A student with strong ties to Israel was appointed to the governing council of the University of California Wednesday amid protests.
Abrahem "Avi" Oved, a 21-year-old economics major at UCLA who will replace Sadia Saifuddin, a UC Berkeley student who is the board's first Muslim student member as student regent, said he would work with all students and represent them on the board.
"I want to work with students on the ground, and that should be the focus of this position - empowering students and giving them the resources they need to be heard," said Oved, whose parents are from Israel.
Oved drew controversy in the 10-campus UC system when a student newspaper published emails that appeared to connect him to a pro-Israel activist whose Twitter posts have included pictures he said were of "Muslim thugs" at a Los Angeles demonstration.
"The concern at this point is whether there is trust between Avi and students," said Kareem Aref, President of the UC Student Association.