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“Free Palestine,” “From the River to the Sea” Graffiti Found at UCLA

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Graffiti stating “Free Palestine” and “From the River to the Sea” was found inside a classroom at UCLA’s Bunche Hall on October 5.

The post “Free Palestine,” “From the River to the Sea” Graffiti Found at UCLA appeared first on Jewish Journal.

Graffiti stating “Free Palestine” and “From the River to the Sea” was found inside a classroom at UCLA’s Bunche Hall on October 5.

Author and educator Ben M. Freeman tweeted out two photos of the graffiti. “Hey @UCLA, one of your Jewish students sent me these images of genocidal Jew-hate that has been pained on your walls. Would you like to comment? Would you like to engage in training to make sure your Jewish students feel safe on your campus?”

The university said in a statement to the Journal, “UCLA condemns anti-Semitism and other forms of ethnic hostility. We removed the graffiti immediately after being notified about it.”

The student who found the graffiti, Carmel Abramov, told the Journal that the university needs to do more. She wrote in an email to Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Anna Spain Bradley, “I am very pleased that the proper departments took this concern seriously and took action. However, I am writing to ask that you, in your role as Dean of Diversity and Inclusion, please make a public comment to the UCLA community signaling that hate, antisemitism and anti-Zionism has no place in a first-rate institution such as UCLA. It would mean so much to the Jewish community and to everyone fighting to eradicate all forms of hate if this was acknowledged.

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“If you could please include the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of antisemitism in your statement, Jewish students on your campus would be incredibly grateful. This definition is the State Department’s Working Definition of Antisemitism and is very relevant to the graffiti that occurred on campus yesterday.”

Abramov added that the statement should not be diluted “by stating that there is no room for hate. As victims of antisemitism, not stating the nature of the crime is a form of denial of the crime. UCLA must stand firm and state that there is no room for antisemitism on this campus.”

Judea Pearl, Chancellor Professor of Computer Science at UCLA, National Academy of Sciences member and Daniel Pearl Foundation President, said in a statement to the Journal, “The UCLA administration acts like [Palestinian Authority President] Mahmoud Abbas, condemning ethnic hostilities with one hand, and inviting them with the other. On May 21 this year, the Department of Asian-American-Studies posted (on UCLA Website) a racist statement that criminalizes Israel’s very existence; it was tacitly approved by an administration that, today, condemns the logical consequences of such criminalization. Jewish students and faculty expect UCLA to be clear on whether Zionist and Israeli students are welcome on campus, by condemning Zionophobia explicitly and unequivocally. 

“Thus far the word ‘Zionism’ has not appeared in any of UCLA official statement, as if Israel, the culmination of Jewish history does not exist.”

Jewish groups condemned the graffiti. Associate Dean and Director of Global Social Action Agenda at the Simon Wiesenthal Center Rabbi Abraham Cooper said in a statement to the Journal that the graffiti consisted of “anti-Israel genocide-seeking slogans” and asked if the university has “any plan” on dealing with “the hate fueling” the graffiti.

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StandWithUs CEO and Co-Founder Roz Rothstein also said in a statement to the Journal, “‘Free Palestine from the river to the sea’ is an antisemitic call to eliminate Israel, which is the only Jewish state in the world and is located between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. It echoes the genocidal rhetoric of Hamas and other racist terrorist groups. Since most Jews consider Israel part of their identity, this hate can contribute to a hostile learning environment for Jewish and Zionist students. 

“While we appreciate that UCLA quickly removed the graffiti, we call on the administration to do more to ensure their campus is a welcoming place for the Jewish community.”

American Jewish Committee Los Angeles Regional Director Richard S. Hirschhaut similarly said in a statement to the Journal, “While we may have grown accustomed to the insidious spread of antisemitism and hate online, the old-fashioned scrawling of crude and vulgar graffiti still evokes a sense of shock and revulsion. Just as its cowardly perpetrators intend. But for anyone serious about engaging in respectful dialogue about the Israel-Palestine conflict, especially on a college campus, such hateful expressions are a non-starter. They reveal a level of venom and disdain that must be expunged and condemned unequivocally, from the administration on down. 

“We are gratified that, once notified, UCLA officials condemned this act of antisemitism and removed the graffiti immediately. May this incident be a catalyst for reassuring Jewish students, and all who support Israel’s right to exist, that such hateful vandalism has no place on campus.”

The post “Free Palestine,” “From the River to the Sea” Graffiti Found at UCLA appeared first on Jewish Journal.

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Source: Jewish Journal https://jewishjournal.com/news/united-states/341194/free-palestine-from-the-river-to-the-sea-graffiti-found-at-ucla/

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