SJP condemns UCLA students for going on same Israel trip as their candidate
Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) filed ethics charges against UCLA student leaders Sunny Singh and Lauren Rogers for going on paid Israel trips. SJP claims that participation in such trips should have disqualified the two students from voting on Israel related issues like last February’s divestment resolution. Now it turns out that the SJP endorsed President elect, Devin Murphy participated in the very same trip for which SJP excoriated Lauren Rogers.
Will SJP demand Murphy recuse himself from any future Israel related votes or will they be exposed for the cynical, anti-Semitic hypocrites that we believe them to be?
The UCLA Bruins for Israel breathed a great sigh of relief after defeating Students for Justice in Palestine’s (SJP) anti-Israel divestment resolution this past February. The exhausted students no doubt hoped that the divisiveness that had permeated the campus would soon dissipate. But this would not be the case.
Determined to assure that next year’s student council (USAC) would be more amenable to their BDS agenda, , SJP devised a plan to help make their dream of a world without Israel into reality. The first priority was to annul the lost divestment vote and second was to assure next year’s council would be stacked in their favor.
To enact their plan SJP alleged that two student council members [Sunny Singh & Lauren Rogers] who voted against divestment last February had committed ethics violations by participating in sponsored Israel trips last year. SJP then challenged the very legitimacy of the divestment votes made by the two council members. The group asserted that their trips to Israel had tainted Singh & Rogers andthat their votes constituted a conflict of interest.
The Daily Bruin reports that Sunny Singh did indeed go on a trip to Israel last summer, which was paid for by the Anti-Defamation League and Lauren Rogers went on a trip to Israel paid for by Project Interchange.
Responding to SJP’s charges, The UCLA Judicial Board has summoned Singh and Rogers to an ethics hearing this Friday, May 15th to defend themselves against SJP’s spurious allegations.
SJP’S MANUFACTURED SCANDAL IMPACTED THE ELECTION
In the UCLA student electiosn held last Friday, The Daily Bruin endorsed SJP’s preferred candidate, Devin Murphy; in part due to the spurious allegations made against anti-divestment candidate Sunny Singh. The Bruin explained their spurning of Singh, writing that “student groups’ accusations of Singh’s violating conflict of interest bylaws create a real possibility of many students feeling alienated if he is elected.”
Further injecting themselves into the election campaign, SJP demanded that all candidates sign an “ethics statement” pledging not to participate in any non BDS approved trips to Israel. Most candidates signed, including SJP’s preferred candidate for President, Devin Murphy.
Murphy rode to a slim presidential victory in the wake of SJP’s manufactured ethics scandal.
Thus the revelation made today by Legal Insurrection (LI) that Murphy himself had participated in the very same pro-Israel program for which Lauren Rogers was defending herself in front of a judicial board this Friday, sent shock-waves across the UCLA campus.
Despite riding to victory on the premise that such trips should disqualify senators from voting on Israel related matters, Murphy did not indicate he would recuse himself from future Israel related legislation while on council. [LI]
While Murphy was not a voting member of the council when he took the Project Interchange sponsored trip last year, he was an active member of the inner political circle at UCLA.
Legal Insurrection reports that “when Murphy took the California Student Leaders trip, he already had worked in the UCLA student government’s (USAC) External Vice President’s office, was on the board of the Afrikan Student Union, External Vice President of the UCLA College Democrats chapter, and on October 16, 2012, was appointed by the USAC president, with a council confirmation vote, to an influential board. Within a few months, he had run (unsuccessfully) for office, become a Policy Director in the Student Regent Designates office, and became the Chief of Staff for the new USAC president.
Whether he was a member of council at the time or merely in the run-up to an election, the idea that Murphy was anything but a student politician receiving a free trip designed for student politicians from what he and SJP considers to be a lobby group is utterly absurd.”
If Students for Justice in Palestine were an organization with even the slightest hint of moral consistency they would insist that their man Murphy recuse himself from all future Israel related matters after being tainted by his trip to the Jewish state. But they don’t and they won’t.
Update: Mike Report reader Gail Lobel Rand makes the excellent point that “It really should not matter whether he [Murphy] was a voting member when he took the trip or not. I would think it is enough to present his case as proof that participation in such a trip does not automatically translate into having a “pro Israel bias”, since he obviously has none.”