Posted by: Morton A. Klein
August 4, 2010
News

ZOA Praises UC President Yudof For Urging Jewish Leaders To “Hold Our Feet To The Fire” On Campus Anti-Semitism


Yudof:  We’ll Condemn


Bigotry As “Horrible”


 


 



 


The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) today praised Mark Yudof, President of the University of California (UC), for comments he made in the August 2010 issue of the Orange County Jewish Life magazine.  President Yudof commended Jewish communal leaders who have been dedicated to fighting anti-Semitism and Israel-bashing on the UC campuses, by saying that “I’m proud of [those in] the Jewish community . . . who have gotten involved in these issues.”  President Yudof urged them to continue to speak out against anti-Semitic bigotry, by telling them to “go to regents’ meetings and hold our feet to the fire.”  President Yudof also affirmed his own commitment to addressing the specific problems that Jewish students have been facing on their campuses, emphasizing that “[w]e have to protect all students on campus . . . and not let Jewish issues get swept under the rug.”


 


Morton A. Klein, the ZOA’s National President, and Susan B. Tuchman, the Director of the ZOA’s Center for Law and Justice, praised President Yudof for acknowledging and encouraging groups like the ZOA to continue to expose publicly the problems on UC campuses that specifically affect Jewish students and urge that solutions be found:  “It is gratifying to know that President Yudof appreciates and supports the efforts that the ZOA and others have been making to ensure that longstanding anti-Semitism and Israel-bashing on the UC campuses are finally addressed.  We wholeheartedly agree with President Yudof that all students should be protected from harassment and intimidation on their campuses, which means that the problems specific to Jewish students must be taken as seriously as any problems that other ethnic and racial groups may be facing.


 


“We do, however, respectfully take issue with two points that President Yudof made in his interview.  First, President Yudof said that it’s his belief that all people are ‘protective toward their children.’  If only it were true.  What unfortunately is true is that the parents of Palestinian Arab suicide bombers celebrate when their children die as terrorists in the act of murdering innocent Jews.  They hand out candy and brag about their children’s ‘achievements.’  Some even express the wish that their other children could also die as ‘martyrs.’  Sadly, this shocking difference in values from ours in America and the West has encouraged violence and stood in the way of peace.  Second, President Yudof emphasized in his interview that he and other university administrators ‘can say that something is horrible and set a moral tone even if we can’t enforce certain things. . . . We can all do our best by being alert and speaking out.’  This is exactly what the ZOA has for years been calling on President Yudof and the UC chancellors to do, but they haven’t gone nearly far enough.  They should all be setting a moral tone by speaking out and specifically naming the individuals and student groups promoting horrible lies on campus about Jews and Israel, and by publicly condemning the perpetrators and their bigotry. 


 


“The ZOA sent a letter to President Yudof last week, urging that the Advisory Council he formed to address racism and other forms of bigotry on the UC campuses not include anyone with hostility toward or bias against Jews or Israel.  We urged President Yudof to replace two Council members, Professor Jorge Mariscal and Imam Jihad Turk, because of their troubling record of a hostile bias against Jews and/or Israel.  We also brought to President Yudof’s attention the fact that no member of the Advisory Council has an established track record in fighting campus anti-Semitism and Israel-bashing, and urged him to appoint someone with this needed expertise.  Taking these steps would put into practice what President Yudof calls on all of us to do – to ‘set a moral tone,’ and ‘be alert’ to the problems that Jewish students are facing so that those problems don’t get ‘swept under the rug.’”