For us Palestinians, May 15 is a date of irreversible loss. It marks the start of when our relatives and our people were driven from their homes during Israel’s 1947-1949 campaign of ethnic cleansing, never to return.
When campus climate is used as a political weapon, it degrades the concept and hurts all students. That’s what happened last Friday when the California Assembly’s Select Committee on Campus Climate held a hearing at UCLA’s James West Alumni Center to discuss campus climate issues throughout the state of California.
Students for Justice in Palestine at UCLA would like to correct some mischaracterizations about our organization that have surfaced in campus discourse and the work of outside publications reporting on internal student government issues, specifically in regards to the offensive Judicial Board interview of Rachel Beyda.
Earlier this year, UCLA students asked student government members not to take lobbying trips hosted by bigoted and discriminatory groups. In a strange intervention into campus politics, this summer Los Angeles City Council member Bob Blumenfield proposed a resolution denouncing this pledge. At a time when we are flooded with other problems, it is curious that Blumenfield has asked the City Council to spend its energy meddling in what appears to be a settled issue.
The movement to stop the University of California system from investing in corporations that violate Palestinian human rights reached an important milestone on May 28. After hours of public comment and senate deliberation, the student government at the UC Santa Cruz voted by a 22-14 margin to endorse divestment.
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