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Published On: Thu, Feb 26th, 2015

UCLA student, Rachel Beyda, refused council seat for being Jewish

A UCLA student shocked the school’s community with her tale of discrimmination from members of the university’s student government in her The Daily Bruin op-ed. Rachel Frenklak detailed the events and called for an apology.

The Judicial Board of the Undergraduate Students Association Council met to confirm the student’s roommate, Rachel Beyda, for an appointed justice position, but the first question shocked the writer.

UCLA is the latest college campus to exude anti-Semitism photo: Peter Richter campaign billboard

UCLA is the latest college campus to exude anti-Semitism
photo: Peter Richter campaign billboard

“… the first question directed at her by General Representative 3 Fabienne Roth was an attack on Rachel’s ability to be a justice based on her involvement in the Jewish community. At President Avinoam Baral’s insistence, the question was phrased slightly more considerately by Transfer Student Representative Negeen Sadeghi-Movahed, but this first question set the tone,” the article recounted.

The College Fix reported the event, noting that “It was a clear and shocking example of anti-Semitism, and the incident has raced through social media outlets and prompted concern and outrage among many in the UCLA and Jewish communities.”

Shockingly, the prejudice continued and council members argued Beyda’s Jewish heritage is not compatible with the interests of the UCLA student government.

“All council members swiftly agreed Rachel was amply qualified for the position, but half of the council had strong reservations stemming from Rachel’s Jewish identity,” writes .

“My issue is, I’m going to be upfront about it, I think she’s pretty great. She’s smart, she like knows her stuff, she’s like probably going to be a really great lawyer. But I’m like not going to pretend this isn’t about conflict of interest. … It’s not her fault … but she’s part of a community that’s very invested in USAC. … Even if she’s the right person for the job,” claimed Roth. Sadeghi-Movahed added, “For some reason, I’m not 100 percent comfortable. I don’t know why. I’ll go through her application again. I’ve been going through it constantly, but I definitely can see that she’s qualified for sure.” Throughout this discussion, Rachel anxiously paced outside, where, she later informed me, she could hear “conflict of interest” being yelled and concluded that it could only be about her being Jewish. Undoubtedly, the Israeli-Palestinan conflict is one of the most contentious issues on our campus. However, Israel was not mentioned during the discussion of Rachel’s appointment, only her affiliation with Jewish organizations, making the extensive deliberation a definitive act of discrimination.  (Emphasis added, The Dispatch)

Back to the great coverage from The Fix:

Student government member Fabienne Roth commenced the question period by asking Beyda: “Given that you are a Jewish student and very active in the Jewish community, given that recently…(inaudible)…has been surrounding cases of conflict of interest, how do you see yourself being able to maintain an unbiased view in…(inaudible)…?”

Undergraduate Students Association president, Jewish student Avinoam Baral, interjected that “questioning a candidate’s ability to remain unbiased simply on the basis of her being a member of a particular community is an inappropriate question that we would not feel comfortable asking student members of other communities.”

“Rachel was asked to leave the room for council discussion,” Frenklak recounted. “What followed was a disgusting 40 minutes of what can only be described as unequivocal anti-Semitism during which some of our council members resorted to some of the oldest accusations against Jews, including divided loyalties and dishonesty.”

 

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About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

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