November 22, 2018

UCLA Sends Cease-and-Desist Letter to NSJP Over Conference Logo

Photo from Flickr.

UCLA has sent a cease-and-desist letter to National Students for Justice in Palestine (NSJP) over their logo for the upcoming NSJP conference on Nov. 16-18.

As the Journal reported on Wednesday, the logo features the UCLA Bruin Bear playing with a Palestinian kite. The Journal has obtained a copy of UCLA’s cease-and-desist letter to NSJP, which was signed by Administrative Vice Chancellor Michael Beck and dated Oct. 31.

The letter begins by noting that the logo has “the unauthorized use” of UCLA’s name and Bruin icon.

“Taken as a whole, these uses claim, suggest, or imply an affiliation with or an endorsement by UCLA of NSJP and/or its annual conference, which is simply incorrect,” Beck wrote.

Beck then demanded that NSJP re-work the UCLA name in the logo to make it clear that UCLA is simply the location for the conference and not in any way an affiliate or endorser of the conference. He also demanded that the UCLA name and Bruin Bear be removed from artwork “associated with a Palestinian kite which some may interpret as an intention to endorse violence against Israel.”

“UCLA did not grant permission for this use nor would it permit use of its name in a manner that could imply endorsement of violence,” Beck added.

Beck told NSJP that they had until Nov. 5 to submit in writing that they have complied with the demands of the letter.

“The University hereby reserves its right to pursue whatever additional remedies or claims it may have, including cancellation of the event, if NSJP fails to fully comply with the terms of this directive,” Beck concluded.

Among the criticism of the logo included the following statement from Judea Pearl, chancellor professor of computer science at UCLA, National Academy of Sciences member and Daniel Pearl Foundation president, to the Journal:

I have served on the faculty of UCLA for 49 years and I have never thought I would see the day when the symbol of my university would turn into a Hamas recruitment poster. The NSJP Conference reminds us that hate did not stop at Pittsburgh. U.S. campuses, emboldened by our blindness and inaction are now offering racist groups a fertile ground to spawn their venom, test out intimidating tactics, and gain academic legitimacy. The stench of hatred and sounds of incitement to hostilities that will emerge from the NSJP Conference will damage UCLA’s reputation irreparably.

NSJP did not immediately respond to the Journal’s request for comment.

The full letter can be seen below: