In addition to being harassed and intimidated by anti-Israel protesters, Jewish students at UC San Diego are feeling gaslit by the university's response to antisemitic incidents on campus in recent weeks.
On November 1, Jewish students, as well as non-Jewish students, gathered on campus for the student government meeting where the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) had planned a “walkout” once they discovered the Jewish students would be in attendance.
According to attendees, campus security was aware of the planned protest and Jewish students were told to have police escorts to and from the meeting. However, during the meeting, the anti-Israel mob from SJP gathered at the entrance to the building, reportedly waving an Al Qaeda flag and chanting explicit support for terrorism (“resistance is justified,” a chant recently popularized by anti-Israel protesters referring to the October 7 Hamas massacre).
One of the Jewish students present stated, “My group of friends and I left around 9:30. We were specifically told by PD [campus police] that there were no escort available and to call the CSO (campus safety officers) who are not police for an escort. A faculty of UCSD then came up to my group and informed us to wait and she would get us a police escort…We were all instructed to not leave the building without an escort."
Once the police escort had been arranged, the Jewish students were evacuated from the building safely. “From my understanding, this was the case for all Jewish students present at the meeting,” said the same student.
A UCSD faculty member who wished to remain anonymous told Ynetnews, “the most important thing for us as faculty is the safety of all, and the fact that they needed an escort out of a building without UCSD clearing the threat is alarming. I can’t imagine how a student must have felt the next morning when they needed to reach their classroom as if nothing happened after a night like that!”
In the following days, UCSD issued a formal statement condemning antisemitism and pledging to protect its Jewish students. However, when a video of the November 1 protest went viral on social media on November 18, the university jumped into action with a statement denying such an incident occurred and claiming police had no knowledge of such an event. They also claimed that the footage of the protest in which anti-Israel students are calling for genocide outside a meeting of Jewish students was multiple videos “edited” together.
While it is true that there was no such event on November 18, there certainly was on November 1, and police were heavily involved. Furthermore, the footage was verified as authentic and confirmed by multiple students and multiple additional clips of the protest were received by Ynetnews.
Even more disturbing, Hillel at UCSD also issued a statement on the antisemitic protest which stated that UCSD had confirmed flying the Al Qaeda flag on campus was “free speech.” How exactly does UCSD intend to protect Jewish students and make them feel safe on campus while defending the promotion of terrorist organizations on campus and then denying such incidents even took place?
Jewish students and faculty both were bewildered as to UCSD’s apparent attempt to sweep their antisemitism issue under the rug. “I honestly can’t get my head around why the university would put together such a quick and panic announcement over the weekend without checking the facts, and claiming that the video was edited. Instead, they should have just suspended SJP and ensuring safety for our students,” said a concerned faculty member.
On November 19, UCSD backtracked on its November 18 denial and is now admitting that police were involved in a “preplanned” fashion and that the footage was in fact real. UCSD also deleted their tweets claiming no such incident occurred. UCSD did not respond to inquiries from Ynetnews on their reasons for the initial false statement or why they have not issued an apology to the Jewish community.