ADL Opposes Boycott Calls Against UC - Irvine; Urges University to Step Up Efforts to Deal with Anti-Semitic Intimidation on Campus
New York, NY, February 18, 2010 … Calling academic boycotts "inappropriate, harmful and counterproductive," the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today voiced opposition to calls by some in the Jewish community to boycott the University of California at Irvine in response to anti-Israel activity on campus.
"We are deeply disturbed by some in the Jewish community who have responded to the University of California Irvine's handling of anti-Israel activity on campus by encouraging Jewish students and donors to boycott the university," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "We are surprised that those who call for a boycott fail to recognize that it is a double-edged sword that legitimizes a tactic so often used against Jews and Israel, particularly in academic settings. We believe academic boycotts are inappropriate, harmful and counterproductive, and will not work to resolve the situation on campus."
In a letter to Dr. Michael V. Drake, Chancellor of UC-Irvine, the League called on the university to step up efforts to deal with the problems of anti-Semitic intimidation and speakers on campus.
"We believe your commitment to maintaining a safe, respectful atmosphere free from intimidation and harassment at UCI is sincere," wrote Mr. Foxman. "However, as the disruptions of last week's address by the Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren made clear, your efforts to maintain civility have not succeeded."
ADL thanked the chancellor for his "swift, clear and appropriate" response to the disruptions of Ambassador Oren's speech, which led to the arrests of 11 individuals, and urged him to condemn hateful expressions on campus in the future.
The League also urged the chancellor to make public the findings of a university investigation into allegations that one speaker invited to UCI by the Muslim Student Union last year, British M.P. George Galloway, may have violated the material support provisions of federal anti-terrorism legislation by raising money for the terrorist group Hamas.
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The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.