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Jewish students at UC Berkeley to rally against antisemitism

Jewish students at UC Berkeley plan to protest what they call a lack of action by the school to protect its students.

Monday’s scheduled protest follows a chaotic incident on campus in late February and comes at a time when one professor is staging his own sit-in protest.

The Jewish students are expected to march in protest in what they are calling “liberate the gate.” That references a gate on campus that is currently being blocked by a student-led group.

The march is also calling to light what students are calling the university’s failure to protect the physical safety of Jews on campus as well as their free speech.

Meanwhile, Professor Ron Hassner, the chair of Israel studies at Berkeley, started his protest on March 7. He said he will teach, eat and sleep in his office, which will be open at all hours of the day and night to students who do not feel safe or who have been subjected to antisemitic abuse or wish to chat.

“I am pessimistic that this will sway the administration, certainly in the short term,” Hassner wrote to his students. “I am willing to wait it out for as long as I can. But the main reason I am doing this is not to exert indirect pressure on campus leaders. Rather, it is to signal to you students that we, the faculty, care.”

Hassner’s sit-in comes after pro-Palestinian students disrupted a private event on campus in late February hosted by an Israeli speaker at Zellerbach Playhouse. The event was abruptly canceled due to security concerns.

The university later strongly condemned the incident, saying, in part, “We share your anger and concern, and we understand that we must do all that we can to prevent anything like this from happening again.”

Monday’s march will begin at noon, followed by a rally at 12:15 p.m. at California Hall.

The aim, organizers said, is to pressure the administration to issue a temporary suspension to student groups currently under investigation for the February event.

Source: NBC Bay Area

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