Civil Rights Case Against UC Berkeley

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Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Neal Sher, an attorney practicing in New York City. He was the Director the Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations, which investigated and prosecuted Nazi criminals in the U.S.  In that capacity, he was responsible for bringing many dozens of prosecutions and for barring former UN Secretary General Kurt Waldheim from coming to this country. He also served as the National Executive Director of AIPAC and was the President of the American Section of the International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists.  In March he and his colleague in San Francisco, civil rights attorney Joel Siegal, filed a civil rights case against U.C. Berkeley on behalf of a Jewish student who had been assaulted by a leader of a Muslim student group.

FP: Neal Sher, welcome back to Frontpage Interview.

I would like to talk to you today about the Amended Complaint that was just filed in the Berkeley federal civil rights case.

But first, give our readers a brief background on the case.

Sher: It’s a pleasure to be back with you at Frontpage.

As your readers may remember, last March a first of its kind federal civil rights case was been filed in United States District Court in Oakland, California, against the University of California at Berkeley, the Regents of the University of California and their ranking officials, by a Jewish student who had been assaulted on campus last year by a leader of a Muslim student organization during a pro-Israel event.

On March 5, 2010, Jessica Felber, a twenty year old Jewish student at Berkeley, was attacked and injured on campus because of her Jewish ancestry and religious affiliation. At the time she was holding a sign stating “Israel wants Peace.” Her assailant, Husam Zakharia, also a UC Berkeley student, was the leader of Students for Justice in Palestine (“SJP”) at Berkeley.

The University and its officials were fully aware that Zakharia, the SJP and similar student groups  had been involved in other incidents on campus to incite violence against and intimidate Jewish and other students. Nevertheless, in clear dereliction of their legal responsibilities, Defendants took no reasonable steps to protect Ms. Felber and others.

The Complaint further describes how the SJP conspires and coordinates with the Muslim Student Association (“MSA”), which has a publicly documented history of affiliation with and support of organizations deemed “terror organizations” by the United States Department of State. That they have resorted to intimidation and harassment is evidenced most recently by the fact that the District Attorney of Orange County, California, has indicted eleven students from these groups for inciting and disrupting a speech given by the Israeli Ambassador to the United States at the University of California, Irvine.

The Complaint charged that the assault was the result of the university having:  (1) fostered  and encouraged campus terrorist incitements by the SJP and the MSA) ; (2) turned a blind eye to the perpetrators of illegal activities; (3) failed to effectively discipline the MSA and SJP for their pro-terrorist programs, goals and conduct; despite having ample notice that such violence was foreseeable;  and (4) failed to provide adequate security to prevent the violence, harassment and intimidation which occurred on March 5, 2010.

Ignoring complaints from students about the poisonous climate on campus, defendants condoned, allowed and enabled groups such as the MSA and the SJP to threaten, harass and intimidate Jewish students and to endanger their health and safety. Their tolerance of the growing cancer of a dangerous anti-Semitic climate on its campuses, and their failure to take adequate measures to quell it, violated the rights of Ms. Felber’s and other students to enjoy a peaceful campus environment free from threats and intimidation.

We noted that the on-campus activities of the SJP and MSA against plaintiff and other students of Jewish religion and ancestry  – and the university’s failure to confront them – present a disturbing echo of the darkest period in history: the incitement, intimidation, harassment and violence carried out under the Nazi regime and those of its allies in Europe against Jewish students and scholars in the leading universities of those countries during the turbulent years leading up to and including the Holocaust.

There is a genuine fear by Ms. Felber and other students of Jewish ancestry on campuses throughout the University of California system that the tragic lessons of history have not yet been learned by these defendants. They fear that the University of California campuses are no longer places of hope and dignity, of academic and personal freedom, or of peaceful life and personal safety.

FP: Ok, so now the Amended Complaint — what is that about?

Sher: Just last week, we filed an Amended Complaint in the case brought by Jessica Felber. Following the filing of the original Complaint in March, another “Apartheid Week” occurred on campus, where a student in a wheel chair became entangled in barbed wire placed in front of the main gate on campus by the anti-Israel gangs. Despite the repeated warnings of the dangers posed by the anti-Israeli provocateurs, the University and its officials condoned the establishment of “checkpoints,” where students dress as Israeli soldiers, carry realistic-looking assault weapons, lay barbed wire on heavily traveled campus walkways, and interrogate others about their religious affiliation and national origins.

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  • rbosque

    The actions of Muslim groups such as those stated in this interview are repeated throughout many universities in California. Last year at CSULB the Muslim student group sponsored Jihadi seminars and picnics with anti-Jewish speakers. I am not Jewish but I can imagine how they must have reacted upon seeing this overt display of hostility toward them; yet the administration (ostensibly) gave tacit or official permission for these people to be antagonistic towards the Jewish community despite the University's claim of tolerance to all groups. But as most of us have come to understand, "tolerance" is something we conservatives have to show, not the left. These Islamic hate groups are insulting to all human beings especially to those with whom they have declared war on in the Middle east.

    • vivikaja

      Yes, You are absolutely right : islam/muslims have – long ago – declared war on EVERY non- muslims / non-islamic states.

      They, the muslims, have no tolerance for other people .

      And their agenda is clear : read The Muslim Brotherhood´s " The Project".

      What they want to do with America is what they want to do with Europe : to bring us under the Sharia and our countries brought under the Khalifat.

  • Foolster41

    "As part of “Apartheid Week,” each year for the past three years members of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) create barriers on campus in an effort to simulate what, in their view, security checkpoints are like in Israel."
    I'd love to know how many have actually experienced this first hand for themselves, or have seen recorded proof to show how this little play-acting is authentic. I doubt it is, and is no more than made-up projects of what they believe or want to believe what is happening.

    The actions by these groups are vile, and I hope a legal victory will be the first step in stopping this vile behavior. Criticizing Israel (as they claim to do) would be one thing, but promoting terrorist organizations, genocide and libels against Israel and Jews is quite another!

  • Gamaliel Isaac

    We need people to dress up as suicide bombers with belts of fire crackers who come to the checkpoints and insist to be let through.

    • Raymond in DC

      Even better, have someone scream "Alluhu Akhbar" before setting off a smoke or stink bomb at the "checkpoint". Then again, we know who'd be arrested afterwards, and it wouldn't be the thugs of SJP or MSA.

  • jacob

    Knowing how bizarre and rotten CALIFORNIA is, I wonder UC authorities will get
    from thewir courts of law,as much as a slap on their wrists…and I would suggest
    to the Jewish students there, male and female alike, to start getting proficient in
    martial arts or quit altogether, as matters will now be getting worst….and the so
    called campus "authorities" will shine for their absence….

  • sedoanman

    One has to wonder what value terrorist student groups bring to the academy that can't be done without. “Everything modern liberals believe …, everything they teach in our schools, the messages in movies and TV shows, the newspaper stories that they pick and how they spin them, have but one criterion for truth, beauty, honesty, goodness. And that is, ‘Does it tear down what is good and elevate what is evil?’ Does it tear down what is right and elevate what is wrong? Does it tear down the behaviors that lead to success and elevate ones that lead to failure until there’s nothing left to believe in?

    “There is virtually nothing coming out of Hollywood, taught in schools, etc. that does not have this as its sole criterion.” – Evan Sayet, “How Modern Liberals Think”

    P.S. If Israeli checkpoints are so bad, just don't try to get into Israel.

    • generalissimo

      "P.S. If Israeli checkpoints are so bad, just don't try to get into Israel."

      Better yet, if the checkpoints are so bad, imagine what are they guarding against! Israelis must be doing something right, otherwise Israel wouldn't exist anymore.

  • HGreen

    Can you imagine what the headlines would be, and what would have happened if the attackers were a Christian group and they had attacked a group of Muslims? I hope UCB has to pay through the nose, that will be the only way to get their attention. Go get um Ms Felber!

  • sedoanman

    If plaintiff wins, the administration will not be held personally liable; the taxpayers of the state will have to pay any judgement. [See Hinkle v. Baker.] But plaintiff will not win; the court will rule that she provoked the Muslim "students" [again, as though we need them in our midst].

  • Spider

    This incident is just another exanple of the stealth Ji-had that is part of the overall Ji-had and war that has been declared against the West. At UC Irvine for example the MSA students are allowed to wear green (Hamas) arm bands to all school functions including graduation ceremonies. Why are these incidents not hate crimes ? I will tell you why. Our universities in California are run by Marx-ist and Com-munist radicals who hate the very country in which they reside with all their being and hence will always vehimetly support any enemy of this country no matter how evil. You see hate crimes (as far as they are concerned) can only occurr gaainst them or any of the evil group they support. This is a tactic that would have made the Naz-zis proud.

  • eye duh hoe an

    Bezerkeley, by any other name, is still a mentally challenged institute…

  • Alfonz Shmedlap

    Th., 05/26/11 common era

    I am ashamed to be an alumnus of U.C. Berkeley. Don't be surprised if one of the lead defense attorneys in this civil lawsuit has a Jewish surname. "Embrace diversity" apparently doesn't include embracing yarmulkah-wearing students on that campus.
    Sadly, some of the lead infidels there are Jewish. "Nuthin' new under the sun"

  • We see them.

    I would not send any of my children to these islamic cesspools.

    • Vermont Yid

      "Islamic cesspools" is redundent.

  • patti
  • jasonz

    im not sure what this will do. these muslim groups will still attack and defame. the problem is we are to nice. we try to be reasonable with a group of people who only want 1 thing. the destruction of israel. this dosent have to do with land. this dosent have to do with 'israeli inolerance' or resources this dosent have to do with anything other than muslims…ALL MUSLIMS want the destruction of the jew. you got what.,….1500 yrs of them saying 'DEATH TO THE JEW AND TO ISRAEL" backing me up on this. so where is the confusion? if you want to stop these things then realize that muslims only understand force. they use our civility against us. we need to quit messing around and destroy them. the longer we wait, the more in control they become. you dont reason with someone trying to kill kill them first.

    • generalissimo

      I second that. How can we be expected to win and defend ourselves if we constantly point to "peaceful dialogue"? You don't fight terrorists with freedom, peace treaties and human rights; they're not after peace, freedom and human rights.
      You root them out, hound them, boycott them, make them feel unsafe and unwelcome. Make them feel inferior like they really are, like the virus and parasites they are. The world must be cured from the desease of islam.

  • jasonz

    p2,.,.,..,.,,.if the bleeding heart peaceniks and the wannabe ghandies cant realize that then too bad. just remember that the only reason they can curse you and say how mean and how 'war is not the answer' is because intelligent people like me woke up and recognised the threat for what it is and delt with it. if berly jews want to get these muslims to stop beating on them then fight back. i dont mean talk to the accomplise teachers or administration. i mean rise up and kick their butts! fight fire with fire

  • Dispozovdaburka

    I am going to invent "Pigs blood" mace.

  • Andres de Alamaya

    The college administration would do a fast turn and the sophomoric terrorists would quickly became tame if they were dealt with off campus by a few persuaders with baseball bats. You can't teach low grade animals how to act in civilized ways without first getting their attention and there is nothing like a few black and blue marks and cracked bones on arms, legs and head to get an animal's attention.

  • jerry

    I suggest that every Jewish student transfer out of Berkely to other universities and watch U.C.Berkely devolve into the second rate school it is without the benefit of those students who have some brains.

  • Jim

    What sort of sickness infests the administrators .

    Did they not used to adopt hate speech guide lines?

    Now they will have to adopt hate actions guide lines.

  • crypticguise

    Islam is always "defensive". Anytime, a non-Muslims breathes and denies that Mohammed is not a prophet or Islam is criticized that is an attack against Islam and Muslims choose to use this excuse to ATTACK non-Muslims.

    The University of California must stop the Islamofascist terrorists on their campuses from attacking Jewish and other non-Muslim students. In fact, the MSA and other Islamist Muslim organizations on campus are extensions of the International Terrorist Organization, the Muslim Brotherhood.

    The MSA must be decertified by not only the U of C but by all Universities and Colleges across the United States. This law suit is an excellent first step.

  • Zocher

    "Jewish blood is not free" – Jaobotinsky.

    The appropriate response to Jihadist violence on campus is not lawsuits but an escalation of violence – by Jews. This is the lesson of Kisninev and the other programs which finally woke Jews from their passivity and silence. Only a little more than a century has passed, but the Juden already forget how to defend themselves. Jews, wake up!