Gene Block, Chancellor, University of California Los Angeles
UCLA Chancellor Gene Block ascended to his current position on August 1, 2007. In the decade-plus that he has occupied the University’s top office, anti-Israel and pro-terrorist sentiment on the campus has grown rapidly, culminating in a protest last May during which anti-Israel protestors, including those belonging to the campus chapter of SJP, disrupted a pro-Israel event, even ripping the Israeli and Armenian flags off the wall and shouting pro-terrorist slogans such as “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” a genocidal call to eliminate Israel as a Jewish state. While administration officials condemned the protest, they claimed they could not take action unless a police report was filed—a step they had never suggested to the pro-Israel students whose event was disrupted. In response, over a dozen pro-Israel students filed official police complaints with campus police, but SJP has yet to face repercussions for the disruption of the event.
UCLA will host the annual SJP National Conference this November, an infamous event that typically bans media watchdogs and which has been known to feature Hamas supporters and proponents of anti-Israel terrorism as speakers.
Supporters of the Hamas-funded BDS movement against Israel are legion on the campus and forced the resignation of the university’s graduate student president, Milan Chatterjee, who reported in his resignation letter that he had been “relentlessly attacked, bullied and harassed by BDS-affiliated organizations and students.” Yet when the David Horowitz Freedom Center dared to put up posters on the campus exposing the links between SJP and Hamas, UCLA Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Jerry Kang sent an email to the 50,000 members of the UCLA community calling the posters “repulsive” and stating that they produce “chilling psychological harm” that “cannot be dismissed as over-sensitivity.”
UCLA’s student government passed a resolution supporting the Hamas-funded BDS movement in 2014. The campus has hosted Hamas-supporting and Jew-hating speakers who support the BDS movement, including BDS founder Omar Barghouti and Electronic Intifada founder Ali Abuminah. It sponsors an annual “Palestine Awareness Week” during which students promote BDS and display a mock “apartheid wall” and also an annual “Nakba Week” deriding the creation of Israel as a “catastrophe” – a term used by Hamas and its supporters to promote the lie Israel was built on stolen Arab land.
In August 2018, SJP at UCLA announced that the infamous annual SJP National conference would be held on the UCLA campus. The conference is titled, “Radical Hope: Resistance in the Face of Adversity.” The term “resistance” is commonly used by Hamas supporters as a euphemism for terrorist aggression against Israel. Past SJP National conferences have featured speakers who promoted terrorist violence against Israel and the Hamas-funded BDS movement and instructed students in how to disrupt pro-Israel speakers and events on campus. The conference announcement bragged about this disruption of pro-Israel events, stating "Other instances of our perseverance include disruptions of pro-war, Zionist, and racist guest speakers." It also demonized Israel by claiming that “Zionism is ethnic cleansing, destruction, mass expulsion, apartheid, and death.”
On May 17, 2018, SJP at UCLA disrupted an event held by Students Supporting Israel (SSI) titled "Indigenous Peoples Unite" with loud chants and demeaning actions and succeeded in shutting down the event for over 15 minutes. While one of the panelists was speaking about surviving genocide in Armenia, a protestor walked over and tore the Armenian flag off the wall and threw the speaker’s notes away while shouting directly in his face. SJP protestors used horns and whistles to create a chaos of noise and chanted slogans including "We don't want 2 states, we want '48," a genocidal statement to abolish Israel and return to a time before it existed. Other slogans included, "From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free," "No peace on stolen land, justice is our demand" "Protesting is not a crime, free free free Palestine," and "Israel is a terrorist state!" UCLA administrators denounced the protest about a week later but claimed that they could not take action against the protestors because a police report had not been filed by SSI. After this announcement, over a dozen pro-Israel students filed complaints with the university police department. The protestors also tore the Israeli flag off the wall.
The Amcha Initiative, a group dedicated to tracking and combatting anti-Semitism, received a report that in May 2018, when a professor was late to class, a graduate student mocked Orthodox Jews and made anti-Semitic comments to his classmates. In particular, he made fun of the fact that religious Jews avoid doing work on Shabbat, the Jewish Sabbath, and claimed that they “can not even rip toilet paper on sabbath.” He also said “Shalom” multiple times with an accent to mock how Orthodox Jews talk and called them “weird people” and complained about how “they are everywhere in L.A.” These comments and impressions were reportedly received with laughter by his classmates.
In May 2018, SJP at UCLA held an event titled “Teaching Palestine with Dr. Rabab Abdulhadi & Dr. Robin Kelley.” During the event, Dr. Kelley, a history professor at UCLA, claimed that “the Nakba” (an Arabic term opponents of Israel use to describe Israel’s founding as a “catastrophe”) was “the ethnic cleansing operation that turned three-quarters of the Palestinians into refugees and transformed the top-ranked wealth and even the intellectual and cultural capital into the hands of Israelis. So it's like a gangster operation. Armed robbery sanctioned by the world.”
In March 2018, UCLA SJP joined several other student groups in a protest outside of a UC Regents Meeting. The group chanted slogans including “From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be Free,” a genocidal call to eliminate all of Israel as a Jewish state, and also promoted the Hamas-funded BDS movement against Israel.
In January 2018, a mezuzah, or Jewish prayer box, that had been hung outside the office door of UCLA’s Jewish student body president was torn down. This was the second time in two years that a mezuzah was stolen from this office.
In May 2017, UCLA SJP held a “Nakba Commemoration Week” to recognize the founding of Israel as “a catastrophe.”
In February 2017, SJP at UCLA held a “Palestine Awareness Week” featuring the display of a mock “apartheid wall” plastered in anti-Israel propaganda and a performance by the anti-Israel poet and supporter of the Hamas-funded BDS movement against Israel, Remi Kanazi.
On September 01, 2016, UCLA Graduate Student Association (GSA) President Milan Chatterjee announced in a lengthy letter that he is leaving his post and UCLA Law School as a result of the “hostile and unsafe campus climate” created by groups supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement on campus and the UCLA administration. Chatterjee described in his letter how he had “been relentlessly attacked, bullied and harassed by BDS-affiliated organizations and students” who objected to his attempts to distribute student fee monies in a “viewpoint neutral” manner with regard to the BDS movement.
On August 22, 2016, UCLA SJP announced on its Facebook page that it is endorsing the political platform of Black Lives Matter, which includes a section of the BLM platform that embraces the Hamas propaganda lies against Israel and its terrorist cause. UCLA SJP stated: “We are moved by the platform’s recognition of Israel’s apartheid laws, illegal settlements, segregated road systems and military checkpoints, punitive home demolitions, and prison system, through which Palestinians, including children, are routinely subject to harassment and torture. As campus organizers, we also welcome [Black Lives Matter’s] endorsement of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS), particularly given the current climate of anti-boycott legislation that we face, and we echo its acknowledgment of the US’s culpability in the Israeli occupation of Palestine, notably through military aid, diplomatic support, and investment in private prison companies.”
On May 16, 2016, in a piece published in the Daily Bruin, two UCLA students and one psychology department staff member mourned the “Nakba” – the catastrophe of Israel’s creation by the United Nations - and Israel’s alleged “massive campaign of ethnic cleansing.” They demanded “the full right of return” for Palestinians – representing a plan to flood Israel with Palestinians who had never lived in Israel and obliterate the Jewish state—one of the goals of Hamas.
On April 19, 2016, in response to anti-BDS posters created by the David Horowitz Freedom Center, UCLA Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Jerry Kang sent an email to the 50,000 members of the UCLA community attacking Horowitz –calling the posters “repulsive” and “personalized intimidation” and stating that they produce “chilling psychological harm” that “cannot be dismissed as over-sensitivity.” Vice Chancellor Kang also pronounced them “hateful” and “thuggish” and claimed that they utilized the “tactic of guilt by association, of using blacklists, of ethnic slander, and sensationalized images engineered to trigger racially tinged fear.”
On April 14, 2016, UCLA’s Center for Near East Studies sponsored an address by Noga Kadman on her book “Erased From Space and Consciousness: Israel and the Depopulated Palestinian Villages of 1948.” During the address, Kadman accused Israel of conducting a “massacre” of the Palestinians, a claim that is historically false and a staple of anti-Israel propaganda.
On February 09, 2016, SJP members published an op-ed in the Daily Bruin falsely claiming that Israel treats its Palestinians as “second class citizens” and arguing that the genocidal chant “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” is not in fact a call for genocide: “A phrase used by pro-Palestinian activists is that ‘from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,’ which was referenced in last week’s article. Palestine is the name many use to refer to the geographic region that encompasses Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. The call for the entire region to be free is not a call for annihilation, but rather a call for everyone living between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, be they Palestinian or Israeli, to live with the same freedoms that currently only the Jewish Israelis are granted.” Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority has declared that no Jews will be allowed in a free Palestine, while the Hamas charter clearly states that Jews will be exterminated.
During January 25-28, 2016, UCLA-SJP held its annual “Palestine Awareness Week” on campus. The week featured numerous anti-Israel speakers who voiced their support for the genocidal BDS movement against Israel including Max Blumenthal, who has compared Israel to Nazi Germany, Miko Peled, and Sa’ed Atshan. The event also featured the display of a mock “apartheid wall” plastered with anti-Israel propaganda. It was billed on Facebook as “a week full of FREE events to raise awareness about the Palestinian struggle for justice and the Palestinian people’s resistance against the Israeli occupation.”
During his address, Blumenthal stated that suicide bombing against Jews is justified by “the occupation” and described Palestinian terrorists as “young men who took up arms to fight their occupier.” He also promoted the BDS movement and compared Israel to the Islamic state, calling it “‘JSIL,’ the Jewish State in Israel and the Levant” and stating his belief that Israel collaborates with ISIS “to collapse Jewish life in the diaspora.” Miko Peled also defended terrorism, stating that it is “a struggle for freedom and justice and equality,” and describing terrorists as “very brave Palestinians who are engaged in fighting this brutal occupation.” He also declared that “any resistance, even armed resistance is legally and morally justifiable and perfectly understandable.” Peled also described Jews as analogous to Hitler, calling Jewish soldiers “young little Jewish gestapos,” and further accused Israel of “massive, violent, brutal oppression,” “genocide,” “ethnic cleansing,” and of being “a colonialist, apartheid, racist system.” He also endorsed the BDS movement.
On December 09, 2015, a UCLA student who was also employed at a UCLA-affiliated medical center posted a vicious, hate-filled, anti-Semitic rant on social media which stated in part: “Fucking Jews. GTFOH with all your Zionist bullshit. Crazy ass fucking troglodyte albino monsters of cultural destruction. Fucking Jews. GTFOH with your whiny bullshit. Give the Palestinians back their land, go back to Poland or whatever freezer-state you’re from, and realize that faith does not constitute race.”
On November 06, 2015, UCLA’s Center for Near Eastern Studies held a conference on “Palestine and Pedagogy” during which speakers compared Israel to the Nazis, praised anti-Israel terrorism and supported the BDS movement against Israel. UC Irvine Professor and Director of the UC Institute for Humanities Research Theo Goldberg accused Israel of practicing “eliminationist racism” such as used by the Nazis and claimed Israelis view Palestinians as “vermin, cockroaches, rats, snakes…that take boots on the ground to get rid of,” and of possessing “a commitment to purification.” Goldberg’s libels also included the false accusation that Israelis make “snuff films” featuring the deaths of innocent Palestinians which go viral resulting in “an orgasm of feeling” for Israelis. UC Riverside Professor David Lloyd called Israel “a colonial Zionist project that has become a…nightmare, ever more rigid and oppressive.” He endorsed the right of Palestinians to take up arms against Israel and also promoted the BDS movement.
On October 29, 2015, UCLA-SJP created a blog post listing the names of 44 Palestinians who were allegedly “killed by Israelis and the Israeli Defense Forces since Oct. 1, the beginning of the third Intifada.” According to the Amcha Initiative, the list “included numerous terrorists who had murdered or injured Jews.”
On July 8, 2015, UCLA-SJP reposted an article on their Facebook page mourning the one-year anniversary of the Israeli response to thousands of unprovoked Hamas rocket attacks on civilian areas - “Operation Protective Edge.” SJP parroted Hamas claims that this was a “brutal military attack.” Students for Justice in Palestine have supported the Hamas terrorists in all their aggressions against the Jews during the Gaza conflicts. Israel withdrew its military forces from Gaza in 2005 as a gesture of peace. SJP: “One year ago today, Israel launched a brutal military attack on the Palestinian population of the occupied and besieged Gaza Strip. More than 2,200 Palestinians were killed, including 551 children, and more than 10,000 people were seriously injured and hundreds of thousands were made homeless, forcibly displaced and trapped inside Gaza. Deliberate attacks on Palestinian civilians of this kind are part and parcel of an Israeli policy that aims to force Palestinians into submission and to thwart the Palestinian people’s exercise of its right to self-determination.” Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005 after being invaded by Egyptian armies three times through the strip. Israel’s military precautions were taken because of 7,000 unprovoked Hamas rocket attacks following the withdrawal.
Another SJP article posted on this date regurgitates preposterous Hamas propaganda about the Gaza conflict: “The war in the summer of 2014 was not about rocket fire, Israeli security or Hamas: it was about subduing and disabling Gaza, something Israel has consistently been trying to do ever since it occupied the territory together with the West Bank nearly fifty years ago.” In fact, Israel’s original occupation of Gaza and the West Bank was the result of unprovoked aggressive wars by five Arab states in 1948 and 1967 and the refusal of the Arab states to sign a peace treaty.
On May 21, 2015, UCLA-SJP designated the week of May 21 – the anniversary of Israel’s creation - “Nakba Week.” Events included a teach-in on “Refugees and the Right of Return,” so-called, and a panel titled “Hear Us Speak: Stories on the Nakba and Exile.” The word “Nakba” means “catastrophe” in Arabic and is used by Hamas and its supporters to describe the creation of Israel and to promote the lie that Israel was created on Arab land. It was not. It was created by the UN on land that had belonged to the Turks, who are not Arabs, for 400 years previously. Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Jordan were created in the same way.
On May 16, 2015, UCLA SJP posted a statement on its Facebook page mourning “al-Nakba,” and insisted that it be thought of as “a present reality rather than a past event.” The statement read in part: “Many of us don’t realize that every Palestinian we meet, regardless of where they are from, has had their life profoundly shaped by the ethnic cleansing of Palestine on May 15, 1948. This event, known as al-Nakba (“the catastrophe”), was not just a one-time event but is ongoing, as Palestinians are continuously displaced by illegal Israeli settlements, and by devastating attacks. The Palestinian diaspora is faced with ongoing exile and statelessness, and by an erasure of their histories. It is our hope that these photos will help shed some light on how our fellow students at UCLA find the Nakba to be a present reality rather than a past event.” In April 2015, UCLA’s Center for Jewish Studies invited vehement anti-Israel professor Cornel West to speak on a panel honoring the late Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel.
In March 2015, when the Stop Jew Hatred on Campus campaign (an action of the David Horowitz Freedom Center) conducted a postering campaign depicting SJP as “#JewHaters,” UCLA Chancellor Gene Block called the posters “another example of intolerance” and compared them to swastikas found on Jewish fraternity buildings.
On March 06, 2015, four UCLA professors were among the signatories of an op-ed appearing in the Daily Californian urging the administrators of the UC system to support the BDS Movement against Israel. Those professors are Nouri Gana, Sondra Hale, Chris Tilly, and Marie Kennedy.
In February 2015, members of UCLA’s student government repeated age-old anti-Semitic accusations of “divided loyalties” to question whether judicial board candidate Rachel Beyda’s status as a Jew would affect her objectivity in disciplinary decisions.
On February 24, 2015, UCLA-SJP held an event to support the Hamas-inspired and funded BDS campaign to strangle the Jewish state - “BDS in Action.”
In November 2014, UCLA’s student government passed a BDS resolution by an 8-2-2 vote.
On May 14, 2014, UCLA SJP brought Communist party spokesperson and BDS proponent Angela Davis to campus. She told the crowd that Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians is worse than the treatment of blacks under apartheid in South Africa. Davis was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize by the East German police state during the Cold War.
In May 2014, SJP introduced an initiative that would require candidates for student government to sign a pledge to not take trips to Israel sponsored by the pro-Israel organizations, AIPAC, ADL, or Hasbara Fellowships. Candidates were not asked to refuse trips from other organizations to other countries.
In January 2014, SJP held a speaker event with the Hamas-inspired and funded BDS movement founder Omar Barghouti. Barghouti opposed the existence of a Jewish state and Jewish rights to self-determination in Israel, and slandered Israel repeatedly.