Jewish Students Sue UCLA for Allowing ‘Jew Exclusion Zone’ on Campus

Three Jewish UCLA students are suing the university for allowing anti-Israel protesters to construct a “Jew Exclusion Zone” accessible only to those who pledged fealty to the Palestinian cause.

The plaintiffs were prohibited from passing through what the lawsuit calls the “Jew Exclusion Zone,” the complaint alleges. One was barred from walking through the encampment to attend class, while another was “harassed and blocked from approaching the encampment by anti-Semitic activists, all with the assistance of UCLA security.” A second-year law student who tried to observe the camp was “shooed away by a security officer who chastised her and called her ‘the problem,’” the lawsuit says.

Although UCLA administrators knew this was happening and even hired security to monitor the protesters’ encampment, they told security guards to “discourage unapproved students” from trying to cross the blockade instead of enforcing equal and free campus access for all and the university’s own policies, the lawsuit alleges.

“The administration’s cowardly abdication of its duty to ensure unfettered access to UCLA’s educational opportunities and to protect the Jewish community is not only immoral—it is illegal,” the complaint states.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday by the religious liberty law firm Becket and backed by prominent lawyers including former solicitor general Paul Clement, is the first to challenge a major California university for its handling of anti-Semitic protests that have swept public and private campuses alike in the state. The complaint names both UCLA administrators, including outgoing chancellor Gene Block, and the UC Board of Regents which governs the entire University of California system.

UCLA and the UC Board of Regents did not respond to requests for comment.

The protest, organized by the UCLA chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine and the UC Divest Coalition at UCLA, took over one of the central campus hubs outside the main library and the university’s iconic music hall at the end of April.

The encampment remained standing for a week, during which time students could only gain access if given clearance and a wristband. The encampment sparked counterprotests and violence before administrators dispatched police who cleared the tents after an intense, hours-long showdown during which protesters compared officers to the Ku Klux Klan.

The complaint includes details about the happenings at UCLA’s anti-Israel encampment, which made headlines when a Jewish student recorded activists blocking him from a main campus thoroughfare.

Beyond the encampment, UCLA has seen a surge of anti-Semitic activism since Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack on Israel. A university professor found a paper headlined “Loudmouth Jew” and a book cover with a swastika on trash piled outside the professor’s home. Last November, Students for Justice in Palestine launched a protest where activists chanted “beat that fucking Jew” while beating a piñata of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Activists have also sprayed graffiti at the university, including “Free Palestine, Fuck Jews” on a bathroom wall.

Block, who is retiring as chancellor this summer, testified to Congress last summer as part of a probe into campus anti-Semitism. During that hearing, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) downplayed the fact activists blocked students from passing through the encampment, saying that a video of the blockade showed “people moving around.”

Original News Source – Washington Free Beacon

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