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December 3, 2016 / 3 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘University of California’

UC Berkeley Responds to Pressure, Suspends Anti-Semitic Course

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

Responding to pressure from dozens of Jewish and education advocacy organizations who over the past few weeks have expressed their objections to a blatantly anti-Israel and anti-Semitic course titled, “Palestine: A settler Colonial Analysis,” that was being offered by UC Berkeley, the school announced it would suspend the course because it was not adequately vetted to ensure that it met Berkeley’s academic standards.

In a letter to Tammi Rossman Benjamin, director of AMCHA Initiative, who coordinated the protest effort, an assistant to UC Berkeley’s Chancellor Nicholas Dirks, wrote:

“It has been determined that the facilitator for the course in question did not comply with policies and procedures that govern the normal academic review and approval of proposed courses for the Decal program. As a result, the proposed course did not receive a sufficient degree of scrutiny to ensure that the syllabus met Berkeley’s academic standards before it was opened for enrollment to students. For that reason, approval for the course has been suspended pending completion of the mandated review and approval process. It should also be noted that the Executive Dean of the College of Letters and Science is very concerned about the offering of any course, even a student-run course, which espouses a single political viewpoint and/or appears to offer a forum for political organizing rather than an opportunity for the kind of open academic inquiry that Berkeley is known for.”

The September 13 letter from 43 Jewish, civil rights and education advocacy organizations to Chancellor Dirks said, among other things: “We believe that this course violates the Regents Policy on Course Content, which specifically prohibits using the classroom ‘as an instrument for the advance of partisan interest’ or for ‘political indoctrination.’ Furthermore, it appears that compliance with the Regents Policy is not even a requirement of the present procedure for vetting DeCal courses, allowing for the unbridled misuse of the classroom by politically motivated instructors. This state of affairs requires rectification.”

The letter suggested that the offending course’s objectives, reading materials and guest speakers were politically motivated, and met the US government’s criteria for anti-Semitism, in an effort to “indoctrinate students to hate the Jewish state and take action to eliminate it.”

The course learning objectives made it clear that a key goal of the class was to encourage students to accept unquestioningly the false and defamatory idea that Israel is an illegitimate settler colonial state, the letter argued, noting that “by the end of the course students are required to have ‘researched, formulated, and presented decolonial alternatives to the current situation,’ which, in the context of the other course objectives, means that a significant part of the course will be devoted to thinking about ways to ‘decolonize’ — that is, eliminate — Israel.”

The letter pointed out that Both guest speakers listed in the course syllabus, Keith Feldman and Hatem Bazian, have publicly supported an academic boycott of Israel, and Bazian, who is also the course’s faculty sponsor, “is himself a well-known leader of the anti-Israel boycott, divestment, sanctions (BDS) movement as well as campaigns to eliminate the Jewish state.”

“This is a great day for students at Berkeley,” wrote Benjamin in an email message Tuesday night, adding that “our classrooms should never be used to spew hate or push political propaganda aimed at indoctrinating students.”

Benjamin said she and the rest of the groups involved in the protest effort “applaud UC Berkeley’s Chancellor Dirks and his staff for their swift and appropriate response regarding this course,” cautioning that “there is still work to be done to ensure that all new courses at UC Berkeley are adequately reviewed for compliance with university policies prohibiting misuse of the classroom for political indoctrination.”

JNi.Media

California Resolution Urges Action on Campus Anti-Semitism

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015

The California State Assembly on Monday passed a resolution urging action on the increasingly rampant anti-Semitism on University of California (UC) campuses.

The resolution urges each UC campus to “adopt a resolution condemning all forms of anti-Semitism and racism.”

The bipartisan measure was introduced by State Senator Jeff Stone (R-Riverside County) follow-ing a series of events that targeted Jews and Israel on UC campuses, including an incident at UC Davis in which a swastika was painted onto an Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi) Jewish fraternity build-ing and the UCLA student government’s probing of a Jewish student’s religious identity during a hearing on her application for a judicial board position.

The resolution was previously passed unanimously in May by the California State Senate, 35-0, and by the California Assembly’s Higher Education Committee, 8-0, in June.

JNS News Service

Swastikas Painted on Shabbat at Jewish Frat House at Univ. of California

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

Two large swastikas were found spray-painted on the Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi) Jewish fraternity house at University of California (UC), Davis during Shabbat.

“Jewish people still can’t feel safe on their own campuses and in their own houses,” Nathaniel Bernhard, vice president of the UC Davis AEPi chapter, told the Sacramento Bee. “Anti-Semitism still exists today. It’s not a fairy tale.”

Bernhard said the swastikas were spray-painted on the building sometime between 3-9 a.m. on Saturday.

Barry Broad, board president of the Jewish Federation of the Sacramento Region, called the swastikas “especially heinous” given the recent commemoration of International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Jan. 27.

“Unfortunately, the lessons that history has taught us about the culture of hate have not been heeded by everyone,” Broad said in a statement.

UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi said, “Nothing rivals a swastika as a more potent or offensive symbol of hatred and violence toward our Jewish community members.

JNS News Service

Video Exposes Massive and Violent Anti-Semitism on US Campuses [video]

Monday, October 6th, 2014

Jews on American campuses from coast-to-coast are trying to wake up Americans to be aware that violent anti-Semitism is spreading plague, but the students are a weak voice, living in fear and asking, “Never again?”

The Jewish Voices on Campus’ Aaron Goldenberg posted a video this week on the Legal Insurrection website that exposes widespread hate and violence that have become so common place that, in the words of one California student, “it is expected.”

The Jewish Press this past year has published dozens of reports of racist and violent anti-Semitism, including here, here, here, and here. The reaction of American Jewish leaders, let alone non-Jews, has had zero effect. Even worse, there is no lack of American Jews, totally detached from Israel and from Judaism, who throw fuel on the fires of hate by damning Israel for its very existence.

It is totally un-American even to suggest that the United States is not a freedom-loving country.

It is not acceptable to think aloud that Nazism could dominate America.

The American psyche, still imagining that God, Mom, and Apple Pie are the foundations of the country, cannot even consider that the radical Muslim revolution in Europe has sown its seeds of hate and anarchy in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.

Jews on campus are too afraid to be brave. The same goes for Canada, where a University of Calgary student says he is “paranoid” and sometimes “afraid to walk by myself” on campus.

“Being against Israel has become the cool thing to so,” according to Harvard University student Michael. [No last names were used in the video – ed.]

At Kent State University, a professor freely calls his students his “little jihadists” and teaches them that Israel is the spiritual heir to Hitler.

The same professor is on the terrorist watch list.

It is not very re-assuring to know he is being watched.

Violent anti-Jewish and anti-Israel rallies have sent dozens of Jewish students to hospitals.

Gideon of the University of Arizona relates that after he refused entry to his residence to someone whom he did not know and who had brought alcohol with him, he was faced a few minutes later with a gang of 20. “I was struck from behind and was unconscious,” he says. “I was in the hospital for three weeks…with a skull fracture and concussion.”

His conclusion is frightening: “It is sad to see,” he moans.

That’s it? Sad?

Anti-Semites, whites, blacks, Hispanics, Muslim – you name it – are cursing and physically attacking Jews and burning Israeli flags, and it is “sad?”

Is anyone listening?

Campus officials utter empty statements “condemning” violence. Jewish leaders rant and rave. And violence continues.

The Jewish Press reported this week that one university suspended the Students for Justice for Palestine group for one whole week for violating the civil rights of Jews. One week.

SJP was re-instated because it promised to behave nicely.

Put that in the “items to remember” folder.

Wllliam Jacobson wrote on Legal Insurrection, “We have posted many times about how the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement, through faculty and Students for Justice in Palestine branches, has turned campuses and classrooms into political battlefields in the worst way.

“When Northeastern University SJP marches to the chant of “Long Live the Intifada,” they are celebrating the bloody suicide bombing campaign.

“When Vassar College SJP pickets a class and forces a professor to walk the gauntlet just because the course involved a trip to Israel, and anti-Israel students jeer Jewish students who spoke up for Israel, they are sending a message of continued conflict — so it was no surprise when Vassar SJP tweeted out a Nazi cartoon….

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Fliers Posted at U. of California Santa Barbara Blame Jews for 9/11

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

A number of unknown students at the Santa Barbara campus of the University of California started off the new school year this past weekend with posters proclaiming that Jews were responsible for the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

“911 was an outside job,” reads the flier that featured a large, blue Star of David. The leaflet asks every student to “educate yourself” by visiting websites claiming that Israel was behind the Al Qaeda terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people., including hundreds of Jews.

It also suggested that people search Google for subjects such as “9/11 Was Mossad.”

Rabbi Evan Goodman, executive director of the Hillel branch on campus, wrote in a blog post that a Muslim student leader alerted him to the fliers, of which approximately 5-10 were distributed.

He added that Hillel and university staff, along with some students, took down the fliers.

Jewish Press Staff

Non-Jewish Groups Join Protest against Campus Anti-Semitism

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

A group of 14 Jewish and non-Jewish organizations has issued a letter to more than 2,500 U.S. colleges and universities urging them to protect Jewish students on campus in light of rising anti-Semitism in America and abroad.

The organizations include Alpha Epsilon Pi, AMCHA Initiative, American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists, Americans for Peace and Tolerance, Christians United for Israel, Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), David Horowitz Freedom Center, Hasbara Fellowships, Institute for Black Solidarity with Israel, Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, Simon Wiesenthal Center Campus Outreach, StandWithUs, and the Zionist Organization of America.

“None of us should tolerate a campus climate of fear or disrespect, which can seriously impair the physical and psychological health of students and create conditions that negatively affect their learning and their ability to achieve their full potential,” the letter states.

The signatories raised concern over the actions of the anti-Israel Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), which the letter notes has a history of “harassing and intimidating Jewish students.”

The letter goes on to cite several incidents on campuses, including a recent one at Temple University in which a pro-Israel student was physically and verbally assaulted by SJP members, as well as SJP’s planting of anti-Israel mock eviction notices under students’ dorm rooms.

“While justifying its hatred and bigotry as protected under the First Amendment, the SJP employs tactics geared to silencing and marginalizing the views of Jewish students who support Israel,” the letter says.

The letter also cited that these schools are responsible for protecting Jewish students from anti-Semitism under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act.

“Jews around the world are being held collectively responsible for Israel’s actions, which are defensive and undertaken to protect its people,” says the letter. “This is anti-Semitism, according to U.S. government standards.”

 

JNS News Service

UCLA Chancellor: Palestinian Supporters Trying to Censor Campus Discussion

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

The heads of UCLA and the University of California system criticized a student-led pledge that urged candidates for student government to refuse trips to Israel sponsored by certain pro-Israel groups.

In a statement emailed Friday to students, staff and faculty, UCLA Chancellor Gene Block said the pledge was protected speech under the First Amendment, but added that “just because speech is constitutionally protected doesn’t mean that it is wise, fair or productive.”

“I am troubled that the pledge sought to delegitimize educational trips offered by some organizations but not others,” Block said, weighing in on a debate that has roiled the campus for months. “I am troubled that the pledge can reasonably be seen as trying to eliminate selected viewpoints from the discussion.”

Block’s statement was seconded by Janet Napolitano, the California system’s president, who said in a statement, “I share Chancellor Block’s concerns about students at UCLA who target any student seeking to participate in student government who has a relationship with, or wants to travel to, Israel on trips sponsored by certain groups.”

Issued by five pro-Palestinian student groups, the pledge urged the candidates to agree to refuse any trips to Israel sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League, the America Israel Public Affairs Committee and Hasbarah Fellowship, a joint venture between Aish International and the Israeli government. Two of the three major slates of candidates for student government signed the pledge, as did the student body president, but the Bruins United slate, which refused to sign the pledge, won a plurality on the council.

The issue of sponsored trips to Israel has been particularly controversial of late in connection with a February vote by the UCLA student council on a resolution urging the university to divest from certain corporations that do business in the West Bank. The resolution was voted down, 7-5, but the pro-Palestinian groups have charged that two of the council members violated the body’s conflict of interest rules by failing to abstain after having taken trips to Israel sponsored by the ADL and the American Jewish Committee. A student judicial body held a hearing last week on the case.
 

JTA

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/ucla-chancellor-palestinian-supporters-trying-to-censor-campus-discussion/2014/05/20/

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