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Mock checkpoints in Berkeley’s ‘Apartheid Week’ protests prompts a federal investigation

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The ongoing controversy at UC Berkeley over anti-Israel protests has prompted the U.S. Department of Education to launch an investigation into whether the civil rights of Jewish students at Berkeley are being violated.

The origin of the conflict can be traced to a campus event called Apartheid Week, during which pro-Palestine student groups stage mock checkpoints designed to simulate the real world situation at the Israel-Palestine border.

In June, a pair of former Berkeley students dropped a lawsuit against the university that claimed that anti-Israel protests on campus created a “pervasive hostile environment” for Jewish students but the campus unrest has continued.

Where is the line for the civil rights of students? What is the role in the university for settling disputes between student groups that represent actual international conflicts?


Tom Pessah, Graduate student of sociology, UC Berkeley; Member, Students for Justice in Palestine.

Arielle Gabai, Senior-year student, UC Berkeley (studying Public Health as well as Jewish Studies); President, Jewish Students Union