imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Stifling Pro-Israel Views at UC Berkeley

by Reut R. Cohen Monday, May. 11, 2009 at 8:50 AM

More anti-Semitism at the University of California

Stifling Pro-Israel Views at UC Berkeley

By: Reut R. Cohen

John Moghtader, a senator in student government at UC Berkeley, has experienced the forced removal from student office due to a personal smear campaign against him that was launched by the campus’s Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and their supporters in student government. Moghtader, a previous senator with UC Berkeley’s Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC), the student government, is also the president of a student group known as Tikvah: Students for Israel (Tikvah SFI) that is devoted to Israel advocacy on campus. It is the only serious voice of opposition to a near constant drumbeat of pro-Palestinian Israel-bashing activism on the Berkeley campus.

On November 13, 2008, on an Eschelman Hall balcony overlooking a concert being held on LowerSproulPlaza by the Zionist Freedom Alliance, a brief physical altercation broke out between concertgoers and activists from Students for Justice in Palestine. The incident occurred after SJP students hung Palestinian flags at the Zionist event in violation of ASUC policy that says groups must have consent before they hang flags. Moghtader was in the area of the fight but was clearly uninvolved, according to both eyewitnesses and a video taken at the event. The videotape has been viewed by the District Attorney of Northern California and UC Berkeley’s student newspaper editorial board, but has not been released to the public because it may be used as evidence during a criminal court case.

According to eyewitnesses from both Tivkah SFI and the Zionist Freedom Alliance, Husam Zakharia, an SJP student, reportedly started the fight by punching a recent pro-Israel alumnus attending the concert in the right cheek. These eyewitness accounts plus the video which was seen by editorial board of the Berkeley paper and the ASUC attorney general, Michael Sinanian, led Mr. Sinanian to conclude that the recall against Moghtader was “based on lies.”

The SJP students, however, claimed that Moghtader hit two female members of their group, including a female student named Dina Omar. SJP members also claimed Moghtader made derogatory and racist comments — despite video and eyewitness evidence that suggests the senator’s involvement was nonexistent.

The SJP students involved in the alleged altercation were contacted for this article but did not respond to questions regarding their involvement and the potential lawsuit against Dina Omar.

These alleged false charges by Ms. Omar and other SJP students led to a recall election to remove Moghtader from office, an election which in times of great financial duress for the UC system, has cost the University of California ,000.

Mr. Moghtader expressed his frustration and concern regarding what he says can only be characterized as a smear campaign against him.

“It’s been really difficult. This whole ordeal has lasted many months now. It’s been about five months, almost six months,” he told me. “It’s been really draining on me. I learned that standing up for Israel on a college campus doesn’t come without a price. For me, and my group, there was a lot of intimidation, bullying—things like that. Because I was a pro-Israel senator I feel that I had a target on my back. It has been very challenging.”

While John Moghtader was busy fending off false and very serious charges from the SJP, he had hoped to count on support from established Jewish organizations on campus. But rather than supporting John, Hillel, the largest campus Jewish organization, its affiliated students groups, and the Hillel director, Ken Kramarz, have echoed SJP's smear campaign against the former ASUC senator. Kramarz has done so in statements to media, to the Jewish community, and in a national conference call — without soliciting John's response to SJP's allegations. Hillel's left-leaning subgroup, Kesher Enoshi, condemned Moghtader in the daily school paper and supported the recall campaign against him.

Moghtader expressed his dismay that Jewish organizations did not come to his defense or even remain objective regarding the episode, noting that Hillel was quick to issue a statement condemning pro-Israel students while sympathizing with the SJP students.

“I’m not pleased at all with the way Hillel has handled the situation,” Moghtader explained. “Immediately following the incident on November 13 Hillel issued a statement condemning the mutual violence without investigating. It was the Jewish students that were attacked up there.”

The now-removed ASUC senator also pointed out that the school newspaper editorial board, who have been allowed to view video evidence, took his side and urged students to vote “no” on recalling him from his student government seat. “The school newspaper endorsed me flat out,” Moghtader says. “The school paper jumped to my defense while I was begging the Jewish organizations to help me out.”

Some have reasonably asked why the exonerating video was not released to the student body Moghtader explained that he was under strict advice from his attorney but that he discussed the fact that a video vindicating him existed. “I was under advisement not to release the video because it could be used in a libel case. Showing it in a public way would potentially jeopardize the case,” said Moghtader. “I knew that there was a video showing me standing off to the side during the altercation. I even said a few days after the fight in an op-ed that I had a video that proves me to be innocent. Every opportunity I got I said that I was innocent. I tried to make my case. I was honest, forthright.”.

Moghtader believes that the students who made the false charges against him ought to be held accountable for what they put him and the entire campus through, including the ,000 of University of California money used to forcibly remove him from his student government seat. When a case was presented to the state District Attorney in Northern California, no charges were brought against John Moghtader or any other Jewish student.

The trumped up charges against John Moghtader are so rooted in fraudulent claims, say witnesses and supporters of the former senator, that Moghtader and his attorney feel they’ll be able to win a libel lawsuit against the SJP students who weaved a melodramatic story about Jewish students attacking so-called innocent Palestinian supporters.

Regardless of where one stands on the Israel-Arab conflict or any other political issue, it is clear that Moghtader did not do anything to warrant removal from office. The SJP organization and ASUC owe him and the entire campus an apology. Moghtader, who is by all accounts an innocent man, was forcibly removed from student office because his political views varied from the anti-Israel students at UC Berkeley who lied in order to stifle an opposing view.

Report this post as:

Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 2 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
Bullshit Israeli terrorist lies Fredric L. Rice Thursday, May. 14, 2009 at 4:25 PM
I'ts really quite simple,Fred..... Lord Locksley Thursday, May. 14, 2009 at 6:34 PM

Local News


lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Xyloglossie attitudinale A23 8:07AM

Shadowgun Legends Hack and Cheats A23 7:24AM

What does the Quran Say About Islamic Dress?? A21 4:15PM

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety A08 10:29PM

Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man A08 9:50PM

Israeli leaders should be prosecuted for war crimes A08 9:48PM

Paraphysique de l'autorité A08 12:11AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy