(Photo courtesy of Daniel Alcazar / Daily Bruin)
Written by Tammy Rubin, fourth-year human biology and society major, and Elyssa Schlossberg, fourth-year psychobiology major.
Sometimes, the best response is a simple apology.
On February 10th, 2015 in one of the most egregious instances of bias in the Undergraduate Students Association Council, USAC attempted to vote down a Jewish appointment to the Judicial Board solely based on her Jewish identity. This incident deservedly received national and international attention.
At UCLA, the Jewish community was severely hurt by the incident. The old accusations of divided loyalties, lack of “impartiality,” and double standards were triggering and damaging. The Jewish community attempted to respond to the incident with the dignity and respect that Rachel Beyda never received. We asked for three things: a public apology, a resolution, and training on anti-Semitism as it has manifested itself throughout history and even today. Although we could have, we did not ask for the resignation of the four council members in question. We hoped that these steps would lead to concrete change that would truly inspire the council to reflect on its actions and the campus climate they’ve created.
And yet, in the Daily Bruin’s “USAC Officer Evaluations” piece published this past Friday, it was revealed that during Sofia Moreno Haq’s interview, “she unconvincingly claimed that she didn’t know why President Avinoam Baral was upset by the anti-Semitic lines of questioning during the meeting. She even said the four councilmembers acted ‘with the best of intentions,’ indicating she still doesn’t realize the magnitude of her actions.”
These sentiments are an absolute disgrace. It is outrageous that even after everything that has happened, Moreno Haq not only continues her refusal to publicly express remorse for her actions, but goes so far as to deny the transgression. Even beyond the fact that Moreno Haq initially voted to bar Rachel Beyda from the justice position citing no reason other than her Jewish identity, not speaking up against the anti-Semitism of that night made her complicit in it.
Moreno Haq’s comments highlighted in the Daily Bruin‘s evaluation of her term go to show that after all three prerequisites, she still has the audacity to continue to deny fault and deflect blame. That is unfair. That is unacceptable. That is going beyond engaging in an anti-Semitic act out of ignorance. That is choosing to defend anti-Semitism.
Though there are only a handful of days left to her term, it would be a disgrace for her to continue to fill a seat at the table.
We generously gave Moreno Haq the benefit of the doubt. We generously gave her the opportunity to make amends, remedy the situation and grow from the experience. She has declined to do so.
We now ask for her immediate resignation.