California lawmakers urge UC to act against anti-Semitism

California lawmakers urge UC to act against anti-Semitism

California State Assembly on Monday approved a measure urging the University of California (UC) to denounce all forms of anti-Semitism.

Some pro-Israel groups and Jewish people have been pressing UC authorities to take up the U.S. State Department's definition of anti-Semitism, which defines more general ethnic and religious hatred against Jews. It also declares that it is anti-Semitic to demonize Israel and refuse to accept Israel's right to exist.

But, many organizations that have been protesting Israel's occupation of the West Bank have argued that such a definition would restrict right to free speech and conflate disapproval of Israel with anti-Semitism.

The resolution by the state Assembly was introduced in response to many disturbing incidents at UC, including the one in which some unknown people defaced a Jewish fraternity house with swastikas.

Assemblyman Richard Bloom, a Democrat from Santa Monica, said before a vote on the measure, "It is imperative that the California Legislature continues its strong tradition of standing up to hatred and ignorance."

Meanwhile, UC officials have declared that it will not undertake any new policies regarding anti-Jewish bias on its ten campuses at the regents' upcoming meeting. Instead, the regents will discuss various forms of intolerance, including anti-Semitism, at the subsequent meeting in September this year.