UC Davis protesters abused Jewish students, pro-Israel group claims


NEW YORK (JTA) — The pro-Israel group AMCHA Initiative claimed that Jewish students at the University of California, Davis were abused and threatened at a pro-Palestinian protest on campus.

In a letter sent Monday to UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi, AMCHA Initiative co-founders Leila Beckwith and Tammi Rossman-Benjamin alleged that demonstrators carrying "death to Zionism" placards occupied a public building on Nov. 19 and harassed pro-Israel students. The letter also was CCed to University of California President Mark Yudof and others.

AMCHA Initiative released a video showing protesters comparing Zionism with Nazism and telling supporters of Israel to leave.

"We are deeply concerned about the virulent and hate-filled actions taking place on the UC Davis campus as a result of students’ religion and beliefs," Beckwith and Rossman-Benjamin, faculty members at the University of California, Los Angeles and University of California, Santa Cruz, wrote to Katehi.

According to the two, several UC Davis faculty members were present at the event but did not intervene.

The university said Monday it was investigating the claims.

In recent years, several universities in the University of California system have become a battleground between pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian groups.

Last year, 10 pro-Palestinian students at the University of California, Irvine were found guilty of disrupting a lecture by Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren on campus and sentenced to community service.

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