The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) praised the University of California, Irvine (UCI) today for sanctioning the anti-Israel hate group “Students for Justice in Palestine” (SJP), after SJP organized the disruption of a campus program on May 10, 2017, featuring Israel Defense Forces veterans. According to a statement issued by the university, SJP violated UCI policy and was placed on disciplinary probation for two academic years ending June 16, 2019; the group must meet with the Dean of Students six times per year to discuss free speech issues; and SJP must consult with a representative of the dean’s office before hosting or co-hosting any campus event. In addition, if SJP violates university policy again, it may be suspended or its registered status revoked.
After the disruption orchestrated by SJP last May, the ZOA wrote to UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman, identifying several university rules that SJP had violated and urging UCI to severely punish a group that the ZOA described as “a serial violator of university rules and policies.” The ZOA noted that the day after the disruption, an SJP speaker at the group’s “Anti-Zionism Week” actually publicly bragged about the disruption, admitted that SJP had disrupted a pro-Israel event the year before (which the ZOA also complained about), and expressed the intention to disrupt future events. The ZOA wrote to the Chancellor: “SJP needs to learn some important lessons that are long overdue: This group is not entitled to preferential treatment and must comply with the same rules and policies that apply to everyone else. This group has no right to decide who is entitled to express their views, [or] what views may be expressed.”
Morton A. Klein, ZOA National President; Susan B. Tuchman, Esq., Director of the ZOA’s Center for Law and Justice; and Leore Ben-David, Managing Director of ZOA Campus, strongly praised the university’s disciplinary action against SJP, stating: “By sanctioning SJP and requiring close monitoring of this group’s behavior, UCI is sending a crucial message – that it will not tolerate SJP’s violation of university rules or this hate group’s repeated efforts to shut down the free speech of others.”