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California

Legislature urges UC campuses to condemn anti-Semitism

Jeff Stone

State Sen. Jeff Stone (R-Temecula), shown on the Senate floor in June, sponsored the measure that passed both houses of the Legislature unanimously urging University of California campuses to condemn anti-Semitism.

(Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

California lawmakers on Thursday approved a resolution urging University of California campuses to adopt a resolution condemning anti-Semitism.

The measure, SCR 35, was introduced after a series of troubling incidents at UC campuses in recent months, including the vandalism of a UC Davis Jewish fraternity with Nazi swastikas in January.

“There really is a problem that needs to be addressed,” said Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, cofounder and director of the AMCHA Initiative, who supported the measure. “Anti-Semitism cannot be neglected.”

The resolution faced opposition from some students who said it could stifle academic discourse and block criticism of the state of Israel.

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“As a Jew, I abhor anti-Semitism and want to do absolutely everything to oppose it, but SCR 35 doesn’t do that,” said David McCleary, a graduate student at UC Berkeley who opposed the resolution. “It vilifies Jews of a certain political orientation like myself.”

The Senate approved the resolution, 37-0, on Thursday. The Assembly passed the resolution, also unanimously, on Monday.

The resolution “sends a clear message that bigotry and hatred of Jewish people shall not be tolerated in California,” said Sen. Jeff Stone, (R-Temecula), who sponsored the measure.

UC regents plan to discuss various forms of intolerance, including anti-Semitism, and issues of free speech at its September meeting.

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