Univ. of Calif. president: Jewish groups’ letter a ‘rush to judgment’


(JTA) — The president of the University of California criticized a letter from Jewish groups accusing the university of being soft on anti-Semitism.

Mark Yudof, in his response released Tuesday of the June 28 letter, said it was "a dishearteningly ill-informed rush to judgment against our ongoing responses to troubling incidents that have taken place on some of our campuses."

Yudof, who is Jewish, also promised to "do everything in my power to protect Jewish and all other students from threats or actions of intolerance."

Among those signing the letter were the leaders of Jewish groups including the Zionist Organization of America, Simon Wiesenthal Center, the Conservative and Orthodox Jewish umbrella groups and 700 UC students who signed an online petition, according to The Los Angeles Times.

The letter cited increased incidents of swastika graffiti and anti-Israel speakers, and said that a university committee formed to deal with racial and religious bias will not be enough to address Jewish students’ concerns. The letter called for "an explicit focus on anti-Semitism," and it called on the university to condemn more strongly actions and speakers who the writers said have demonized Jews and Israel, according to the Times.

The letter comes two weeks after the University of California, Irvine suspended a Muslim student group over its disruption of a lecture by Israel’s ambassador to the United States.

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