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Thursday, May 02, 2024

"Violence" at UCLA

As UCLA's Joey Fishkin pointed out at Balkinization, the media reports of “violent clashes on campus” used passive voice to obscure what was actually an attack on the protest encampment by a gang of pro-Israel thugs. This is completely in accord with an eye witness account I received from the emeritus rabbi of the UCLA Hillel:

The instigators were clearly the pro-Israel thugs. They had already demonstrated their penchant for violence on Sunday as part of the Jewish Federation’s effort to demonstrate its support for Jewish students (btw, no one asked them for this support and they were asked by Hillel not to come). These ‘thugs’ included a chasid(tzitzit flying) who was waving a big yellow flag that proclaimed Moshiach with one hand and spraying some substance with the other. The pro-Israel mob threw firecrackers, parts of the barrier, 2x4’s and other projectiles aside from attempting to break through to the encampment. At times you could only hope that no one would get killed. 

I watched the confrontation for 2 1/2 hours and I didn’t see any violence that was initiated by those in the encampment. I will check on the young woman to determine what happened. But, while certainly condemning her beating, the aggression was overwhelmingly from the pro-Israel side.

I just got off the phone with a Jewish student who wants to organize a statement condemning the Jewish initiated violence last night.

All the best,



Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller

Director Emeritus,UCLA Hillel

I have been very critical of the antisemitism displayed by some of the protesters (more on that next week), but there is no excuse for physical attacks against them.

Posted by Steve Lubet on May 2, 2024 at 08:04 PM | Permalink


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