Commission Staff Director
Cites ZOA And Others
For Their Help
New York — The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) commends the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights — an independent, bipartisan federal agency charged with monitoring federal civil rights enforcement — for launching its public education campaign to end anti-Semitism on college campuses. On Friday, April 13, 2007, the Commission commenced the core of the campaign, a Web site to educate college students and others about anti-Semitism, to urge victims and witnesses of anti-Semitism to report such incidents, and to list sources of assistance for students.
According to the Commission, the new Web site is part of a campaign that the Commission undertook after anti-Semitic incidents occurred on many American university and college campuses, and after the Commission received testimony from a panel of experts that too many college students are unaware of their rights and protections against anti-Semitic behavior. Susan Tuchman, the Director of the ZOA’s Center for Law and Justice, was one of the panelists who furnished testimony to the Commission at a briefing in November 2005.
The Commission’s Web campaign to end campus anti-Semitism can be accessed directly at http://www.usccr.gov/campusanti-semitism.html, and from a link on the Commission’s Web site, at http://www.usccr.gov. The Web campaign can also be accessed from a link on the ZOA’s Web site (www.zoa.org), and on the ZOA’s campus Web site (www.thecollegezionist.org).
In addition to the Commission’s Web campaign, the campaign materials include a 76-page briefing report from the Commission called Campus Anti-Semitism. The briefing report contains the Commission’s conclusions following the briefing in November 2005, as well as information and evidence furnished by the ZOA, the other panelists, and other interested parties. The briefing report is available at http://www.usccr.gov/pubs/081506campusantibrief07.pdf. The Commission’s other campaign materials include posters, postcards, and e-messages that will direct students to the Web site. Copies of the poster and postcard can be downloaded and printed from the Commission’s Web pages.
On Wednesday, April 11, 2007, Susan Tuchman and Dalia Lockspeiser, one of the ZOA’s campus coordinators, attended the roll-out of the Commission’s public education campaign to end campus anti-Semitism. The roll-out took place at the Commission’s offices in Washington, D.C. Kenneth L. Marcus, the Commission’s Staff Director, described the campaign and what led to it, citing, among others, the efforts and contributions of the ZOA.
Susan Tuchman, the Director of the ZOA’s Center for Law and Justice, expressed her gratitude to the Commission for its groundbreaking efforts: “Even before the launching of its public education campaign, the Commission’s actions had already had a positive impact on Jewish college students. After its briefing on campus anti-Semitism in November 2005, the Commission issued Findings and Recommendations that recognized that Jewish students have the right to be protected from anti-Semitic harassment and intimidation, and that colleges and universities have the legal obligation to protect them under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. We distributed the Findings and Recommendations to students at the University of California, Irvine who supported the ZOA’s Title VI complaint, which was filed to compel the university to live up to its obligation to rectify the harassment and intimidation that Jewish students were facing on that campus. The response of students to the Commission’s Findings and Recommendations was extraordinary: An important federal agency had validated their concerns and spoke out forcefully in support of their right to be free from harassment and intimidation. The Commission’s public education campaign will continue to help Jewish students across the country, letting them know that they have ways to address problems of harassment and intimidation that they may be facing on their campuses. The ZOA has been working with Jewish students on several campuses to protect and enforce their legal rights, and we will continue to do so. As the Commission has recognized, Jewish students are entitled to receive their college education in an environment that’s not intimidating or threatening. This is what every student deserves.”
Dalia Lockspeiser, one of the ZOA’s campus coordinators, also applauded the Commission’s campaign to end anti-Semitism on campus. “The ZOA works closely with Jewish students on campuses across the country, and we know that students are facing hatred and hostility. The Commission’s campaign will empower them with knowledge and tools to deal with the problem.”
Morton A. Klein, the ZOA’s National President, praised the Commission for its historic actions: “The Commission has taken a leadership role in fighting anti-Semitism on American college campuses, appreciating that students are being subjected to hateful and hurtful speech and conduct that is often being expressed by using anti-Zionist propaganda and demonizing and delegitimizing the State of Israel. We thank Ken Marcus for spearheading these important initiatives that help protect the civil rights of American Jews. At the ZOA’s National Dinner and Convention in November 2006, Mr. Marcus was presented with the ZOA’s first-ever Justice and Ethics Award. Given his dedication to ensuring the safety and well-being of Jewish students, and his contribution to protecting their civil rights, Mr. Marcus has set a high standard for future recipients of this honor.
“The ZOA is one hundred percent behind the Commission’s public education campaign to end anti-Semitism on our college campuses. We have been conveying the Commission’s message about Jewish students’ rights and protections in articles, letters, speeches, campus programs, and in our own college magazine, The College Zionist. We will continue to support the Commission’s campaign, so that students, faculty and school administrators will be made aware that the harassment and intimidation of Jewish students is a serious problem and that there are ways to fight it. To those who are confronting this problem on their campuses, the ZOA is ready and able to help you.”