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Jewish org. nixes UCI probe

Hillel had called off anti- Semitism investigation in summer, redirects resources to promote Jewish life on campus.

October 17, 2007|By Joseph Serna

The Hillel Foundation of Orange County has called off its investigation into alleged anti-Semitism at UC Irvine and has instead directed its resources to promoting Jewish life on campus, an official said Tuesday.

The foundation began investigating allegations at UCI in February after a number of incidents on campus, including Muslim students disturbing a lecture by Daniel Pipes, a Middle East scholar and defender of Israel.

“We wanted to focus more on the campus and improving Jewish life at the university,” said Jeffrey Rips, the executive director of Hillel Foundation of Orange County.

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The investigation was canceled over the summer, said Rips, who declined to say what, if anything, Hillel’s inquiry turned up or why the foundation’s leaders did not announce it.

He said the organization’s board of directors decided their resources could be better spent improving campus Jewish life and then informed the university of the decision.

Tensions between Jews and Muslims have been high in recent years as students have brought in controversial speakers.

In 2003, a Holocaust memorial was vandalized, and a display criticizing Zionism was burned down in 2004.

UCI students planned to participate Thursday in OneVoice Echo, an international event to promote peace in the Middle East as Jewish and Palestinian leaders prepare to meet. However, OneVoice Echo organizers said late Wednesday that the event had been canceled due to security concerns. Members of the Middle East Studies Initiative had planned to gather at the UCI flagpoles for the event and call for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


JOSEPH SERNA may be reached at (714) 966-4619 or at joseph.serna@latimes.com.

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