Hostile Environment For Jewish Students at U.C. 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.

FP: Neal Sher, welcome to Frontpage Interview.

I would like to talk to you today about why you and your colleague Joel Siegal filed a complaint with the Justice and Education Departments alleging violations of Title VI by U.C. Berkeley.

But first, as a bit of background for our readers, tell us about the federal court case that was brought by Berkeley students Jessica Felber and Brian Maissy. How was it resolved?

Sher: Thanks Jamie.

The original complaint in federal district court was a first of its kind federal civil rights case filed against the University of California at Berkeley, the Regents of the University of California and their ranking officials, by a Jewish student, Jessica Felber, who had been assaulted on campus last year by a leader of a Muslim student organization during a pro-Israel event. Later, Brian Maissy joined as a plaintiff.

On March 5, 2010, Ms.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.

University 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 laid out 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 charges 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.

There was genuine fear by Ms. Felber, Mr. Maissy 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.

Since Maissy and Felber have graduated, we no longer had standing to obtain the full redress to deal with the overall hostile environment on campus. In resolving the case, Berkeley has agreed to promulgate regulations dealing with the improper use on campus of fake but realistic weapons and to ensure that students are able to pass into and out of campus during demonstrations. These were issues central to the case.

Now, with Felber and Maissy no longer at Berkeley, we have called upon the Justice and Education Departments to investigate the hostile environment facing Jews at Berkeley. They have full authority to do so and we have provided voluminous evidence establishing that a hostile environment does indeed exist. Justice has investigated a racist atmosphere on the campus of U.C. San Diego and reached a resolution imposing upon the school strong monitoring and reporting requirements. As similar result is certainly warranted at Berkeley.

FP: Ok, thank you, so tell us the details about the complaint you and your colleague Joel Siegal filed with the Justice and Education Departments alleging violations of Title VI by U.C. Berkeley?

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  • mah29001

    When Palestinian supporters are praised by a former Klansman like David Duke, of course they're just as going to be as hateful as the former Klansman.

    • Kufar Dawg

      Islamic Jew hatred and muslim action upon that hatred predates the existence of not only the USA, but the English language. It's also never stopped since it's part and parcel of their faith.

  • A. Keen Observer

    Wouldn't it be great if this finally made an impression on liberal, university-worshipping Jews. Oh well, I was just dreaming….


    Here's a chant to use at Berkeley.

    "From the river to the sea,

    Pal-e-SWINE Will Never Be!"

  • Ain't No Dhimmi

    Better known as "Beserkley."

  • Schlomotion

    This interviewee is hard to believe firstoff because his surname leaps out as uncommon. It is the medieval English "Son of Shear" and would more commonly be rendered Shears or Shire. It leaps out as being a shortened version of Sherman or Schermer. Mr. Sher was the executive director of AIPAC from 1994 to 1996, and AIPAC is a political machine with the the mission to control, alter, or destroy any organization that impedes the Israel Lobby. Mr. Sher was an ambulance chaser for Holocaust insurance claims and resigned when it was revealed that he received unauthorized payments to the tune of $5000 in first class air travel to Europe. This was at a time when the Holocaust Restitution Movement began attacking the Slavery Restitution Movement. The organization interviewing Mr. Sher was a lead party in that media war. Mr. Sher was disbarred by consent in 2003.

    Now he is defending college students from viewpoints on campus that differ with those of the Israel Lobby. He is pushing the "hostile environment" angle which originated in se.x.ual harassment workplace litigation and is trying to apply it to beliefs expressed on campus that Palestinians are people too. This is Nazi-hunting writ impossibly small, indicative of recession era issues-politics.

    • Looking4Sanity

      Let me get this straight. Because you think the guy has a funny name, we're all expected to ignore the injustices occurring on UC campuses? Wow. What a compelling argument you make!

      • Schlomotion

        Yes I definitely do. If his name was Jesus Hitler, you would too. Anyway, I made more of a point than that. There are no injustices happening on UC campuses. It's nothing people can't handle. The alarmism with which this whole thing is being treated is copied straight from the feminist handbook on stopping rape by holding vigils and demanding more lightbulbs.

        • Looking4Sanity

          "There are no injustices happening on UC campuses. It's nothing people can't handle."

          Which is it? You seem to be having a hard time keeping your story straight.

          • Schlomotion

            Banner battles FROM 2010!!! Oooooooh. He hung his Gaza banner too close to my Israel banner. Call in the lawyers.

          • Kufar Dawg

            You mean CAIR right?

          • Schlomotion

            I don't really support CAIR. I would be fine if someone tied them to Tikvah and dropped them in the ocean.

          • Kufar Dawg

            Ah, nice try at an argument of false equivalence. I'm sorry but the mission statement of Tikvah is in no way comparable to that of islamofascist CAIR. Tikvah doesn't have any ties to terrorist groups that advocate the extermination of the Jewish people either.

            Like I said, nice try, I give a 3 out of 10.

          • Looking4Sanity

            So you're just going to ignore and discount the physical assaults that have taken place “in the interest of peace and harmony”? What a humanitarian you are!

          • Schlomotion

            I watched videos of Husam Zakharia and looked at Mr. Maissy's website. These people are fakers, stagers, and passive aggressive wimps. Maissy dropped the lawsuit years ago. Zakharia went on to stand on blue and white towels and freak out if anybody walked within a foot of his body. Ms. Felber has survived to stick her rear end in front of other shopping carts on behalf of Israel. Not only do I discount these "assaults," I would say they have gone into warehouse liquidations. I can't see that Mr. Sher is even actually doing anything.

          • Iron Yank

            Come one Scholomotion, I think we know your agenda here……you dont like the Jew do you? Do you possibly associate with David Duke?

          • Looking4Sanity

            The Nazis used a very similar rationalization. Pardon me for saying this, but your callous indifference seems a bit subhuman.

        • aspacia


          You have zero idea what another poster would do. Don't you realize that making ASSumptions, reveals you to be an @$$.

        • Kufar Dawg

          Instead of Jesus Hitler, how about Adolph MuhamMAD?

    • Ghostwriter

      Well,that who Schlockmotion is,a callous Jew hater with no real humanity in him.

    • Choi

      You never cease to amaze at your creativeness in making yourself a bigger POS with each post.
      You are a JEW-HATING TROLL on Steroids.
      We're NOT talking about differing viewpoints unless in your sick and evil mind ,Muslims WANTING to Kill Jews,Destroy Israel,and attack their fellow students who are Jewish,and the Jews for WANTING to STAY ALIVE & HEALTHY ,Israel to be SAFE,and the SAME feeling of well-being ,on campus,or society as any other human being, are "differing "viewpoints.

  • Dr. Kochava Malchiel

    I have witnessed with my own eyes Moslme students on the CAL campus waving Nazi swastikas.

    • Looking4Sanity

      Not surprising. Muslims were notorious Nazi collaborators. Did you know that the name "Iran" is Farsi for "Aryan"? Food for thought!

    • 1389AD

      Well, yes, of course.

      A surprising number of Nazis WERE Muslims. And I mean actual Nazis of the Third Reich.

      Hitler, the Mufti of Jerusalem, and Modern Islamo-Nazism

  • JohnWV

    Criticism of Israel is not antisemitic. Criticism of American Jews who support Israel isn't either. Israel is racist and America Jews who support Israel are legitimately suspect.

    • aspacia


      What about the intolerance demonstrated in ever ME land except Israel. NonMuslims, women, any minority are often massacred by Muslims. Look at what has happened to the Copts? What about the 650,000 Jews expelled from their ME homes without compensation. And you have the nerve to condemn this tiny, industrious land whose people contribute numerous advances to humanity.

      No John, it is the vast ME Muslim world who is xenophobic and discriminate against all nonMuslims.

      • JohnWV

        Israel defines itself as a Jewish State and discriminates (intolerates) accordingly. Examples:

        Rabbinical Authority sorts Jew from goy with emphasis on maternal bloodlines and marriage. Based of their rulings, applicants are either rejected or assigned to one of the multiple levels of citizenship which allow or deny crucial privileges including where they are permitted to live.

        Israel looses American attack jets against civilians in besieged Palestinian neighborhoods. Fathers, mothers and children killed, splattered actually. The Jews enjoy a kill ratio of near one hundred to one.

        • aspacia

          It is called maternal descent. So? If children are born to a Muslim man they are considered Muslim.

          Muslims discriminate against women, gays and nonMuslims daily and really discriminate against Pals. Pals are denied job opportunities, citizenship, education in the vast ME lands.

          Wars are won by using disproportional force, hence we won against Germany and Japan

          Gaza has launched thousands or rockets into Israel since Israel evacuated the land.

    • Looking4Sanity

      If Israel is racist, as you claim, how do you explain the existence of large numbers of "Palestinians" who claim Israeli citizenship? If they were racist, why would they allow goyim into their country to visit their holy sites?

      These do not seem to be the actions of racists to me. Maybe you're the racist?

      • Kufar Dawg

        Yeah Israel is so racist that it's the ONLY place in the Mid-East where Jews, Bahais, Druze and Christians
        aren't being slaughtered, raped or persecuted by muslims with impunity.

    • bobloblaw

      If you read JohnWV past posts, he is an old time peleo con Jew hater from the 1930s. He justifies the treatment of Jews over the centuries. Says Jews always enrage their "host" country as though they didnt belong there (notice the position of the anti-semite, Jews dont belong in Israel but they also dont belong in Germany, Russia or Poland either, they simply belong dead).

    • Choi

      And you're a Hillbilly RACIST Jew-Hating INBRED in the West Virginny mountains.

    • UCSPanther

      Translation: All Jews need to be cleansed from America. Sieg Heil!

  • Iron Yank

    Let me guess…… Your first name is really David & you live in Louisiana?

  • elvisbarry

    why don't the muslim monkeys get the hell out of my country!

  • Ronald Johnston

    osama obama, the evil muslim terrorist, has no small part in any of these evil things the muslims do!!!!!

  • Ghostwriter

    I got to admit. This article did bring some of the usual Jew hating swill from their fetid swamp of hate.

    • Kufar Dawg

      They never quit, hate is all they have. Delusional Jew hatred is practically the hallmark of a room temperature IQ.

  • Katharina

    Bravo article! Only the lawsby barve lawyers and people (we need some brave lawyers here in Germany!) can fight back against Nazi Saudi/Qatar-sponsored Muslim Brotherhood terrorism (both psychological & physical terrorism) in the West! These Jihadists are using the Western universities not just to brainwash Muslim students into Jew/Israel-hating but also recruiting future Jihadist footsoldiers through the Muslim intellectuals (both males/females), who will hold dominant power in politics and economics, especially in OIL-RICH Islamic-ruled regions/countries! Look at the Islam-Saudi king bowing Mullah/Dictator/War Criminal and suspected Muslim Brotherhood Trojan Horse Barack Hussein Obama – the MB Jihadists even hijacked the once great White House & are destroying Judeo-Christian historical heritage and foundation of the US bit by bit, including by using the atheist Left/Liberals! Further, since the 1980s, all Muslim females, especially non-Arabic, are increasingly pushed into wearing the Saudi-Arabic veil – thus, brainwashing them into slave-like submission as part of the Saudi/Arabic jihadist 'Ummah' (One Islamic Community) where these female main goal in life is to produce more Islamic/Arabic-style jihadists, including as intellectuals, through their children, in a vicious cycle – thus is why more and more very young girls are covered up in these monstrous veils. This is what happened in once modern & liberal Islamic-ruled Malaysia, Indonesia, parts of Nigeria/Uganda, Southern Philippines/Thailand, Yemen, Ivory Coast and so on.

  • WilliamJamesWard

    Who let these vermin into America in the first place, one day the blame will be fixed and the
    damage undone by a population of Americans that have had enough of the present
    leftist government parading as Democrats (totally Marxist) and Republicans (RHINOS, sellouts).
    Our political parties have been taken over by false people of the lowest moral character, nothing
    coming out of the government can be believed, Clean house America, elect future government
    like picking jury duty. How low government has become is just what it is, criminal……..Oh sorry,
    the voter rolls have been subverted also, dead people, illegals, cats and dogs, maybe
    the Marines have and answer……………………………William

  • Phil

    If you want to stop the violence; start becoming pacifists, there are thousands of books, about this… travel to India, learn about Gandhi and pacifism from those that know how to do it….I could go on and on.

    • aspacia

      Hindus have slaughter millions you dolt. If some idiot opens fire on a school or in any public place — shoot the monster. Pacifists do not do this.

    • Drakken

      Violence is only stopped by using greater violence, pacifist always have one thing in common, they are all dead, but you go ahead and try it shortbus.

  • uhh…

    Is everyone here either an anti-semite or a muslim hater? What the hell?

    Here's a description of the… *ahem* assault, from the obviously traumatized victim:

    "(We were) holding signs saying things about peace," Felber said. "I feel an impact on my back. I turn around and there is a cart about five feet high and three feet wide, and one of the SJP members I see first, he says, 'What? It was an accident,' very sarcastically."


    These are melodramatic kids, in the spotlight because two opposing groups of diehard bigots think they can use them to advance their causes.

  • Drakken

    I see the muslim jihadist are becoming more blatent and bold by the day and wonder where are the brave souls standing up too these savages? Jews in the West there is a lesson for you, stand up or be eliminiated, your choice.

  • Viva Portugal

    Jews are fithy animals whom destroyed our beautiful planet.

    • mah29001

      Jew-haters are filthy animals. You're right you filthy animal.

  • 1389AD

    Here's an idea.

    Don't apply to Berkeley.
    Don't send your kids there.
    If you are already a Berkeley student, then take a stand against anti-Semitism in general and the MSA in particular.
    Don't donate any money to Berkeley.
    Don't apply to work there.
    Tell your politicians not to waste any more money on Berkeley.
    Don't hire anybody from Berkeley unless you have made SURE that the person has not been indoctrinated with anti-Semitism (even if they try to pass it off as anti-Zionism).
    You might even want to consider studying in Israel instead!

  • Jack

    A few years ago I attended an outdoor rally on the steps of Sproul Hall on the UC Berkeley campus commemorating what Palestinians refer to as the Nabka (or disaster) – the expulsion of Palestinians from their homes in the aftermath of the 1948 war. The rally, organized by Palestinian and Jewish students, was somber, respectful, and moderate in tone. It was well attended by students who were sincerely interested in the issue. By way of contrast, the behavior of pro – Zionist Jewish students at that rally was shameful and frightening. They cheered at the pain of the Palestinians. They heckled the speakers. They truly whipped themselves into a frenzy of hatred.

    My experience on the Berkeley campus is that the students from Middle Eastern backgrounds generally conduct themselves respectfully; those who are there to defend Israel conduct themselves very badly and very provocatively.

    This is an observation of conduct that I have witnessed on many occasions.

    I am a proudly Jewish Cal alum