Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

California State University Chancellor Rejects ASA’s Israeli Academic Boycott, Jewish Student Groups Supportive

January 3, 2014 5:26 pm 2 comments
Anti-Semitic stencil used to create signs on the SF State University campus. Photo: AMCHA Initiative.

Anti-Semitic stencil used to create signs on the SF State University campus. Photo: AMCHA Initiative.

Jewish groups were supportive on Friday after California State University Chancellor Timothy White denounced the American Studies Association’s boycott of Israeli universities. While most universities are coming out against the ASA, White’s move to condemn the boycott was substantive for the organizations working to defend the rights of Jewish students on his campuses in California.

At CSU Northridge, Jewish students in 2013 had been tormented by a math professor using the school computer to publish hate speech about Israel.

At San Francisco State, the General Union of Palestinian Students spray painted stencils with an image of Leila Khaled, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terrorist group responsible for plane hijackings, suicide bombings, and the assassination of a Jewish member of the Israeli Knesset. Another stencil produced by its student leader Mohammad Hammad said: “MY HEROES HAVE ALWAYS KILLED COLONIZERS.”

The phrase was later found in one of his chilling online Tumblr entries:

“You know what? / Israelis ARE colonizers, there is literally no way around it / And you know what else? / My heroes HAVE always killed colonizers / I literally see nothing wrong with this and my only regret is that not all colonizers were killed / HMM”

Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, of AMCHA Initiative, one of the co-sponsors of the commendation, was active in getting the school administrations to address these issues at CSU Northridge and San Francisco State, where it also recently commended school President Les Wong for speaking up after months of inaction.

Aron Hier, another co-sponsor, who is Director of Campus Outreach at the much larger Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, gave the commendation for White greater echo in the community.

In his statement against the ASA boycott, Chancellor White came out strongly on the universal losses to the higher education community. He spoke of  “academic freedom and scholarly dialog,” as being important for university groups, but he side-stepped the matter of whether the ASA’s entire approach was anti-Semitic.

His statement also didn’t include mention of any of the “stereotype-buster” features unique to Israeli universities, including Technion, Israel’s MIT, where an Islamic woman named Mais Ali-Saleh who grew up in a small Arab village outside of Nazareth, in Israel’s Galilee, graduated as valedictorian in 2013.

2 Comments

  • Prof Asher J Matathias

    The American Studies Association (ASA) is well along the road to perdition and deserved self-destruction. More, in expressing its misguided anti-Semitism by joining the boycott-divestment-sanction (BDS), intentionally avoiding condemnation of the undemocratic nations, particularly in the Middle East, aiding and abating such campaigns, there is perpetuation of bigotry. Let this Isolde serve as a cautionary tale about ideological dogmatism poisoning the environment in academia to pursue unfettered research and understanding.

  • james ainoris

    Justlike in the 60s all whacky radicals were respected in alot of universities….this is antisemitism….no other reason but.Sad that pseudo intellectual chomsky wannabes act like this..Shalom

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Arts and Culture Middle East Larry King Asks Saudi Arabian Fan If Taking Pictures With Jews Is Permitted

    Larry King Asks Saudi Arabian Fan If Taking Pictures With Jews Is Permitted

    Jewish former CNN host Larry King asked a Saudi Arabian fan if taking pictures with Jews is allowed in his country, before agreeing to pose for a photo with the man, The New York Times reported on Wednesday. The world-famous interviewer was leaving the Ritz Carlton hotel in Washington, D.C. with a New York Times reporter when a “dark-skinned man” approached and asked to take a picture with him, according to the publication. Whereupon, King asked the fan where he was from. When the man said Saudi […]

    Read more →
  • Europe Sports Britain’s Lord Sugar Says Synagogues Will Be Empty With Yom Kippur Matchup of Jewish-Supported Soccer Teams

    Britain’s Lord Sugar Says Synagogues Will Be Empty With Yom Kippur Matchup of Jewish-Supported Soccer Teams

    British-Jewish business tycoon Lord Alan Sugar joked on Wednesday that London synagogues will likely be empty during Yom Kippur with congregants fleeing to watch the match-up of two leading English soccer teams known for having hordes of Jewish fans. “Spurs V Arsenal cup game drawn on most important Jewish festival,” Lord Sugar pointed out on Twitter. “Both teams have loads of Jewish fans. Conclusion Synagogues will be empty.” North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal FC will go head-to-head in the Capital One Cup third-round […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada Jewish Men Pass Jimmy Kimmel Social Experiment, Rescuing ‘Spongebob’ in Distress (VIDEO)

    Jewish Men Pass Jimmy Kimmel Social Experiment, Rescuing ‘Spongebob’ in Distress (VIDEO)

    Two Jewish men were the only unwitting participants in a social experiment conducted by Jimmy Kimmel, for his popular TV show. As part of a candid-camera-like sketch featured Monday night on Jimmy Kimmel Live, the host devised different street scenes to observe human behavior — in particular, to see how long it would take people walking down California’s bustling Hollywood Boulevard to notice and interact with others in distress. One scene involved a man in a Spongebob Squarepants costume who had “fallen down” on the sidewalk and needed help […]

    Read more →
  • Education US & Canada International Jewish Organization Blasts Israeli-Born Star Natalie Portman for Comments on Holocaust Education

    International Jewish Organization Blasts Israeli-Born Star Natalie Portman for Comments on Holocaust Education

    A major Jewish organization rebuked actress Natalie Portman on Monday for saying in a recent interview that Jews put too much emphasis on teaching about the Holocaust relative to other genocides. The Israeli-born movie star told the U.K.’s Independent that the Jewish community needs to examine how much focus it puts on Holocaust education over other issues. She said she was shocked when she learned that a genocide was taking place in Rwanda while she was in school learning only about the horrors of the […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Israel Book Draws Parallels Between Holocaust and Palestinian Nakba, Sparks Outrage

    Book Draws Parallels Between Holocaust and Palestinian Nakba, Sparks Outrage

    JNS.org – A new book that draws parallels between the Holocaust and the Palestinian Nakba (the Arabic term for the displacement of Palestinian refugees during Israel’s War of Independence) has sparked outrage ahead of an official book launch, to be hosted by the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute on Sept. 7. The Zionist organization Im Tirtzu wrote a letter to the institute demanding that it cancel an event it planned in honor of the book’s authors, under the title The Holocaust and […]

    Read more →
  • Education US & Canada Natalie Portman Says Holocaust Education Shouldn’t be Used for ‘Fearmongering’

    Natalie Portman Says Holocaust Education Shouldn’t be Used for ‘Fearmongering’

    Famed actress Natalie Portman warned on Friday against the use of Holocaust education to evoke fear and paranoia. In an interview with the U.K. Independent she added that the trauma should make Jews more empathetic to others who have also experienced hatred. “Sometimes it can be subverted to fearmongering and like ‘Another Holocaust is going to happen,’” the Israeli-American star said. “We need to, of course, be aware that hatred exists, antisemitism exists against all sorts of people, not in the same way. I […]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Commentary A Righteous Gentile Navigates the Sharkpool of Washington’s Middle East Correspondents (REVIEW)

    A Righteous Gentile Navigates the Sharkpool of Washington’s Middle East Correspondents (REVIEW)

    The Tribalist, by Louis Marano, is ostensibly a work of fiction but at its core a kind of love song by a gentile journalist for the State of Israel, and especially its secular Zionist core. (Because of the relentless attacks by left-wing polemicists on Israel’s allegedly “messianic” fringe, it’s often forgotten that most of Israel’s founders and all its leaders have been secular Zionists.) The author, the product of an Italian-American family in Buffalo, served two tours of duty in […]

    Read more →
  • Food Jewish Identity Rugelach Roundtable: Does Beloved Pastry Need Dairy to Taste Good?

    Rugelach Roundtable: Does Beloved Pastry Need Dairy to Taste Good?

    JNS.org – Rugelach (singular: rugala) are a beloved traditional Jewish pastry, with a quirky history to boot, but they often present a kosher conundrum. Though parve rugelach are often a preferred dessert after a meat meal for those observing kosher laws (which stipulate a waiting period between eating meat and dairy), some of today’s most popular rugelach are known for their dairy fillings. Pastry chef Paula Shoyer—author of the books “The Kosher Baker: Over 160 Dairy-free Recipes from Traditional to Trendy” and […]

    Read more →