University of California Intolerance Policy Stirs Debate

California Connection
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Students, professors and activists are wrangling over how best to address intolerance at the University of California, with some Jewish groups arguing a more precise definition of anti-Semitism is needed and others saying it would stifle free speech.

University leaders invited public comment Monday as they work to revise a proposed policy denouncing intolerance. Jewish groups criticized the policy as not going far enough to address what they say is a spike in anti-Semitism on the university’s 10 campuses.

The public system with nearly 250,000 students has become a focal point in the discussion on freedom of expression and civil liberties following several high-profile incidents, including one in which swastikas were spray-painted on a Jewish fraternity house.

Jewish students described a hostile environment Monday in which taking sides for or against Israeli policy invites harassment.

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