Associated Student Inc. passed a resolution Wednesday to show support for establishing a non-legally binding definition of anti-Semitism used by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, passing it 17-0-2.
During public comments, Jewish students spoke out about their support the resolution because of the fear for their safety due to the rise in anti-Semitism.
Several mentioned the wall the Muslim Student Association placed in front of the 49er Shops Bookstore showcasing the Israel-Palestine conflict for Palestine Awareness Week a few weeks ago.
“There was a section on the wall that claimed that Zionism equals racism and I am here today with my colored skin tone to tell you that all that is completely false,” said Jubilee Munozvilla, a third-year biochemistry major.
Munozvilla said that she thought the wall should’ve been agreed upon by both sides, those in support of Palestine and those in support of Israel.
“I think that Palestinians and Jews and Israelis can definitely come together. There just needs to be a bridge, a conversation between us all,” Munozvilla said.
Sen. Isabel Douvan sponsored the resolution and said she did it to support Jewish students at Long Beach State.
“It will kind of create the groundwork to kind of move forward and provide Jewish students and people in general with the protections that all people should have,” Douvan said.
Sen. Sumaiyah Hossain expressed her concern that the resolution not including any language that made it clear not all critical discussion of Israel and Judaism was antisemitic might be seen as infringing on people’s first amendment rights.
Sen. Taryn Williams authored the resolution, but was not in attendance. Sen. Stephanie Torres read a statement from Williams on her behalf.
“My synagogue in Irvine was defaced last year. ‘F Jews’ it said across the front of the building where my daughter’s baby naming ceremony and my son’s bris were held,” Williams wrote.
The resolution cited the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report that found 56.9% of anti-religious hate crimes in 2018 were anti-Semitic.
“It makes me feel better knowing that there could potentially be a step in the right direction,” Douvan said.
The next ASI Senate meeting will be held through a Zoom video conference March 18.
This article previously had a wrong name in the caption. It was corrected March 12, 2020, at 5:20 p.m.