Statement to UC Board of Regents
Hello, I am Sam Levine and I am here on behalf of the Zionist Organization of America, the oldest pro-Israel group in the U.S., founded in 1897.
Part of our mission at ZOA is fighting on campus anti-Semitism.
Like many in the Jewish community, I was very upset, though not surprised, to learn about the recent events at UCLA, instigated and led by the Students for Justice in Palestine. The SJP, along with other groups, asked candidates running for UCLA student government to sign a statement under which they pledged not to go on trips to Israel, which are sponsored by pro-Israel organizations.
Can you imagine what this does to Jewish, pro-Israel students on campus who want to run for office? It singles them out; it discriminates against them; and it applies a double standard towards them. This is modern day McCarthyism.
Anti-Semitism is clearly that last acceptable form of bigotry on college campuses today. There is zero tolerance for sexism, racism against blacks or homophobia. If any other minority group were singled out and ridiculed the way that pro-Israel Jews were by this disgusting petition, the UCLA administration would not stand for it. Neither would you.
Imagine if an on campus group were circulating a petition for student-candidates to sign in which these students pledged not to participate in any activities sponsored or funded by the NAACP? How would the black community react to this? How would you react to this? And how would the leadership at UCLA react? All we are asking for is that Jewish students be treated with the same respect as any other group on campus. Thanks you.
– Sam Levine