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UCLA Chancellor: On antisemitism, I seek a place of common purpose with Congress

By University of California, Los Angeles Chancellor Gene Block:
When I testify before the House Committee on Education and the Workforce this morning about the rise of antisemitism on college campuses, I expect members of Congress to challenge how UCLA has responded. As with so many universities across the country today, ours has not been immune to a troubling increase in bigotry, harassment and hostility.
As UCLA’s chancellor, I welcome the committee members’ questions, even if I won’t have all the answers. I don’t think any university leader does. The rise in incidents of legally protected, but hateful speech — whether antisemitic, Islamophobic, anti-Arab or otherwise – underscores the fundamental tension that can come about when an institution is committed to both safeguarding free expression under the First Amendment and preventing discrimination that violates the law.
As a Jewish man who grew up in post-war New York with relatives who were Holocaust survivors and victims, I’ve confronted the consequences of unchecked bigotry and I have been repulsed by the recent rise in egregious conduct that I never expected to see on the campus I have called home for 17 years. Only six years ago, the prominent Jewish publication Forward declared UCLA third among the “Best Colleges for Jewish Life.” I am pained to say that recently, too many Jewish students have felt unsafe.
While the Congressional committee members are likely to focus on areas where they believe UCLA has failed, I plan on telling them the decisive steps we are taking to balance our commitment to free speech and our obligation to protect our community from harm.
Read the rest of the article in The Sacramento Bee.