Wiesenthal Center Reaction to U.S. Department of Education Decision to Dismiss Jewish Student Charges Against UC Berkeley

August 28, 2013

In response to the decision by the U.S. Department of Education to dismiss Jewish students’ claims that anti-Israel protests at UC Berkeley created an anti-Semitic and hostile environment on campus, the Simon Wiesenthal Center issued the following statement:

“The Simon Wiesenthal Center is deeply disappointed that the Department of Education has failed to address the concerns of American Jewish families, many of whose children have been subject to intimidation, physical and verbal abuse because of their Jewish identity and support for the State of Israel,” said Rabbi Aron Hier, Director of the Center’s Campus Outreach Division.

“This is an indefensible decision that reflects a dangerous double standard. These acts of intimidation on campus toward Jews are just as offensive for the Jewish community as the activities of the Compton Cookout were to the African American community. Yet, the Department of Justice intervened there – but here, the Department of Education labeled this a matter of free speech,” Hier concluded.

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The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).