Resolution: UC Student Association opposes all racism, whether anti-Semitism on campus or racism of Israeli human rights violations

Below is the full text of the landmark resolution that was passed last weekend by the The University of California Student Association. The resolution is in opposition to California Assembly Bill HR 35 which sought to stifle Palestinian solidarity activism on UC campuses under the guise of combating anti-Semitism.

A Resolution Regarding California Assembly Bill HR 35

Approved by the University of California Student Association,

9/15/2012 (12 for, 2 abstain, 0 against)

WHEREAS a marketplace of ideas where no political speech is suppressed is crucial to a healthy democratic process, AND

WHEREAS universities are important traditional centers of free speech and academic freedom. AND

WHEREAS students and student organizations, motivated by belief in human rights, justice and equality, and who exercise their First Amendment rights to criticize Israeli policies are a welcome addition to campus dialogue and debate. AND

WHEREAS HR 35, introduced in the California State Assembly, calls upon public postsecondary educational institutions in California to directly suppress legitimate criticism of Israeli policy and Palestine solidarity activism, and stifles robust political debate on public university campuses [1]. AND

WHEREAS HR 35 calls upon public postsecondary educational institutions in California to increase efforts to swiftly and unequivocally condemn student and faculty sponsored divestment, and sanction campaigns against Israel and those companies supporting Israel’s Human rights violations. [2] AND

WHEREAS Boycotts, divestment and sanction campaigns are a recognized form of free speech protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution. AND

WHEREAS HR 35 constitutes a serious attack on academic freedom and the rights of students and faculty to raise awareness about human rights abuses by US-backed governments [3] AND

WHEREAS While HR 35 is a non-binding resolution, the resolution may embolden university administrators to explicitly curb freedom of expression, as has already been advocated by the recent campus climate report commissioned by UC President Mark Yudof. [4] AND

WHEREAS While HR 35 purports to oppose anti-Semitism, much of HR 35 is written to unfairly and falsely smear as “anti-Semites” those who do human rights advocacy focusing on Israel’s illegal occupation, alleging that the UC faculty and staff involved in such work are motivated by anti-Semitism [5] rather than by the political ideals of equality and respect for universal human rights they affirm, ideals UCSA and most California students share. AND

WHEREAS organizations and student governments on campuses throughout the UC system have passed resolutions and been involved in actions critiquing and responding to Israeli policies, and this demonstrated campus unity refutes claims that these actions are motivated by anti-Semitism [6] AND

WHEREAS The misuse of terms like anti-Semitism does a disservice not only to those falsely smeared but also to the legacy of anti-Semitic racism and actual victims of anti-Semitism. AND

WHEREAS HR 35 reflects a complete ignorance of the wealth of scholarship and legal opinion (important pieces of it coming from scholars at the UC) affirming the applicability of terms such as racism and Apartheid in the context of Israeli policies. [7]

BE IT RESOLVED that the UCSA President will issue a letter to the Assembly and UC Regents in strong opposition to HR 35 and expressing the UCSA’s opposition to all racism, whether it be the racism of campus and global anti-Semitism or the racism of Israel’s human rights violations, neither of which our campuses should tolerate, support, or profit from.

BE IT RESOLVED that the UCSA recognizes the legitimacy of boycotts and divestment as important social movement tools, and encourages all institutions of higher learning to cleanse their investment portfolios of unethical investments in companies implicated in or profiting from violations of international human rights law, without making special exemptions for any country;

BE IT RESOLVED that the UCSA supports free speech on campus, including criticisms and critiques of foreign governments,

BE IT RESOLVED that the UCSA recognizes HR35 as one in a series of attempts to stifle legitimate speech by UC students by falsely conflating speech critical of Israeli policies with anti-Semitism.


  1. http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml;jsessionid=d4df7d3510900146efbbc88f1045?bill_id=201120120HR35
  2. http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml;jsessionid=d4df7d3510900146efbbc88f1045?bill_id=201120120HR35
  3. Stephen Zunes, “California State Assembly Seeks to Stifle Debate on Israel”
  4. Rebecca Peirce, “U.C. report on Jewish campus climate: Results marginalize, misrepresent students critical of Israel”
  5. An open letter to assemblymembers
  6. UC Santa Cruz Palestinian Awareness Week 2012Tracy Tieu, “Palestinian Awareness Week Disrupted”
  7. Saree Makdisee, “Book Review: Palestine Inside Out“Shafir and Peled, review of Being Israeli: The Dynamics of Multiple CitizenshipBeinin and Stein, The Struggle for Sovereignty“SA academic study finds that Israel is practicing apartheid and colonialism in the Occupied Palestinian Territories”

About Adam Horowitz

Adam Horowitz is Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.
Posted in Activism, BDS, Israel/Palestine, Occupation, US Politics

{ 28 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. hophmi says:

    LOL. Just so we’re clear, this is not student government. It’s more akin to an umbrella student activist union. So let’s be honest and not talk about them as if they were an elected student government for the entire UC system.

    • Krauss says:

      Yeah, hophmi, former ADL-volunteer, is outraged that there is actually a decent response to the Israel lobby’s hard work of trying to criminalize dissent.

      You think this will last hophmi? LMFAO.

      • hophmi says:

        “You think this will last hophmi? LMFAO.”

        No, I just think that when Mondoweiss attempts to mislead its dittohead readership by suggesting that this resolution expressed the will of the UC student body, someone should point it out.

        No one criminalized descent. I recall a whole lot of students trying to suppress free speech by repeatedly engaging in disorderly conduct, as pro-Palestinian students have done a number of times throughout the Western world.

        Remember when you guys spoke out against the student government of the School of Oriental and Asian Studies banning Zionist speakers altogether a few years ago?

        Yeah, me neither.

        • hophmi, the resolution was passed last weekend by the The University of California Student Association. that’s not a suggestion, it’s simply a fact. turning this into some criticism of mondoweiss is just a diversion. anyone if free to follow the links which lead to UCSA’s webpage. there’s no misleading hidden meaning here.

        • Mondowise says:

          “Mondoweiss attempts to mislead its dittohead readership”

          so says a pro-z bobblehead. tell me something (no, no, i don’t mean deny, i mean explain): why are zionists the #1 anti-semites (please learn the definition of who and what ‘semite’ refers to)? and….why on earth (literally) is peace the real existential threat to izrael? never mind, they’re rhetorical questions. bobble, bobble, bobble goes the head on the dashboard, especially on bumpy roads.

        • just says:

          “No one criminalized descent.”

          Funny Freudian slip on your part, hophmi.

          Really hilarious, and telling.

        • just, it’s also a strawman. notice how no one made any claim the legislation was criminalizing dissent.

          MW:

          stifle Palestinian solidarity activism on UC campuses under the guise of combating anti-Semitism.

          UCSA:

          BE IT RESOLVED that the UCSA supports free speech on campus, including criticisms and critiques of foreign governments,

          BE IT RESOLVED that the UCSA recognizes HR35 as one in a series of attempts to stifle legitimate speech by UC students by falsely conflating speech critical of Israeli policies with anti-Semitism.

        • Hostage says:

          I recall a whole lot of students trying to suppress free speech by repeatedly engaging in disorderly conduct, as pro-Palestinian students have done a number of times throughout the Western world.

          Of course ignoramuses, just like you, were quick to point out that Rosa Parks and Dr. King had broken the laws against disorderly conduct too. Fortunately for most of us, that sort of bigoted and unenlightened thinking doesn’t look half as clever to the majority as you seem to think it does.

        • Mooser says:

          Hophmi, relax, things are going well for you. After all, the man, Nicholas Saidel, who wrote this:

          “The war for Israel’s legitimacy has many fronts, and university campuses are one of the the most important battlegrounds. It is here where opinions are shaped and minds won over. We need impassioned and fearless recruits who are prepared for the most rigorous of debates and zealous advocacy. If there is an “anti-Zionism week” fully equipped with mock checkpoints, an “apartheid wall,” and accusations of genocide and ethnic cleansing, then the response should be equally aggressive. Tactics could include a mock terrorist massacre that would have taken place but for the anti-terrorism fence; a mock missile attack on Sderot that would help explain the legal embargo of Gaza; the repetitive airing of television clips of Hamas children’s cartoons praising jihad and the killing of Jews; or the videos of sheikhs and imams calling for the same during Friday prayer. In these perilous times, Zionists can no longer afford to bring a knife to a gun fight.”

          to the Zionist students at UC, now posts on the front page at Mondoweiss! You’re making progress, and I have no doubt, will succeed in time. So be patient.

        • Mooser says:

          I mean, c’mon, Hophmi, you hold the winning trump, no doubt about it. Whether we like it or not, whether we think it’s right or not, to destroy or even disparage Zionism and Israel is to cut yourself off from the blessings of identification with Judaism, and the Jewish community, and we know it. Oh, we spout a lot of ‘out-Jew-you’ crap, but we both know what the bottom line is.
          So be patient, and try to show some class in victory, if you can.

    • Woody Tanaka says:

      “Just so we’re clear, this is not student government.”

      Uh, no one said it was.

      “It’s more akin to an umbrella student activist union.”

      Nope. It’s a coalition of UC students and student governments.

      “So let’s be honest and not talk about them as if they were an elected student government for the entire UC system.”

      You’re the one being dishonest here, hopper, by trying to paint this resolution as merely the work of those pesky “activists.”

      • hophmi says:

        “Nope. It’s a coalition of UC students and student governments.”

        It’s a big SAU. All of their big sponsors are labor unions.

        “Uh, no one said it was.”

        It’s called the the UC Student Association and the press release of the local SJP said that it “represents hundreds of thousands of students at all 10 UC campuses.” I think that’s misleading. It’s not like a student government voted for this.

        • link to en.wikipedia.org

          UCSA is a student-run, student-led organization with a Board of Directors composed of students elected or appointed by our member student governments. UCSA’s Board consists of one voting member per association, usually the Executive or External Vice President (EVP). Additionally, each voting member may appoint two non-voting board members, a Campus Organizing Director (COD) and Legislative Liaison (LL).

          UCSA was founded on the principle that, together, UC students have the power to make change. As a membership-based coalition of undergraduate and graduate student governments of UC campuses, UCSA strives to invest and engage many students in our work.

          University of California, Berkeley – Associated Students of the University of California
          University of California, Berkeley – Graduate Assembly
          University of California, Irvine – Associated Students of UCI
          University of California, Irvine – Associated Graduate Students
          University of California, Los Angeles – Undergraduate Students Association Council
          University of California, Merced- Associated Students of UCM
          University of California, Merced- Graduate Students Association
          University of California, Riverside – Associated Students of UCR
          University of California, Riverside – Graduate Student Association
          University of California, San Diego – Associated Students of UCSD
          University of California, San Diego – Graduate Student Association
          University of California, San Francisco – Associated Students of UCSF
          University of California, San Francisco – Graduate Students Association
          University of California, Santa Barbara – Associated Students of UCSB
          University of California, Santa Barbara – Graduate Students Association
          University of California, Santa Cruz – Student Union Assembly
          University of California, Santa Cruz – Graduate Students Association
          University of California, Hastings College of Law – Associated Students of UCH

          UCSA is the recognized voice of all UC students to the UC Office of the President, the UC Regents, the California legislature and the Office of the Governor.

          It’s not like a student government voted for this.

          as far as the UC Office of the President, the UC Regents, the California legislature and the Office of the Governor of California are concerned..it kinda is.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “It’s a big SAU.”

          No, it isn’t.

          “All of their big sponsors are labor unions.”

          LOL. So what? Unions often sponsor student groups because the two groups are often of a mind on social justice issues.

          “It’s called the the UC Student Association and the press release of the local SJP said that it ‘represents hundreds of thousands of students at all 10 UC campuses.’”

          Yes, the Students for Justice in Palestine (typical that you won’t even spell out the name of the organization) correctly described the UC Student Association.

          “I think that’s misleading.”

          Shrug. You think a lot of stupid things.

          “It’s not like a student government voted for this.”

          It’s not like a student government is the only way that students can be represented.

        • It’s not like a student government is the only way that students can be represented

          i think hophmi is a little confused about how a representative government works. each elected student government on each campus either appoints or elects a member of the UCSA Board of Directors to carry out the will of their student government. each elected student government may also appoint a liaison to the state legislator.

        • Mooser says:

          “It’s a big SAU. All of their big sponsors are labor unions. “

          Something wrong with that? But say Hophmi, aren’t you going to mention the Communists, socialists and anarchists, too, or are labor unions enough of a threat to scare any Jew? After all, think of the way labor unions have held Jews down and contributed to anti-Semitism!

    • Rusty Pipes says:

      Just so we’re clear, this is student government. The UCSA is composed of representatives elected by each campus. The majority of Americans support freedom of speech.

      • hophmi says:

        ” The majority of Americans support freedom of speech.”

        Yes, they do. Mark Yudof’s report is a permissible exercise of free speech.

        “The UCSA is composed of representatives elected by each campus. ”

        Most of the board is appointed. In any event, it appears the vote was not transparent, and apparently not debated either.

        Doesn’t matter either way, because I doubt it expresses the will of the students or most California voters. Most of these activist causes taken up by student government remain on the fringe where they belong.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “Doesn’t matter either way, because I doubt it expresses the will of the students or most California voters. Most of these activist causes taken up by student government remain on the fringe where they belong.”

          Yeah, I can see how the likes of you would find a “human rights for all” petition to be “fringe,” given your bigotry and all.

        • Most of these activist causes taken up by student government remain on the fringe where they belong.

          UC students realized they needed a permanent organization to provide a voice in the California State Capitol and organize students on campuses, and the Student Body Presidents Council created the UC Student Lobby, which would later become UCSA.

          Throughout the 1970s, 80s, and 90s, UCSA fought for the access, affordability, and quality of UC education, winning battles to freeze and roll back student fees, to increase UC diversity, to protect crucial student services, and to expand financial aid. UCSA has won many victories for students, including creating a student voting position on the UC Board of Regents, getting the Regents to repeal SP1 and SP2, and winning fee freezes or rollbacks in 8 of the last 15 years.

          this body is the UC student liason to the california legislator. they probably never would have even addressed this issue if the california state legislators had not adopted a resolution they felt was against their interests without even consulting them.

          it appears the vote was not transparent, and apparently not debated either

          how funny hophmi, you appear to be defending recent state legislation that was not transparent and was not even debated yet offer no criticism of the way it was inserted into the state record.

        • Hostage says:

          ” The majority of Americans support freedom of speech.”

          Yes, they do. Mark Yudof’s report is a permissible exercise of free speech.

          LOL! This article is about California Assembly Bill HR 35. The Jerusalem Post report noted that

          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.

          See “University of Cali rejects anti-Semitism resolution”
          link to jpost.com

          FYI, the so-called “Yudof report” was actually prepared by a group of 17 people that comprised an “Advisory Council on Campus Climate, Culture and Inclusion”. The members included students, faculty and administrators from UC campuses as well as leaders from various racial and religious groups. It was setup to look into two possible changes in university policies after the U.C. Berkeley anti-Semistism case was dismissed by the Federal District Court. The Judge ruled that the speech in question was constitutionally protected “pure political speech”. But more importantly, he ruled that the school has no business or legal obligation interceding in political campus disputes.

          The petitioners agreed to drop their appeal with the understanding that the university would consider implementing two possible changes to its policies on campus demonstrations after gathering campus opinion. The university is not required by law to do anything, and would be wise to stay above the fray. link to theaggie.org

          FYI, the advisory panel found that negative experiences for both groups of students were most common when outside speakers known for their provocative stances participated in campus events. So, the University itself, should probably not be directly involved in sponsoring outside speakers, like Ambassador Oren, at so-called “public meetings” if they want to avoid the appearance of bias.

        • Mooser says:

          “it appears the vote was not transparent, and apparently not debated either”

          Hophmi, you’re getting a bit mixed up. The thread about the Democratic party platform and the Zionist plank inserted during the convention is somewhere else on the site.

  2. just says:

    Well done UCSA!

    Huge props, and enormous thanks!

  3. amigo says:

    Great work UCSA, especially since you are driving Hopmi “Bezerkly”.

    What a toad this guy is.Glad he is on the zioside.

  4. The first national divestment conference was in Berkeley in early 2002.

    Over 10 years later, “Israel” has massacred thousands more Palestinians and Lebanese, and has threatened to bomb Iran many times.

    Over 10 years later, I expect to see a public debate on an actual proposal to boycott all products from Apartheid Israel. At Berkeley. At many campuses.

    It’s been 10 years.

  5. thetumta says:

    “anti-semitism” in this country? It’s undoubtedly riding on the back of a Hollywood Unicorn, Hopni not withstanding. Phil, you still need an ignore button on this site? Everyone else seems to have one, except you. Hopni can ignore me, no problem. Why exactly do we have to know the Hasbara of the moment?
    Hej!

    • Hostage says:

      “anti-semitism” in this country? It’s undoubtedly riding on the back of a Hollywood Unicorn, Hopni not withstanding.

      Oh there’s still anti-Semitism. But it’s way outside the mainstream, unlike Zionist racism and Islamophobia.