National | News

UC Berkeley student government votes down resolution condemning pro-Palestinian display

(JTA) — A student government committee at the University of California, Berkeley, voted down a resolution condemning a display by a pro-Palestinian student group.

The Associated Students of the University of California Senate’s University and External Affairs Committee met on Monday night to discuss the resolution presented by a Jewish student senator, Milton Zerman.

The 4-1 vote came a week after the committee adjourned a meeting early following an argument between pro-Palestinian members in the crowd and Zerman, according to the The Daily Californian student newspaper. Dozens of students spoke for and against the bill last week and on Monday.

The display includes photos of what Bears for Palestine called “Palestinian leaders” Fatima Bernawi, Rasmea Odeh and Leila Khaled, who all were convicted of terror attacks in Israel. The resolution, titled “Condemning Bears for Palestine for Their Display in Eshleman Hall Glorifying Violent Terrorists,” calls on the group to “significantly alter” or remove those photos.

“Clearly Berkeley is not united against hate,” campus senior Nathan Bentolila said at the meeting, the Daily Californian reported. “I honestly have very little to say — the Jewish community is beyond disappointed.”

Many of the Jewish students who attended the meeting to support Bears for Palestine called out “You don’t speak for us” to Bentolila.

In a statement sent to students, UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ acknowledged that Jewish students have the right to “feel dismay and concern” over the photos. At the same time, she said that “each side has an equal right to express and have heard their perspective,” J. The Jewish News of Northern California reported.