A student committee moved to freeze the appointment of a pro-Israeli co-ed to the University of California's Board of Regents, indicating the extent to which the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is spilling over into academic politics in the Golden State.
The board nominated UCLA's Avi Oved as a student member last month. However, the University of California Student Association held an emergency meeting on Thursday to discuss allegations that Oved had accepted donations from philanthropist Adam Milstein for his campaign to be elected internal vice president of UCLA's student government.
Oved is slated to join Sadia Saifuddin, the first Muslim student representative on the Board of Regents and controversial in her own right for her support of divestment from companies doing business with Israel.
The committee voted 10-0, with two abstentions, asking the board to delay the confirmation of Oved's appointment until September, pending an investigation of his relationship with Milstein, who is known for donating to numerous pro-Israel causes, the Jewish Journal reported Friday. The committee also voted 8-0 with four abstentions to appoint an outside group to investigate the relationship between Milstein and Oved, according to the Jewish Journal.
While Milstein denied donating to Oved's campaign, and a pro-Palestinian student revealed last month private emails – without revealing how he obtained them – indicating that Milstein did give money to Oved's campaign, Oved himself says the whole issue is irrelevant. The student issued a statement this week questioning why he should defend himself for "failing to provide information not required" by UCLA's election rules, the Jewish Journal reported.
"Unfortunately, this recent attack is representative of a new breed of bullying on our campuses in which baseless attacks are leveled against the integrity of individuals," wrote Oved in his statement on Tuesday, according to the Daily Californian.
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