A student at UCLA has filed a complaint with the Department of Education alleging that her university supports antisemitism.
According to a report by Campus Reform, UCLA student Shayna Lavi has filed a complaint with the Department of Education, accusing her university of failing to respond to a guest speaker’s antisemitism during an event that took place on May 14.
The filed complaint details an encounter that Lavi had with a guest lecturer, Professor Rabab Abdulhadi, in which the lecturer conflated Lavi’s Jewish identity with “white supremacy.” Then, Abdulhadi accused Jewish people of engaging in “ethnic cleansing.”
The college classroom aptly has been described as the “marketplace of ideas” — an environment in which open dialogue and debate of diverse viewpoints should be nurtured,including, and perhaps especially, on controversial subjects. This is the environment Ms. Lavi expected to encounter last spring during a guest lecture by Professor Rabab Abdulhadi purportedly addressing Islamophobia. To her surprise and shock, however, she was confronted with a diatribe that attacked a core component of her identity as a Jewish Zionist, i.e.,one who supports the right of the Jewish people to self-determination in their ancestral homeland—Israel. Worse yet, the speaker accused Zionists of a willingness to engage in ethnic cleansing to achieve the goal of a Jewish state and expressly characterized this integral part of Ms. Lavi’s Jewish identity and ancestry as a form of white supremacy.
After Adulhadi made these remarks, Lavi attempted to defend herself. Instead, Adulhadi allegedly interrupted and told Lavi that her Jewish identity was “wrong.” Moreover, Lavi’s professor, who had invited Adulhadi to speak on campus, refused to defend Lavi during the exchange.
When Ms. Lavi exhibited the courage to challenge these statements, she found no allowance for open debate; instead, the speaker told Ms. Lavi in no uncertain terms that Zionism, this fundamental piece of Ms. Lavi’s Jewish identity,was “wrong.”Rather than come to Ms. Lavi’s aide, the professor for the class, Dr. Kyeyoung Park (who was responsible for inviting a speaker who used antisemitic rhetoric in her classroom) further aggravated Ms. Lavi’s embarrassment in front of the entire class by remaining silent. Dr. Park then added insult to injury by subjectingMs. Lavi to continual harassment on the subject of Zionism in subsequent class meetings and noted her own agreement with the speaker’s antisemitic rant. These experiences, unsurprisingly, left Ms. Lavi feeling marginalized, estranged and unwelcome as a Jewish student—both in Dr. Park’s class and as a student at UCLA in general.
This isn’t the first time that students have complained about antisemitism at UCLA. Breitbart News reported in January 2018 that the office of then-UCLA student body president Arielle Mokhtarzadeh had been defaced with antisemitic vandalism. A vandal intentionally destroyed Mokhtarzadeh’s Mezuzah, a Jewish ornament that is traditionally placed outside of a doorway.
Stay tuned to Breitbart News for updates on this story.