Israel and Palestinian backers scuffle at U of California student government meeting


(JTA) — A vote on a resolution condemning a display by a pro-Palestinian student group at the University of California, Berkeley, by a student government committee was postponed after scuffles broke out between group members and pro-Israel students.

The Associated Students of the University of California Senate’s University and External Affairs Committee met on Tuesday night to discuss student Senator Milton Zerman’s resolution titled “Condemning Bears for Palestine for Their Display in Eshleman Hall Glorifying Violent Terrorists.”

The display included photos of what the group called “Palestinian leaders” Fatima Bernawi, Rasmea Odeh and Leila Khaled, who all were convicted of terror attacks in Israel. The resolution calls on Bears for Palestine to “significantly alter” or remove those photos.

The meeting was moved to a larger venue to accommodate the 110 students who signed up to comment and observers, The Daily Californian student newspaper reported.

Pro-Palestinian and pro-Israel students heckled each other during the comments.

The committee adjourned the meeting early without finishing the speakers’ list, completing the agenda or voting on any bills following an argument between pro-Palestinian members in the crowd and Zerman, according to the newspaper.

“Yesterday wasn’t just a harassment of Palestinian students. Every marginalized group on this campus was threatened, and ASUC chose to adjourn the meeting before each of those threats was accounted for,” Bears for Palestine posted on Facebook. “Anxiety is running high among all the Palestinian students and allies on campus, but we know yesterday was a win for us.”

A Facebook post by Tikvah: Students for Israel said that “Jewish students were repeatedly harassed, heckled, and threatened with physical threats of violence … Jewish students should never feel threatened and should NEVER fear for their safety while on campus.”

The committee reportedly will vote on the resolution next week.

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