Editor's note: Below is a letter written by Phil Orenstein to UC Irvine administrators regarding UCI's rejection of the Wallenberg Statue. It seeks to push back against and to expose the hostile anti-Semitic climate on the UCI campus. See Jamie Glazov's Frontpage interview with Peter Lancz on "The Raoul Wallenberg World Campaign against Racism," here.)
Dear Dean Lewis, President Yudof, and Chancellor Drake,
As a former college lecturer and current member of the National Conference on Jewish Affairs, I find it appalling and perplexing that University of California, Irvine would summarily reject, without explanation, the proposal for the erection of a commemorative Wallenberg statue on the University of California, Irvine campus (1). This would have served as an exemplary educational tool to teach the majority of the student body vastly unfamiliar with the heroic deeds of Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat who risked his life to save 100,000 Hungarian Jews from Nazi death camps (2).
Peter Lancz, son of Hungarian master sculptor, Paul Lancz who was saved by Wallenberg himself, had originally proposed to University of California president Mark Yudof that the statue be erected on the UC Irvine campus, which has in recent years become notorious for rampant anti-Semitic hate speech and obstruction of pro-Israel speakers. This stellar opportunity, funded through outside donors, has now been discarded, further tarnishing the reputation of UC Irvine.