After Anti-Semitic Vandalism, ZOA and 22 Other Groups Urge UC Davis Investigation
News Press Release
February 10, 2015

The ZOA and 22 other organizations today wrote to Linda P.B. Katehi, Chancellor of the University of California, Davis, urging an investigation into the conduct of the hate group, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), and one of its members, Azka Fayyaz – who also is a student senator – and the imposition of sanctions for any violations of university policy.  (A copy of the letter is reprinted below.)

On January 29, 2015, the UC Davis student government passed an anti-Israel divestment resolution written and promoted by the SJP.  A video of the student government meeting shows that as Jewish and pro-Israel students left the room, they were heckled with loud chanting of “Allahu Akbar.”  Later, SJP member and student senator Azka Fayyaz celebrated the passage of the resolution on Facebook, with postings promoting violence against Jews and the destruction of Israel.

Two days after the divestment vote and Fayyaz’s Facebook postings, the AEPi Jewish fraternity house was vandalized on the Jewish Sabbath, spray-painted with swastikas.  Then the Hillel house across from campus was vandalized.

Two days after the divestment… the AEPi Jewish fraternity house was vandalized on the Jewish Sabbath, spray-painted with swastikas

In their letter to Chancellor Katehi, the ZOA and other groups noted that the conduct of the SJP and Fayyaz was anti-Semitic, according to U.S. government standards.  “Given these open expressions of anti-Semitic hate and bigotry by the SJP and Azka Fayyaz,” the groups wrote to Katehi, “it can hardly be surprising that less than two days after the divestment vote and Fayyaz’s Facebook postings, the house of the Jewish fraternity AEPi was vandalized.”

The 23 groups urged the Chancellor to investigate whether the SJP and Fayyaz violated university policies, including those prohibiting threatening the health and safety of others, harassment, disturbing the peace, and expressing intent to terrorize.  If the evidence substantiates their wrongdoing, then the SJP’s registration should be revoked and it should lose all group privileges “until it can demonstrate that, like other student groups, it can conform its conduct to the university’s rules and the Principles of Community,” the groups wrote.  In addition, Azka Fayyaz should be removed from her position in the student senate, “since her hateful anti-Semitic conduct does not serve the student body she was elected to represent.”

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein praised Chancellor Katehi for some appropriate steps taken already but stressed that additional action was necessary:  “Chancellor Katehi did the right thing by publicly condemning the anti-Semitic vandalism and calling for a police investigation into the vandalism as a hate crime. But more needs to be done to send a clear message to hate groups like the SJP that anti-Semitism and violations of university policy impairing the rights of others will not be tolerated.”

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