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Monday, March 7, 2011

Jewish Woman Sues UC Berkeley Over Campus Assault by Member of Palestinian Student Group

Posted By on Mon, Mar 7, 2011 at 3:54 PM

click to enlarge A weapon of mass destruction?
  • A weapon of mass destruction?

Even on a culturally diverse campus like UC Berkeley, tensions between Israel and Palestinians run deep.

A 20-year-old Jewish student has hired San Francisco attorneys to defend her claim that another student belonging to the Students For Justice in Palestine assaulted her as she held a sign reading "Israel wants Peace" on campus last March.

According to the suit filed in San Francisco Superior Court, Jessica Felber was participating in a campus event dubbed "Israel Peace and Diversity Week," which is a series of sponsored by Tikvah, a sanctioned campus group. As part of the event, Felber was holding a card that read "Israel wants Peace."

Another UC Berkeley student, Husam Zakharia, who is the leader of the Students for Justice in Palestine "intentionally rammed a shopping cart into Jessica,"physically harming her.

Felber claims she was assaulted that day because she is Jewish and because she was holding the "Israel wants Peace" sign.

The group Students for Justice in Palestine, which is a registered student organization, and its leader Zakharia have been involved in other violent incidents on campus and have intimidated Jewish students. University officials knew about this history of intimidation and incitement, yet took no steps to control the members of the Palestinian student group, according to the lawsuit.

Lawyers further argue that the SJP "conspires and coordinates" with the Muslim Student Organization, which has a "publicly documented history of affiliation with and support of organizations deemed "terror organizations" by the U.S State Department, the claim says.

"This case is about much more than the assault," the lawsuit reads. "The case arises from defendants' tolerance of the development of a dangerous anti-Semitic climate on its campuses, and the failure to adopt and implement policies, regulations, and student organizations procedures to prevent threats, intimidation, and harassment," according to the claim.

What we want to know is what was he doing on campus with a shopping cart?

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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