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UCLA Tag

Former UCLA law student and Graduate Student Association (GSA) president Milan Chatterjee has left the school after constant harassment from the Boycott, Divest, and Sanctions (BDS) movement and anti-Israel hate. All because he decided to remain NEUTRAL. The Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) has led numerous smear campaigns against Chatterjee, even bringing in the ACLU and Palestine Legal (PL) to bring him down. Chatterjee has had enough, especially since UCLA administrators have done nothing to help him.

On Tuesday night, February 25, 2014, I stayed up late watching the live stream of the UCLA student council debate over an anti-Israel divestment resolution. It was one of many such resolutions on campuses at a time when groups like Students for Justice in Palestine were in an aggressive posture, particularly at UCLA. A guest author familiar with the UCLA campus scene wrote about the tactics being used against pro-Israel students, UCLA testing ground for next generation of anti-Israel campus tactics. At some point early in the morning the next day, I called it quits. Given the 3-hour time difference, it appeared the event would go on well into the early morning hours. I went to bed figuring I'd find out the result in the morning. Sometime around 9 a.m. on February 26, 2014, I logged onto the computer, went to the live stream, and it was still going on, and the vote was about to take place. I watched the divestment resolution go down to defeat:

Lets Act! (LA), the far-left student political party at UCLA, was dramatically swept from power, in election results released Friday, May 1, 2015. LA, a coalition of mostly identity-based groups (e.g. Afrikan Student Union, MEChA, Queer Alliance, etc.) was defeated 8 seats to 3 (with 3 independents) by their rival, Bruins United (BU), a coalition of most everyone else (led by the Jewish community, fraternities, and sororities). https://youtu.be/qqDqmPoeJpg?t=4m3s LA and its constituent groups constituted the bulk of left-wing identity politics efforts at UCLA. LA was responsible for slew of anti-Israel actions:  Two BDS resolutions at UCLA; objecting to the Judicial Board appointment to Rachel Beyda because she is Jewish; and attempts to disqualify candidates who took trips to Israel.

One thing I've learned over the years is to screen shot, save on Wayback Macnine, or download any key evidence found on the internet.  Too many times I've gone back to a link and it's gone, and Google Cache can't be counted on to have preserved the evidence. So when I learned in early February that a UCLA student applying for a student judicial board slot was questioned by the Student Council as to whether she could be fair because she was Jewish and involved in Jewish groups, I wrote it up, UCLA student gov’t candidate challenged for being Jewish (February 12, 2015). I also downloaded the over 4 hour live feed, and excerpted the approximately 40 minute segment, which I uploaded to YouTube. As mentioned yesterday, discriminatory questioning of the Jewish student by the UCLA Student Council has gone national, Mainstream media wakes up to BDS-Anti-Semitism connection. It's a good thing I saved the evidence, because the Student Council took down the original live stream video, as HuffPo explains, UCLA's Student Council Tries To Hide Video Of Its Members Questioning A Jewish Student (emphasis added):
The university's [Undergraduate Students Association Council] typically posts recordings of its meetings on YouTube. But the student government took down the footage of a Feb. 10 meeting where several students questioned whether Rachel Beyda, a Jewish candidate for the school's judicial board, could be "unbiased" given her religion. Various news reports on the controversy this week prompted the hosts of MSNBC's "Morning Joe" to call on the university to put the video back online Friday. But the university told The Huffington Post that the decision to pull the video was made by the USAC's internal vice president's office.... The group StandWithUs, a pro-Israel education and advocacy organization, is circulating a clipped video of the controversial meeting. Legal Insurrection, a conservative blog, has uploaded the full video of the meeting as it pertains to Beyda's nomination.
The networks are using our video as their source:

The student government at a university in South Africa recently voted to expel Jews:
The vice chancellor of Durban University of Technology (DUT) in South Africa on Wednesday rejected the student council’s call to expel Jewish students who do not support the Palestinian cause. University Vice Chancellor Professor Ahmed Bawa released a statement calling the demand “outrageous, preposterous and a deep violation of our National Constitution and every human rights principle.” He added, “No student at DUT will be discriminated against on the basis of religion, race, gender, political affiliation or sexual orientation.” Bawa also told South Africa’s Daily News that the request was “totally unacceptable.” The demand to expel all Jewish students, especially those who do not support the Palestinian agenda, was made by the university’s Students Representative Council and Progressive Youth Alliance.
This is the logical progression in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. It's fitting that the vote took place in Durban, the scene of the anti-Semitic 2001 Durban Conference that created the BDS movement. While expulsion of Jews will not happen here, the BDS movement is moving towards a de facto bar on Jews who are not anti-Israel by alleging that taking subsidized trips to Israel or attending conferences and training through major pro-Israel Jewish organizations constitutes a conflict of interest. That standard would exclude a high percentage of pro-Israel Jewish students from participating in student government (not to mention excluding many leading non-Jewish pro-Israel students).

You thought it was bad that law students at Columbia, Harvard, Georgetown and Berkeley demanded exam delays because of the failure of grand juries to indict in the killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner? Sit down. Harvey Silverglate, civil liberties lawyer and co-founder of the FIRE, tweets a link to a Volokh Conspiracy post: https://twitter.com/HASilverglate/status/543529885248282625 The original story is from the UCLA Daily Bruin, Law school exam question on Ferguson shooting draws criticism:
Some students at the UCLA School of Law have expressed concerns after a professor asked an exam question this week relating to the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, in Ferguson, Mo. The exam, given by Professor Robert Goldstein in Constitutional Law II, asked students to write a memo related to the Ferguson shooting. Some students who took the exam said they found it difficult to write about the incident in terms of the first amendment while ignoring issues such as police brutality.... Hussain Turk, a second-year law student who took the exam, said he thinks the question was problematic because he thinks exams should not ask students to address controversial events. He added that he thinks the question was more emotionally difficult for black students to answer than for other students.

Last year, UCLA’s Jewish community and its allies mustered campus support to defeat a BDS resolution and to retain an anti-BDS plurality in student government. I have chronicled the maneuvering of the anti-Israel groups at UCLA since then: But this summer and fall, a series of resignations, defections, and a special election cost the party allied with the Jewish community its student government plurality. Next Tuesday, in a meeting closed to the press and alumni, BDS is likely to pass in the face of muted opposition. As SJP and their allies fought on, the pro-Israel community, as we feared and warned, were unable to keep up.

We have covered extensively the attempt by the UCLA branch of Students for Justice in Palestine to keep pro-Israel students off the student council by claiming that taking sponsored trips to Israel (and only Israel) creates a conflict of interest, UCLA testing ground for next generation of anti-Israel campus tactics. The hypocrisy was dripping, as theSJP-backed UCLA Student President-elect took sponsored trip to Israel, yet won by 31 votes slamming such trips. After a trial conducted by students, the Judicial Board of UCLA's student government found  by a 4-0-2 vote that former council members Sunny Singh and Lauren Rogers did not violate conflict of interest bylaws by accepting subsidized trips to Israel from the Anti-Defamation League and Project Interchange, and that their votes against BDS were "valid and legitimate." The decision is at the bottom of this post. While this is was a show trial in which no remedy was available, this sets an important precedent:  pro-Israel students at UCLA who associate with pro-Israel organizations need not fear being legally barred from holding office or voting on Israel-related issues.

Legal Insurrection has learned that Students for Justice in Palestine-backed UCLA student president-elect Devin Murphy, whose supporters accused his anti-divestment opponent of corruption and conflict of interest for taking a sponsored trip to Israel from a pro-Israel organization, took a sponsored trip to Israel from a pro-Israel group in January 2013. Murphy, who defeated anti-BDS candidate Sunny Singh by a mere 31 votes in an election with 8,200 cast, went to Israel on a California Student Leaders  trip sponsored by the American Jewish Committee’s Project Interchange. http://youtu.be/jUGZwLb2XiE?t=3m15s That Murphy went on such a sponsored trip but is pro-divestment, shows that such trips are merely educational, and do not dictate a particular pro- or anti-divestment result. SJP filed a judicial board conflict of interest complaint not only against Singh for going on a trip sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League, but also against Lauren Rogers, another anti-BDS council member who also went on a Project Interchange Trip. Murphy also signed a letter pledging not to take sponsored trips to Israel from various groups, which accused numerous pro-Israel organizations of promoting bigotry against Muslims, Blacks, and Armenians. Questioned about his trip (video clip here, and embedded below), Murphy claimed that he had no conflict of interest because he was not a member of the council at the time.  He also did not indicate that he would recuse himself from related matters while on council.

Two months ago, after a contentious meeting that lasted until dawn, UCLA’s student government (USAC) defeated a BDS resolution on a 7-5, essentially party-line vote.  The hard work of hundreds of students and alumni, aided by numerous pro-Israel organizations, secured a hard-fought victory. But Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and their allies dried their tears, regrouped, and returned for another round.  Their strategy was two-fold:  Cut off the vital supply lines between campus activists and the real world, then use the morally-backwards campus environment to wield the myriad "anti-racist" tools as weapons against Israel and Jews. [caption id="attachment_85855" align="aligncenter" width="475"]Screenshot 2014-05-11 20.44.54 Students gather to hear USAC election results at UCLA on Friday afternoon[/caption]

Campus Lawfare As Political Tool

As reported here last week, SJP filed a case with USAC’s judicial board, claiming two anti-BDS-voting council members, Sunny Singh and Lauren Rodgers, had violated conflict of interest rules by receiving a free educational trips to Israel.

We previously covered the UCLA anti-Israel divestment resolution, which was voted down 7-7 by the student council after an intense and contentious all-night session. One of the co-sponsors and a strong supporter of the resolution was Community Service Commissioner Omar Arce, as reported by The Daily Bruin (emphasis added):
Facilities Commissioner Armen Hadjimanoukian of the Bruins United slate, Community Service Commissioner Omar Arce, an independent councilmember, and General Representative Lizzy Naameh of the LET’S ACT! slate sponsored the resolution.... In a second straw vote later in the meeting, no councilmembers changed their vote. Student Wellness Commissioner Savannah Badalich, Naameh, External Vice President Maryssa Hall, Cultural Affairs Commissioner Jessica Trumble and Arce still said they would support the resolution.
Arce not only sponsored the resolution, he also endorsed a letter claiming "Islamophobic commentary" in opposition to the divestment resolution necessitated a "Diversity Requirement." The Daily Bruin reports that Arce has been arrested on charges of false imprisonment related to alleged sexual batteries:
An undergraduate student council member was arrested by university police Wednesday on a charge of false imprisonment. On Wednesday, a female student reported a series of sexual batteries between October and March. The report led to 21-year-old Omar Arce’s arrest, according to a police report released Thursday afternoon. UCPD arrested Arce, the Undergraduate Students Association Council Community service commissioner and a fourth-year international development studies student, at 10:47 a.m. Wednesday and transported him to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department in West Hollywood. Arce was booked about 11:30 a.m. on $50,000 bail. He is currently being held at the Men’s Central Jail in downtown Los Angeles.
The local Fox affiliate further reports on the arrest:

After an all-night session, the UCLA student council defeated an ant-Israel divestment resolution by a vote of 7-5.  (Featured image is moment vote announced.) The vote received enormous attention, and was trending in the U.S. on Twitter. This is a huge defeat for BDS on campus. Divestment resolutions recently were overturned at UC-Riverside and defeated at UC-Santa Barbara. I can't say whether this is a national trend, but it does signify that pro-Israel students now are more organized than in the past. (added) Ben Shapiro made a "guest" appearance against the resolution: In this image, one of the student council members a student note taker, who appears to have supported the resolution, is crying and screaming that she's never been so disappointed and that "we just fucking blew it." (UPDATE -- Video HERE) UCLA student we just fucking blew it

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