the proposal in an interview with the Associated Press. “As a student who considers my work advocating for Palestinian human rights as an expression of my Jewish values, I am surprised to see that criticism of a modern nation-state that regularly violates international law is so centered in a report against intolerance,” he told AP. “Debate over Zionism and the abusive policies of the state of Israel absolutely should be debated vigorously, not silenced by accusations of discrimination.”

Ex-UC president: ‘Microaggression’ against Jews common

Meanwhile, former University of California President Mark Yudof is also speaking out about the BDS movement and the treatment of Jewish students at some universities. He’s joined the advisory board of the Academic Engagement Network, which seeks to “bring together faculty members and administrators to address issues related to Israel.” Its members include Lawrence Summers, the former treasury secretary and Harvard president.

In a December essay published by Inside Higher Education, Yudof depicted the BDS movement as trying to shut down discussion of issues involving Israel while linking Zionism to other issues, including police violence toward African Americans. “In age of exquisite sensitivity on some campuses to microaggression, or language that subtly offends underrepresented groups, the ironic toleration of microaggression against Jews often goes unnoted,” he wrote.

It was while Yudof was UC president that the UC system suffered perhaps its most notorious display of anti-Israeli sentiment. Eleven UC Irvine and UC Riverside students were arrested in February 2010 after they interrupted a speech at UC Irvine by Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren and refused to let him complete his remarks. The incident triggered vast reaction.

Originally published by CalWatchdog.com

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