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Newsom, state officials silent on anti-Israel protests at UCLA

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, and other state officials running to replace him after his term is up have refrained from commenting on the anti-Israel protests at the University of California, Los Angeles and the University of California, Berkeley.

Newsom has not released a statement about his stance on the campus protests, as of Wednesday morning.

The governor was asked about the demonstrations during a news conference on a different topic on Tuesday, when he said he and other state officials were “working with the [UC] trustees,” according to KNBC.

“We want to maintain the right to protest without any hate,” Newsom said.

VIDEO SHOWS ANTI-ISRAEL PROTESTERS BLOCK JEWISH STUDENT FROM GETTING TO CLASS; UCLA RESPONDS

Newsom’s office has not released a statement on the campus protests. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Members of the UC Regents, including Democratic gubernatorial candidates Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmon declined to comment to KNBC. State Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas also declined to comment on the campus protests.

Republicans have openly criticized campus protests in California and across the country, condemning them as antisemitic. But Newsom and his Democratic colleagues have attempted to avoid the subject.

Violence ensued at UCLA late Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning as anti-Israel and pro-Israel demonstrators clashed. Fights broke out, items were thrown and fireworks and what appeared to be pepper spray were deployed.

Dozens of pro-Israeli counter-protestors arrived at around 10:45 p.m. and attempted to dismantle parts of the anti-Israel encampment on UCLA’s campus before deploying fireworks and what appeared to be pepper spray, according to KTLA.

Campus police, along with some medical personnel, showed up at the scene briefly before leaving. But local and state police were noticeably absent from UCLA’s campus initially, for about two hours, amid the violence.

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UCLA encampment

Violence ensued at UCLA late Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning as anti-Israel and pro-Israel demonstrators clashed. (Getty Images)

Los Angeles Police eventually responded to the scene at about 1 a.m. local time.

Newsom’s press office said Wednesday morning on X: “Our office is closely monitoring the situation at @UCLA. Law enforcement leaders are in contact this evening and resources are being mobilized.”

On Monday, a student wearing a necklace with the Star of David was seen on video attempting to walk to class when a wall of what appeared to be masked anti-Israel protesters blocked him from passing through.

“You guys have closed the entrance. We are UCLA students. I have my ID right here. I’m being blocked off, not by the security guard, but by you three,” Eli Tsives said in the video as he walked up to a fenced area with a security guard present. “They’re making a barrier wall. I’m going this way.”

UCLA Vice Chancellor of Strategic Communications Mary Osako issued a statement Tuesday in response to several physical altercations on the campus. She said the university took several actions in response to the altercations, including the addition of more campus law enforcement, safety personnel and student affairs monitors.

UCLA demonstration

Republicans have openly criticized campus protests in California and across the country. (Getty Images)

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Osako also responded to a report of a student being blocked by demonstrators on Monday while attempting to walk to class.

“This kind of disruption to our teaching and learning mission is abhorrent, plain and simple,” Osako said. “As such, we’ve taken several, immediate actions: Our student conduct process has been initiated and could lead to severe disciplinary action including expulsion or suspension. The barriers that demonstrators used to block this student’s access to class have been removed, and we have staff located around Royce Quad to help ensure that they will not go up again. We have also engaged law enforcement to investigate.”

“While the demonstration remains largely peaceful, our campus must remain a place where we treat one another with respect and recognize our shared humanity — not a place where we devolve into violence and bullying,” she added.



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