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December 12, 2012 11:36 am

BDS-Linked Professor to Chair California University Anti-Semitism Task Force

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The California Polytechnic State University emblem. Photo: California Polytechnic State University.

Manzar Foroohar, a professor connected to the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, has been selected to chair a committee aimed at combating anti-Semitism in the California State University (CSU) system.

Foroohar, who teaches modern Middle East and Latin American history at California Polytechnic State University, was tabbed to chair a CSU Academic Senate 2012/2013 committee tasked with implementing the “Governor’s Task Force on Tolerance and Anti-Semitism,” an effort that began in 2010 to address anti-Semitism at California schools.

The professor, however, serves on the organizing committees of two prominent BDS groups, the U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel and the Israel Divestment Campaign.

“Her selection defeats the whole purpose of the task force. We urge the [CSU] Academic Senate to take its responsibility seriously, and replace Professor Foroohar with someone more suitable for this role,” Roz Rothstein, CEO of the pro-Israel education group StandWithUs, told JNS.org.

Both CSU and Foroohar did not immediately return requests for comment from JNS.org.

In July 2012, a report released by the University of California Advisory Council on Campus Climate, Culture, and Inclusion found that “Jewish students are confronting significant and difficult climate issues as a result of activities on campus which focus specifically on Israel, its right to exist and its treatment of Palestinians.”

“The anti-Zionism and Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movements and other manifestations of anti-Israel sentiment and activity create significant issues,” the report added.

Foroohar’s appointment to the task force raises questions about CSU’s commitment to effectively addressing campus anti-Semitism, according to pro-Israel activists like Rothstein.

“Unfortunately, given Professor Foroohar’s record of anti-Israel views and activism, she will likely make the problem worse, not better,” she told JNS.org.

But Diana Guerin, chairwoman of the Academic Senate of CSU (ASCSU), told columnist Lee Kaplan of Campus Watch that she considers anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism as “two separate issues” and that “it was important for faculty to have a voice on this type of training for our students.”

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  • Sol L Siegel

    Who do you write to protest? This is beyond ignorance.

    • If you wish to make your views known to the administration of the California State University, you may contact the CSU Public Affairs office, at:

      Email: publicaffairs@calstate.edu
      Phone: (562) 951-4800

      The office of California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo President Jeffrey D. Armstrong may be contacted at:

      Email: jarmstro@calpoly.edu
      Phone: (805)756-6000
      Fax: (805)756-1129

      The office of California Governor Jerry Brown may be contacted at:

      Email: http://gov.ca.gov/m_contact.php
      Phone: (916) 445-2841
      Fax: (916) 558-3160

      This text may be reposted or forwarded so long as it is presented as an integral whole with complete information provided about its author, date, place of publication, and original URL.

  • E Pluribus Beagle

    You have GOT to be kidding. This isn’t even a bad joke.