UC Students Support UCSA's "Resolution Regarding HR 35"

We the undersigned students at the University of California write to thank and congratulate the University of California Students Association for passing its resolution against HR 35.  

HR 35 is a highly controversial non-binding resolution passed through the California State Assembly over the summer. The bill inappropriately labels criticism of Israeli state policy anti-Semitic and recommends broad forms of censorship of students and faculty at the UC to prevent criticism of Israel. It has been opposed by civil rights groups, like Jewish Voice for Peace and California Scholars for Academic Freedom, and members of the UC/CSU community, including the graduate assembly at UC Berkeley and UC Santa Cruz professor emerita Angela Davis.

HR 35 is based on a flawed UC campus climate report that has also received wide criticism for its poor methodology and recommendations that would curtail first amendment rights on UC campuses. This summer and fall 2,500 people, mostly from the UC community, called for the report to be tabled in a petition started by UC Jewish students.

HR 35 is part of a well-documented pattern of intimidation against those speaking out in support of Palestinian rights on UC/CSU campuses, noted in a recent letter from civil rights groups to the UC Administration.

1. We applaud UCSA for standing up on behalf of the UC community and defending our right to advocate for human rights and in support of international law. 

2. We thank UCSA for reiterating that students have a right to advocate for boycotts, divestment, and sanctions against companies complicit in the systematic violation of human rights, as our campuses have repeatedly done, most notably by the unanimous vote by the UC Irvine student government last month.

3. We reiterate that votes to oppose Israel's discriminatory policies by multiple UC campuses express a consistent anti-racist position, and that such opposition to Israel's ongoing violations of Palestinian rights is not equivalent to anti-Semitism.

4. And we express confidence in UCSA's ability to represent the student population and strongly oppose ongoing efforts to pressure UCSA to reverse its vote. We affirm that UCSA speaks for the majority viewpoint at the UC which opposes racism in all forms, whether it be anti-Jewish acts by anti-Semites or anti-Palestinian policies undertaken by Israel in its discriminatory and illegal occupation.

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