Calif. Assembly approves anti-Semitism resolution for colleges


(JTA) — The California State Assembly approved a resolution calling on colleges and universities in the state to combat anti-Semitism.

The symbolic resolution was approved Tuesday with no debate, according to The Associated Press. It also calls on the schools to quash campus demonstrations against Israel.

Pro-Palestinian and free speech activists were angered by the resolution, saying it characterizes pro-Palestinian speech as anti-Jewish.

A University of California spokesman told the San Francisco Chronicle on Wednesday that it would not support the resolution, saying that it violates the First Amendment. 

The resolution was authored by state Assemblywoman Linda Halderman, a Republican from Fresno. Some 66 of the Assembly’s 80 members signed the resolution as co-authors.

Jewish students reportedly have felt under siege at several University of California campuses, where pro-Palestinian demonstrations are a regular occurrence.

In one incident, in February 2010, 11 Muslim students stood one by one and interrupted a speech by Israel’s ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, at the University of California, Irvine. They also shouted "Mass murderer!" and "War criminal!" before being removed from the room by campus police.

An Orange County jury last September found 10 of the students guilty of two misdemeanor charges for conspiring to disrupt a meeting and then disrupting the speech. They were sentenced to community service and probation. Charges against the 11th student were dropped.

The resolution also noted the annual Apartheid Week events held on UC campuses.


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