House committee seeks documents from UCLA over antisemitism

May 16, 2024
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The U.S. House Education and Workforce Committee wants the University of California, Los Angeles, to turn over a batch of documents ahead of next week’s hearing about campus antisemitism.

UCLA Chancellor Gene Block is one of three university administrators set to testify at the May 23 hearing, titled “Calling for Accountability: Stopping Antisemitic College Chaos.” According to the letter sent Wednesday, the committee is investigating UCLA for “its inadequate response to antisemitism and failure to protect Jewish students.”

Representative Virginia Foxx, the North Carolina Republican who chairs the committee, criticized UCLA’s response to an encampment that students set up on campus in solidarity with the people of Gaza. That includes the decision to not have campus police immediately intervene April 30 when outside counter-protesters attacked the encampment overnight.

Students inside the encampment told reporters that they feared for their lives as the counter-protesters launched fireworks into the tent area and tore down the barricades. Campus police along with area law enforcement cleared the encampment the following day, arresting more than 200 people.

Among other requests, the committee wants all documents and communications among campus leaders since April 24 that concern the encampment, communications between university administrators and students in the encampment and communications between UCLA officials and area law enforcement agencies. Any responsive documents are due by May 21.

Foxx wrote that antisemitism has long been an issue at UCLA, citing a 2015 study in which “a third of all Jewish students at UCLA reported being blamed for the actions of the Israeli government because of their Jewish identity either ‘frequently’ or ‘occasionally.’” She also pointed to the university’s student council resolution passed earlier this month that called for Block’s resignation.

“The resolution described pro-Israel counter-protesters as ‘white supremacists’ but characterized violent, antisemitic protesters and outside agitators as ‘nonviolent pro-Palestine protesters’ who suffered ‘state repression’ after being held accountable for their lawless and discriminatory conduct,” Foxx wrote, adding that the student government association has a “deeply concerning history of retribution against students who speak against anti-Jewish bigotry on campus.”



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