U.C. student leaders blast anti-Israel resolution

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Sixty student leaders from University of California campuses signed an Oct. 19 letter sent to the University of California Student Association, “vehemently opposing” the association’s Sept. 17 resolution that accused Israel of racism and called for divestment.

That same UCSA resolution also condemned H.R. 35, a nonbinding resolution passed by the California Legislature that urged colleges to safeguard against anti-Semitism.

The students’ letter was also sent to U.C. chancellors and student body presidents. It noted that because the UCSA failed to consult Jewish and pro-Israel students before drafting its resolution, it “violated the rights to representation of a significant portion of its campus,” and “served to restrict the civil disagreement and debate crucial for a university system that promotes free speech.”

The letter also noted the UCSA’s resolution “refers to ‘Israel’s illegal occupation’ and charges Israel with ‘racism and Apartheid in the context of Israeli policies’ without recognizing the level of debate and dissension constantly occurring around this hostile rhetoric.”

The signers, who include numerous past and present student senators from U.C. Berkeley, urged the UCSA board to repudiate the resolution.