A troubling development has occurred in the University of California Student Association (UCSA), a system-wide student organization with representatives from each campus. On this past Saturday, a resolution was passed condemning HR 35, a California State Assembly resolution. Accusing Israel of “racism,” the UCSA urged the UC Board of Regents to divest from companies aiding Israel in alleged human rights violations. The planning of this initiative was purposely kept secret until the day of the meeting. With no agenda published in advance, and no engagement from anyone in the organization, there was no way for opponents of the measure to have their voices heard. Meanwhile, leaders of Students for Justice in Palestine were given an opportunity to convey their message at the meeting. This represents a coordinated effort to shut out pro-Israel voices from your student government.
Our exclusion was intentional. If present, we would have revealed the libelous nature of this measure. Because the resolution has no basis in reality, it was passed in premeditated secrecy in order to avoid a factual discussion on the issue. The Daily Californian reported: “According to UC San Diego External Affairs Vice President Olamide Noah, the board had been working on the resolution since its congress in August.” What this means is that the discussion on this issue was not spontaneous; we were purposely left out of the conversation. Moreover, the reprehensible timing of passing this resolution the day before the first night of Rosh Hashanah impeded the ability of the Jewish community to mount any sort of immediate response. This timing, and secrecy was no doubt on purpose, and this injustice must be exposed.
The UCSA truly is not an accurate representation of our Berkeley community, or even the rest of the UC System. We need to expose this measure for what it is: an unabashedly deceitful attack on the Jewish State.
The sole representative from UC Berkeley is Shahryar Abbasi, the External Vice-President of the ASUC (email- firstname.lastname@example.org).