UCLA is eminently deserving of its reputation as one of the nation’s most hostile campuses for Jewish students. The university is home to a virulent and radicalized chapter of the Hamas-funded organization Students for Justice in Palestine. UCLA SJP has violently disrupted numerous pro-Israel events on campus and is known for chanting pro-terrorist slogans such as “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” a genocidal call to eliminate Israel as a Jewish state. Despite SJP’s complete disregard for UCLA’s community standards, the University administration nevertheless permitted SJP National to hold its infamous annual conference—which is known for featuring anti-Semites and Hamas supporters—on the UCLA campus in November 2018. The announcement for the 2018 conference at UCLA even bragged about their record of hijacking pro-Israel events, stating "Other instances of our perseverance include disruptions of pro-war, Zionist, and racist guest speakers."
UCLA’s campus administration is notorious for turning a blind eye to the rules infractions of SJP while refusing to protect pro-Israel students on campus. UCLA’s student government was an early supporter of BDS, passing a resolution supporting the Hamas-funded BDS movement in 2014. The campus has hosted Hamas-supporting and Jew-hating speakers who support the BDS movement, including BDS founder Omar Barghouti and Electronic Intifada founder Ali Abuminah. UCLA SJP sponsors an annual “Palestine Awareness Week” during which students promote BDS and display a mock “apartheid wall” showcasing Hamas propaganda and also an annual “Nakba Week” deriding the creation of Israel as a “catastrophe” – a term used by Hamas and its supporters to promote the lie that Israel was created from stolen Arab land. The campus also has a long history of promoting anti-Semitic tropes; the student government once accused a Jewish candidate for office of holding divided loyalties, and only begrudgingly apologized amid a firestorm of controversy.
Instances of Jew Hatred:
In May 2019, SFSU Professor Rabab Abdulhadi gave a guest lecture to an anthropology class at UCLA in which she likened Zionism to white supremacy and proclaimed that “pro-Israeli groups...[and] white supremacists are very much in alliance” in promoting an “Islamophobic Zionism agenda.” When a Jewish student in class objected to Abdulhadi’s tirade, the professor responded that “Jews come in all sorts of stripes and colors and backgrounds and so on. I align myself with the Jews who are opposing Israel’s settler colonialism and I ask people who are Jewish, it’s their choice, you can decide what you want to actually stop the alliances with white supremacy and do a different alliance… I don’t agree with you and I believe it [Israel] is part of white supremacy. I’m sorry if you feel that way but maybe you need to kind of check this and look into it more.” At the end of Abdulhadi’s lecture, the course instructor, Associate Professor Kyeyoung Park, told the class, “I agree with this speaker. That’s why I brought her.” One student in the class characterized Abdulhadi’s address as “hate speech” and added that “Watching an educator belittle a student to tears with such blatant ignorance leaves me to question the values UCLA wishes to uphold.”
In May 2019, UCLA’s Undergraduate Student Association passed a resolution by an 8-to-1 vote declaring that Students for Justice in Palestine is not anti-Semitic and condemning the David Horowitz Freedom Center for distributing newspapers on campus which printed the truth about the financial and organizational ties between SJP and the anti-Israel terror group Hamas. The resolution notably did not refute the factual information presented by the Freedom Center on SJP’s links to terrorism. All 8 members of the student council who voted for the resolution are not Jewish. The sole dissenting vote came from its lone Jewish representative, Tara Steinmetz. Rabbi Abraham Cooper who is Associate Dean and Director of Global Social Action Agenda at the Simon Wiesenthal Center at UCLA called the resolution an “insult to the Jewish community.” He posited that the reaction would be very different “if eight white students at UCLA passed a resolution defining ‘racism’ without input from African American or Latino students.”
In November 2018, the UCLA administration allowed the SJP National Conference to be held on campus. The conference was titled, “Radical Hope: Resistance in the Face of Adversity.” The term “resistance” is commonly used by Hamas supporters as a euphemism for terrorist aggression against Israel. Guests attending the conference carried tote bags reading, "Make Israel Palestine Again" and were heard shouting slogans promoting the terrorist Intifada against Israel. During his keynote address, speaker Hatem Abudayyeh demonized Israel and promoted anti-Semitic tropes such as the alleged Zionist control of American government: “When Zionist Israel is weakened even further because of our coalition work with black and other forces, the U.S. will be forced to no longer be able to provide it with diplomatic... financial and military support. And that is when Palestinians will return to their homes and lands, occupation and colonization of all Arab lands including the Golan Heights will end, and all the people of historical Palestine will live in one single democratic state. Not in an apartheid Zionist state of Israel that does the bidding of U.S. imperialism by controlling, exploiting and terrorizing non-Israeli Jews, but in the nation of Palestine that rejects Zionism and racism and is a state with peace, equality and justice for all."
Shortly prior to the November conference, UCLA issued a cease-and-desist letter to National SJP asking that they stop using the UCLA name and campus mascot, the Bruin bear, in its conference materials. The conference logo featured the Bruin bear flying a kite in Palestinian colors. This logo invoked anti-Israel terrorism. Aaron Lerner, the executive director of UCLA Hillel, argued in an op-ed for the Daily Bruin that the kite “resembles actual petrol kite-bombs, which Hamas, a terrorist organization, launches into Israel to start fires and terrorize the population.” “NSJP is openly broadcasting its solidarity with Hamas terrorists by co-opting UCLA’s cherished mascot in this fashion,” Lerner explained. “Standing for Palestinian human rights is one thing; advocating for violence is another. This use of the university’s trademark should offend all Bruins, regardless of their political sympathies.”
On May 17, 2018, SJP at UCLA disrupted an event held by Students Supporting Israel (SSI) titled "Indigenous Peoples Unite" with loud chants and demeaning actions and succeeded in shutting down the event for over 15 minutes. While one of the panelists was speaking about surviving genocide in Armenia, a protestor walked over and tore down the Armenian flag and threw the speaker’s notes away while shouting directly in his face. The protestors also tore the Israeli flag off the wall. SJP protestors used horns and whistles to create a chaos of noise and chanted slogans including "We don't want 2 states, we want '48," a genocidal statement to abolish Israel and return to a time before it existed. Other slogans included, "From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free," "No peace on stolen land, justice is our demand" "Protesting is not a crime, free free free Palestine," and "Israel is a terrorist state!" UCLA administrators denounced the protest about a week later but claimed that they could not take action against the protestors because a police report had not been filed by SSI. After this announcement, over a dozen pro-Israel students filed complaints with the university police department.
The Amcha Initiative, a group dedicated to tracking and combatting anti-Semitism, received a report that in May 2018, when a professor was late to class, a graduate student mocked Orthodox Jews and made anti-Semitic comments to his classmates. In particular, he made fun of the fact that religious Jews avoid doing work on Shabbat, the Jewish Sabbath, and claimed that they “can not even rip toilet paper on Sabbath.” He also said “Shalom” multiple times with an accent to mock how Orthodox Jews talk and called them “weird people” and complained about how “they are everywhere in L.A.” These comments and impressions were reportedly received with laughter by his classmates.
In May 2018, SJP at UCLA held an event titled “Teaching Palestine with Dr. Rabab Abdulhadi & Dr. Robin Kelley.” During the event, Dr. Kelley, a history professor at UCLA, claimed that “the Nakba” (an Arabic term opponents of Israel use to describe Israel’s founding as a “catastrophe”) was “the ethnic cleansing operation that turned three-quarters of the Palestinians into refugees and transformed the top-ranked wealth and even the intellectual and cultural capital into the hands of Israelis. So it's like a gangster operation. Armed robbery sanctioned by the world.”
In March 2018, UCLA SJP joined several other student groups in a protest outside of a UC Regents Meeting. The group chanted slogans including “From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be Free,” a genocidal call to eliminate all of Israel as a Jewish state, and also promoted the Hamas-funded BDS movement against Israel.
In January 2018, a mezuzah, or Jewish prayer box, that had been hung outside the office door of UCLA’s Jewish student body president was torn down. This was the second time in two years that a mezuzah was stolen from this office.
UCLA SJP holds an annual “Nakba Commemoration Week” to recognize the founding of Israel as “a catastrophe.” The word “Nakba” means “catastrophe” in Arabic and is used by Hamas and its supporters to describe the creation of Israel and to promote the lie that Israel was created on Arab land. It was not. It was created by the United Nations on land that had belonged to the Turks—who are not Arabs—for 400 years previously. Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Jordan were created in the same way.
UCLA SJP also hosts an annual “Palestine Awareness Week” featuring the display of a mock “apartheid wall” plastered in anti-Israel Hamas propaganda. One recent wall displayed the infamous series of misleading Hamas propaganda maps purporting to show the Jewish colonization of “Palestine.” Palestine Awareness Week also functions as an opportunity for SJP to bring in speakers to promote the myth that Israel is an apartheid state and to bolster support for the Hamas-funded BDS movement against Israel.
On September 01, 2016, UCLA Graduate Student Association (GSA) President Milan Chatterjee announced in a lengthy letter that he was leaving his post and UCLA Law School as a result of the “hostile and unsafe campus climate” created by groups supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement on campus and the UCLA administration. Chatterjee described in his letter how he had “been relentlessly attacked, bullied and harassed by BDS-affiliated organizations and students” who objected to his attempts to distribute student fee monies in a “viewpoint neutral” manner with regard to the BDS movement.
On August 22, 2016, UCLA SJP announced on its Facebook page that it was endorsing the political platform of Black Lives Matter, which includes a section that embraces the Hamas propaganda lies against Israel and its terrorist cause. UCLA SJP stated: “We are moved by the platform’s recognition of Israel’s apartheid laws, illegal settlements, segregated road systems and military checkpoints, punitive home demolitions, and prison system, through which Palestinians, including children, are routinely subject to harassment and torture. As campus organizers, we also welcome [Black Lives Matter’s] endorsement of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS), particularly given the current climate of anti-boycott legislation that we face, and we echo its acknowledgment of the US’s culpability in the Israeli occupation of Palestine, notably through military aid, diplomatic support, and investment in private prison companies.”
On April 19, 2016, in response to anti-BDS posters created by the David Horowitz Freedom Center, UCLA Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Jerry Kang sent an email to the 50,000 members of the UCLA community attacking Horowitz –calling the posters “repulsive” and “personalized intimidation” and stating that they produce “chilling psychological harm” that “cannot be dismissed as over-sensitivity.” Vice Chancellor Kang also pronounced them “hateful” and “thuggish” and claimed that they utilized the “tactic of guilt by association, of using blacklists, of ethnic slander, and sensationalized images engineered to trigger racially tinged fear.”
On April 14, 2016, UCLA’s Center for Near East Studies sponsored an address by Noga Kadman on her book “Erased From Space and Consciousness: Israel and the Depopulated Palestinian Villages of 1948.” During the address, Kadman accused Israel of conducting a “massacre” of the Palestinians, a claim that is historically false and a staple of anti-Israel propaganda.
On February 09, 2016, SJP members published an op-ed in the Daily Bruin falsely claiming that Israel treats its Palestinians as “second class citizens” and arguing unconvincingly that the genocidal chant “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” is not in fact a call for genocide.
During January 25-28, 2016, UCLA-SJP held its annual “Palestine Awareness Week” on campus. The week featured numerous anti-Israel speakers who voiced their support for the genocidal BDS movement against Israel including Max Blumenthal, who has compared Israel to Nazi Germany, Miko Peled, and Sa’ed Atshan. The event also featured the display of a mock “apartheid wall” plastered with anti-Israel propaganda.
During his address, Blumenthal stated that suicide bombing against Jews is justified by “the occupation” and described Palestinian terrorists as “young men who took up arms to fight their occupier.” He also promoted the BDS movement and compared Israel to the Islamic state, calling it “‘JSIL,’ the Jewish State in Israel and the Levant” and stating his belief that Israel collaborates with ISIS “to collapse Jewish life in the diaspora.” Miko Peled also defended terrorism, stating that it is “a struggle for freedom and justice and equality,” and describing terrorists as “very brave Palestinians who are engaged in fighting this brutal occupation.” He also declared that “any resistance, even armed resistance is legally and morally justifiable and perfectly understandable.” Peled also described Jews as analogous to Hitler, calling Jewish soldiers “young little Jewish gestapos,” and further accused Israel of “massive, violent, brutal oppression,” “genocide,” “ethnic cleansing,” and of being “a colonialist, apartheid, racist system.” He also endorsed the BDS movement.
On December 09, 2015, a UCLA student who was also employed at a UCLA-affiliated medical center posted a vicious, hate-filled, anti-Semitic rant on social media which stated in part: “Fucking Jews. GTFOH with all your Zionist bullshit. Crazy ass fucking troglodyte albino monsters of cultural destruction. Fucking Jews. GTFOH with your whiny bullshit. Give the Palestinians back their land, go back to Poland or whatever freezer-state you’re from, and realize that faith does not constitute race.”
On November 06, 2015, UCLA’s Center for Near Eastern Studies held a conference on “Palestine and Pedagogy” during which speakers compared Israel to the Nazis, praised anti-Israel terrorism and supported the BDS movement against Israel. UC Irvine Professor and Director of the UC Institute for Humanities Research Theo Goldberg accused Israel of practicing “eliminationist racism” such as used by the Nazis and claimed Israelis view Palestinians as “vermin, cockroaches, rats, snakes…that take boots on the ground to get rid of,” and of possessing “a commitment to purification.” Goldberg’s libels also included the false accusation that Israelis make “snuff films” featuring the deaths of innocent Palestinians which go viral resulting in “an orgasm of feeling” for Israelis. UC Riverside Professor David Lloyd called Israel “a colonial Zionist project that has become a…nightmare, ever more rigid and oppressive.” He endorsed the right of Palestinians to take up arms against Israel and also promoted the BDS movement.
On October 29, 2015, UCLA-SJP created a blog post listing the names of 44 Palestinians who were allegedly “killed by Israelis and the Israeli Defense Forces since Oct. 1, the beginning of the third Intifada.” According to the Amcha Initiative, the list “included numerous terrorists who had murdered or injured Jews.”
On July 8, 2015, UCLA-SJP reposted an article on their Facebook page mourning the one-year anniversary of the Israeli response to thousands of unprovoked Hamas rocket attacks on civilian areas - “Operation Protective Edge.” SJP parroted Hamas claims that this was a “brutal military attack.” Students for Justice in Palestine have supported the Hamas terrorists in all their aggressions against the Jews during the Gaza conflicts.
Another SJP article posted on this date regurgitates preposterous Hamas propaganda about the Gaza conflict: “The war in the summer of 2014 was not about rocket fire, Israeli security or Hamas: it was about subduing and disabling Gaza, something Israel has consistently been trying to do ever since it occupied the territory together with the West Bank nearly fifty years ago.” In fact, Israel’s original occupation of Gaza and the West Bank was the result of unprovoked aggressive wars by five Arab states in 1948 and 1967 and the refusal of the Arab states to sign a peace treaty.
In March 2015, when the Stop Jew Hatred on Campus campaign (an action of the David Horowitz Freedom Center) placed posters on the UCLA campus depicting SJP as “#JewHaters,” UCLA Chancellor Gene Block called the posters “another example of intolerance” and compared them to swastikas found on Jewish fraternity buildings.
On March 06, 2015, four UCLA professors were among the signatories of an op-ed appearing in the Daily Californian urging the administrators of the UC system to support the BDS Movement against Israel. Those professors were Nouri Gana, Sondra Hale, Chris Tilly, and Marie Kennedy.
In February 2015, members of UCLA’s student government repeated age-old anti-Semitic accusations of “divided loyalties” to question whether judicial board candidate Rachel Beyda’s status as a Jew would affect her objectivity in disciplinary decisions.
In November 2014, UCLA’s student government passed a BDS resolution by an 8-2-2 vote.
On May 14, 2014, UCLA SJP brought Communist party spokesperson and BDS proponent Angela Davis to campus. She told the crowd that Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians is worse than the treatment of blacks under apartheid in South Africa. Davis was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize by the East German police state during the Cold War.
In May 2014, SJP introduced an initiative that would require candidates for student government to sign a pledge to not take trips to Israel sponsored by the pro-Israel organizations, AIPAC, ADL, or Hasbara Fellowships. Candidates were not asked to refuse trips from other organizations to other countries.
In January 2014, SJP held a speaker event with the Hamas-inspired and funded BDS movement founder Omar Barghouti. During his address, Barghouti opposed the existence of a Jewish state and Jewish rights to self-determination in Israel, and slandered Israel repeatedly.