University of California President Mark Yudoff on Sunday issued a press release that “ I am appalled by images of University of California students being doused with pepper spray and jabbed with police batons on our campuses.” President Yudoff went on:
I intend to convene all 10 chancellors, either in person or by telephone, to engage in a full and unfettered discussion about how to ensure proportional law enforcement response to non-violent protest.
To that end, I will be asking the chancellors to forward to me at once all relevant protocols and policies already in place on their individual campuses, as well as those that apply to the engagement of non-campus police agencies through mutual aid agreements.
Further, I already have taken steps to assemble experts and stakeholders to conduct a thorough, far-reaching and urgent assessment of campus police procedures involving use of force, including post-incident review processes.
This prompt action stands in stark contrast to how President Yudoff handled the outrageous and illegal interruptions of Israel Ambassador Oren’s speech at UC Irvine in February 2010.
Then, after much criticism from Jewish organizations, faculty, students and neighbors of Irvine, President Yudoff did finally speak out – at a synagogue:
I do condemn the anti-Israel speech. I condemn the insults to our students—and they are insults. I condemn the unbalanced programs, and I condemn the disruption of Ambassador Oren’s speech. And I condemn all the anti-Semitic utterances heard on the campuses. I’ve said that before. I’m saying it now. I’ve said it in writing, and I will do it again.
But, what did President Yudoff actually do about it in his official capacity?
A determined local prosecutor attained a court conviction of the illegal disrupting students. UC Irvine, by contrast, slapped them and their student organization on the wrist. After pressure from most of the leading national Jewish organizations, President Yudoff announced an Advisory Council to explore issues of tolerance affecting all groups at the University. Nothing more. This lame shuffle followed years of complaints from prominent Jewish organizations and faculty detailing repeated blatant anti-Jewish and anti-Israel verbal and physical violence by pro-Palestinian and allied leftists at UC campuses that were tolerated or even supported by faculty and administrators. One of those he appointed to his new commission toured several campuses, where student reported her ignorance of issues affecting Jews and her uttering veiled anti-semitic remarks.
So, several students at UC Davis who blocked their protest area on campus by locking arms and sitting down were warned that they would be pepper-sprayed and removed if they didn’t leave voluntarily. The students didn’t. They were sprayed. That, of course, raised a media uproar with all the usual leftist defenders of the excesses of the Occupiers, leading to President Yudoff taking the action he announced Sunday.
However, Jews and others who are pro-Israel have been harassed and intimidated and attacked for years, and all President Yudoff does is appoint a commission that is itself an evasion of confronting the issue and is, in composition, suspect.
President Yudoff continues his evasive shuffle. A UC faculty member’s organization, AMCHA, which in Hebrew connotes “grassroots”, isn’t buying it. AMCHA replied to President Yudoff on October 31:
Contrary to what you have written, it is clear that the problem of anti-Jewish bigotry has not received, and likely will not receive, the attention it deserves from the UC Advisory Council for Campus Climate, Culture, and Inclusion…. the Advisory Council Working Groups, which you established in December 2010, are primarily focused on the concerns of African American, Latino, and gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgendered students; Jewish students and antisemitic harassment are not a specific focus of any Working Group, despite the fact that anti-Jewish bigotry has been a long-standing, pervasive, and serious problem on many UC campuses….
A recap of the history of abuses is included. The Advisory Council member’s behavior is addressed:
Equally worrisome, some students complained that one of the two representatives was surprisingly ill-informed about Jews and the history of anti-Jewish harassment on UC campuses, and made inappropriate remarks about Jewish “privilege.”
AMCHA recommended: “Establish an official Working Group of the Advisory Council on Campus Climate, Culture and Inclusion to focus specifically on investigating the problem of anti-Jewish bigotry on UC campuses.” No reply, yet, from President Yudoff. Given his past failures to act, maybe none to be expected.
But, President Yudoff sure did act fast to condemn the police who legally did the job they were asked to do, and to order a university-wide effort to “ensure proportional law enforcement…”
President Yudoff, how about “proportional” attention to continuous denial of the free speech rights and academic freedom of pro-Israel students, faculty and speakers at UC campuses? How about walking the talk of protecting the rights of pro-Israel students, faculty and speakers, instead of walking the leftist line of those who’d drag campuses into more utter disrepute than already?
President Yudoff is Jewish, proudly. President Yudoff, also, contributes to causes which are well to the left of mainstream Jewry, critical of Israel and exerting little if any effort to promote or defend Israel from slanders. Does anyone see a contradiction there?
ADD: Ryan Mauro adds more.
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