Our contributor Rachel Neuwirth, whose article "Beyond Self-hating" appears today, has received a formal written apology and an unspecified cash settlement from Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller, director of Hillel at UCLA, it was revealed yesterday. According to an account in the Jewish Journal,
The incident occurred after Seidler-Feller approached some pro-Palestinian activists protesting Dershowitz's speech and invited them to an event featuring Suri Nusseibeh, the Palestinian representative for Jerusalem. Nusseibeh has been accused of encouraging Saddam Hussein to launch scud missile attacks against large Jewish population centers in Israel. Overhearing the invitation, Neuwirth started arguing with the rabbi, who then assaulted her. Neuwirth responded by calling him a "Kapo", a derogatory term used to describe Jews who collaborated with the Nazis in World War II.
Neuwirth filed a report with campus police the day after the incident, which occurred on Oct. 21, 2003, and the university turned the investigation over to the city attorney's office. She also filed a civil suit against Seidler-Feller and Hillel in November 2003.
In December 2003, the city attorney's office ordered Seidler-Feller to undergo a 36-hour anger-management course, and to pen a letter of apology to Neuwirth.
Neuwirth described that first letter of apology as "slippery," and pursued her civil suit, which was scheduled to go to trial in April 2007.
The text of the formal public apology issued by the Rabbi is:
"I am deeply sorry that I hit, kicked, and scratched you and called you a liar. By taking these unprovoked actions, I have contradicted the pluralism, peace and tolerance about which I so often preach."