UCLA student president leaves due to pro-BDS harassment

Chatterjee says that he has been harassed and discriminated against because he "refused to support anti-Semitic, anti-Zionist activity."

September 1, 2016 12:11
1 minute read.
UCLA campus

UCLA campus . (photo credit: REUTERS)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Milan Chatterjee, former UCLA student president and recipient of the American Jewish Committee’s inaugural Campus Courage Award, informed UCLA late last month that he would be leaving the university due to a “hostile and unsafe campus climate” created by pro-BDS organizations.

Via phone interview with The Jewish Journal, Chatterjee said that the UCLA campus had “become so hostile and unsafe” that he just couldn’t stay there anymore.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

During his tenure as president, Chatterjee, who in Hindu, distributed Graduate Students Association funds for a UCLA diversity event contingent on its sponsors not being associated with the BDS movement.

The UCLA Discrimination Prevention Office concluded that Chatterjee violated the university’s policy of viewpoint neutrality.

In his letter on August 24, Chatterjee wrote that he has been harassed and discriminated against because he “refused to support an anti-Semitic, anti-Zionist activity, organization and position while serving as president of the UCLA Graduate Student Association.”

“I reached out to senior members of your administration many times – for guidance and support to diffuse this situation,” he wrote. “Furthermore, I believed that these administrators would be especially sensitive given the public outcry caused by similar BDS-led efforts against UCLA students.”

Instead, he noted, “I could not have been more mistaken. Your administrators were non-responsive and unhelpful.”

In response, UCLA released a statement saying that “though the university does not support divestment from Israel, and remains proud of its numerous academic and cultural relationships with Israeli institutions, supporters and opponents of divestment remain free to advocate for their position as long as their conduct does not violate university policies.”

Chatterjee plans to finish his law degree at the New York University School of Law.

JTA contributed to this story.

Related Content

Sacha Baron Cohen in his new Showtime series Who is America
July 23, 2018
Sacha Baron Cohen exploits Americans' fetishization of Israel