Jewish UCLA student's powerful speech after being denied entry by anti-Israel activists: ‘They cower behind their masks’ - Hindustan Times
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Jewish UCLA student's powerful speech after being denied entry by anti-Israel activists: ‘They cower behind their masks’

BySumanti Sen
May 01, 2024 11:41 AM IST

A Jewish student at UCLA shared a video documenting how he was not allowed to attend his on-campus class by pro-Palestinian activists

A Jewish student at the University of California, Los Angeles, shared a video documenting how he was not allowed to attend his on-campus class by pro-Palestinian activists. This comes as several universities across the US are witnessing anti-Israel protests, some of them leading to violence.

Eli Tsives was denied entry by anti-Israel activists (tsiveseli/Instagram)
Eli Tsives was denied entry by anti-Israel activists (tsiveseli/Instagram)

Eli Tsives shared the footage on Instagram, showing the activists lining up in front of him and preventing him from entering. “They didn’t let me get to class using the main entrance! Instead they forced me to walk around. Shame on these people!” he captioned the video.

A video that surfaced on social media later showed Tsives giving a powerful speech, calling out the activists. “Over the last couple of weeks, we have witnessed pro-Hamas protesters setting up encampments all over the country. While they cower behind their masks and hide who they are, we stand tall and proudly voice our message to the world,” Tsives said.

“Israel is not going anywhere. The Jewish people are not going anywhere,” he added.

UCLA Chancellor Gene Block’s message

UCLA Chancellor Gene Block sent a message to the university community later that evening, saying, “This past Thursday, a group of demonstrators — both members of the UCLA community and others unaffiliated with our campus — established an unauthorized physical encampment on part of Royce Quad, joining those who have set up similar presences at universities around the country.”

“Many of the demonstrators, as well as counter-demonstrators who have come to the area, have been peaceful in their activism. But the tactics of others have frankly been shocking and shameful. We have seen instances of violence completely at odds with our values as an institution dedicated to respect and mutual understanding. In other cases, students on their way to class have been physically blocked from accessing parts of the campus,” Block added.

Block further said, “UCLA supports peaceful protest, but not activism that harms our ability to carry out our academic mission and makes people in our community feel bullied, threatened and afraid. These incidents have put many on our campus, especially our Jewish students, in a state of anxiety and fear.”

Block added that immediate actions were taken, including increasing security presence and adding more law enforcement officers. More safety personnel and student affairs mitigators were also added. Recents incidents of violence will be investigated by law enforcement, Block said.

“The barriers that demonstrators used to block access to buildings have been removed, and we have staff located around Royce Quad to help ensure that they will not go up again. With regard to these incidents, our student conduct process has been initiated, and could lead to disciplinary action including suspension or expulsion,” the statement said.

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