Over the years, I have often reported on the on-going investigations by the Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights as to complaints of anti-Semitism on the University of California campuses. Principal among these was the complaint lodged against UC Irvine in 2007. It may be summed up by stating that the source of the complaints are incidents and speech that have arisen during the periodic anti-Israel events staged by the various chapters of the Muslim Student association and the Students for Justice in Palestine.
Now to the relief of the various campus administrations and Palestinian activists, the DOE has concluded that the complaints are baseless-or to be more exact- are covered under First Amendment protections. Previous findings held that complaints were not filed in a timely manner, or that Jews were not protected as a religion under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, or that there was no finding of discrimination as to nationality-specifically, no Israelis had been victimized. And on it went.
Up until a few years ago, when Ken Marcus was the head of OCR, there was hope that the complaints would bear fruit. Alas, Marcus has long since been replaced by people with a different mindset, so this finding is hardly surprising.
"However, UC Santa Cruz Chancellor George Blumenthal, in a statement, said: “This campus values the free and open expression of ideas, and we diligently safeguard our students' civil rights. We are, therefore, pleased that these allegations have been thoroughly investigated and dismissed.”
"UC Irvine Chancellor Michael Drake said in a statement that “UC Irvine’s Jewish student community is vibrant, growing, and actively engaged in a wide variety of activities on our diverse campus. We are pleased that these allegations have been dismissed and believe very strongly in our carefully and actively nurtured culture of inclusion.”
I find the above comments highly offensive. Here is why:
"You can take the Jew out of the ghetto, but you can't take the ghetto out of the Jew."
-Washington DC-based Mohammed al Asi at UC Irvine in 2001
"You Jews, you'all the new Nazis!"
-Amir Abdel Malik Ali
At UC Irvine 2010
"Rupert Murdoch-straight up Zionist Jew!"
-Amir Abdel Malik Ali
at UC Irvine 2006
This picture appeared on the MSU Apartheid Wall in 2008. I witnessed it and photographed it myself.
All of the above occurred during the Muslim Student Union Union-sponsored week of events at UC Irvine in May of the above years. There are many more which have been documented on this site.
Of course, it is not surprising that the LA Times would give the last word to the crowing of two pro-Palestinian supporters.
"Rebecca Pierce, a recent graduate of UC Santa Cruz and member of the Committee for Justice in Palestine, said in a statement that she and others felt “vindicated that the DOE has rejected this attack on our freedom of expression, and we will continue to advocate in accordance with our values regarding human rights and social justice.”
But activists involved in pro-Palestinian causes on campus also questioned why the probes took so long, with the one at Irvine started in April 2008, the Santa Cruz one in March 2011 and Berkeley, September 2012. Berkeley-based attorney Liz Jackson, who works with the Center for Constitutional Rights, said the delays have created a chilling effect, making some students afraid to participate in political actions. She said she deplored any anti-Semitic remarks made on campuses but that it is wrong to depict UC as having an anti-Jewish climate."
I wouldn't really call this a disappointment because our side gave up the ghost a few years ago that these complaints were ever going to amount to anything given the current climate. The out-going UC president, Mark Yudof, himself Jewish, never supported the idea that anti-Semitism was a problem on his campuses and showed a cavalier disinterest in the problem passing it off as free speech. His successor, the politically-correct Janet Napolitano will be no improvement. In a nutshell, the administration of the University of California and the various chancellors have been intimidated and cowed into submission by the various MSA chapters. Nobody wants to appear to be Islamophobic. As for anti-Semitism, nobody cares.