AJC: UCLA Student Elections Marred by Anti-Israel Antics

May 11, 2014, 21:22 ET from American Jewish Committee

NEW YORK, May 11, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AJC is outraged by the strong-arm, hypocritical, anti-Israel tactics several student groups used during the just-completed UCLA student council elections.

"McCarthyism has returned, only this time it's directed against Israel and takes place in a university setting," said AJC Executive Director David Harris. "Cherished values of open-mindedness and inquiry on campus are being trashed by groups obsessed with a sinister political agenda. What a sad day for the American university!"

In the run-up to the elections that ended Friday, notoriously anti-Israel student groups launched an aggressive campaign to compel council candidates to sign a pledge to foreswear engagement with well-established Jewish organizations that sponsor educational trips to Israel.

Strikingly, there were no attempted restrictions on similar activities -- trips, conferences -- by other organizations. Presumably it is fine to sponsor trips abroad as long as they align with the ideology of those groups.

"Suggesting that students participating in educational trips to Israel are incapable of making their own decisions about their experiences reveals extraordinary contempt for fellow students, not to mention an off-the-charts animus against Israel, the only truly democratic country in the region," said Harris.

For more than 30 years, AJC's Project Interchange has exposed a wide range of emerging leaders, including college students, to the diversity and complexity of Israel, including, it should be noted, meetings in Ramallah and elsewhere in the West Bank with Palestinian leaders.

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SOURCE American Jewish Committee