update deskSchools & Higher Education

UCLA’s ‘shameful’ behavior means students need court order to return to campus, Becket says

Three Jewish students asked a federal court to make the public school ensure their protection before they return for the fall semester.

Credit: VBlock/Pixabay.
Credit: VBlock/Pixabay.

Three Jewish students at the University of California, Los Angeles—two law students and an undergraduate—asked a federal court on Monday to force UCLA to protect their safety when they return to the public school’s campus on Aug. 15.

“UCLA allowed a group of extremist students and outside agitators to set up an encampment where they stopped Jewish students from accessing classes, the library and other critical parts of campus,” stated the Becket Fund, which is representing the students.

The public school “allowed and reinforced these zones, breaking the law and hurting its Jewish students,” Becket added, noting the students are “asking a federal court to prevent UCLA from ever allowing such exclusion of Jewish students again.”

“No student should have to fear for their safety or pass a religious test to walk freely at a public university,” stated Mark Rienzi, president of Becket, who is representing the students along with the firm Clement & Murphy.

“UCLA’s behavior on this issue has been shameful, and the students need a court order to allow them to return to campus safely this fall,” Rienzi said.

The law students are Yitzchok Frankel—a father of four, who “faced antisemitic harassment simply for wearing a kippah and was forced to abandon his regular routes through campus because of the Jew Exclusion Zone”—and Eden Shemuelian, who had to walk around the encampment and hear its antisemitic chants, “severely” compromising her studies for final exams, per Becket.

An undergraduate history major, Joshua Ghayoum “was repeatedly blocked from accessing the library and other public spaces.” He also heard chants of “death to Jews” from the encampment, Becket said.

“It’s appalling that an elite American university would actively support and encourage masked mobs of antisemites,” Rienzi stated. “UCLA’s Jewish community needs to know that they’ll be safe on campus before the start of the fall semester.”

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