(November 7, 2018 / JNS) The Los Angeles City Council unanimously passed a resolution on Tuesday, calling on the University of California, Los Angeles, to reject hosting the annual National Students for Justice in Palestine (NSJP) conference, scheduled for Nov. 16-18.
The Jewish Journal first reported this development.
“SJP members have posted violent anti-Semitic rhetoric on social media, ranging from calling for the annihilation of the Jewish people, to the admiration of Adolf Hitler and hateful calls to ‘kill Jews,’ ‘kill all Zionists,’ and ‘let’s stuff some Jews in the oven,’ ” according to the resolution.
Additionally, the resolution cited that SJP’s website “comparing Israel to the Nazis” would exemplify the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism.
It also noted that SJP would reject students from attending unless they were cleared by SJP or a pro-Palestinian campus group.
“A public university should not allow any group to implement a litmus test for event participation on their campus based on an attendee’s beliefs, religion or national origin,” states the resolution.
Moreover, resolution remarked the conference would violate Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, which “prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin in federally assisted programs or activities.”
“The Regents of the University of California should let UCLA know that it is not appropriate for SJP to have a meeting on campus, especially where many of the leaders of the organization are calling for violence against Jews,” it said. “It is never a good time to have this type of event, but given the atmosphere in the country, including the recent shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue and arson at synagogues in New York, it is inappropriate for UCLA to host such a conference.”
The city council’s resolution was praised by pro-Israel groups such as the Zionist Organization of America.
“The Zionist Organization of America strongly praised the Los Angeles City Council today, for unanimously voting yesterday in favor of a resolution that calls on UCLA to cancel the National Students for Justice in Palestine upcoming conference,” the organization said in an email to supporters.
“Particularly after the recent massacre by an evil human monster of 11 Jews at a Pittsburgh synagogue, the ZOA strongly urges UCLA’s leaders to treat their students’ physical and emotional safety with the utmost seriousness and care,” added the ZOA. “The decision to host the anti-Semitic SJP’s hateful and divisive national conference should be rescinded immediately.”
Finally, councilman Paul Koretz sent a letter to UCLA Chancellor Gene Block providing similar criticisms to those in the resolution in addition to mentioning that SJP members disrupted a Students Supporting Israel event on campus in May.
“As a UCLA alumnus and as the City Councilmember representing the Fifth District that includes UCLA, I am shocked and disappointed that the university would allow such an event to occur on campus,” wrote Koretz. “Although UCLA has a responsibility to allow freedom of speech, our campuses should never become an environment where students of any origin are harassed, bullied or prohibited from learning.”
This development occurred on the same day as NSJP apparently refusing to abide a cease-and-desist letter from UCLA, stating that NSJP’s logo for the conference “claim, suggest or imply an affiliation with or an endorsement by UCLA of NSJP and/or its annual conference, which is simply incorrect,” according to Michael Beck, the school’s administrative vice chancellor.