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December 12, 2014 3:48 pm

In Wake of UAW 2865 BDS Vote, California Assemblyman Demands Assurance That ‘Anti-Israel Propaganda’ is Prohibited from UC Classrooms

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California Assembly Member Richard Bloom wants assurances that UC faculty won't promote BDS in the classroom. Photo: Twitter

A leading California Assembly Member has urged University of California President Janet Napolitano to ensure that members of the university’s faculty do not use their classroom sessions to promote the agenda of the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, following the vote by a campus-wide labor union representing graduate student workers to endorse the BDS campaign.

Richard Bloom, Assembly Member for California’s 50th District, sent a letter to Napolitano and the members of the UC Board of Regents expressing concern at the unrepresentative vote by members of UAW 2865. As The Algemeiner reported yesterday, only 2,189 votes were cast in a ballot in which more than 52,000 union members were eligible to vote. Activists countering the BDS proposal claimed that they were not given the equal opportunity to present their case and that BDS supporters harassed their opponents near polling stations, in flagrant violations of the union’s own rules.

“The UAW 2865 vote is consistent with a dramatic spike in anti-Semitism and anti-Israel activity on campuses in California and across the country,” Bloom wrote. “Promotion of BDS by faculty has been behind much of the problem.”

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Bloom reminded Napolitano that university policy already prohibits graduate teachers “from promoting BDS and anti-Israel propaganda in the classroom.” The issue now, he said, was to establish whether that same policy applies to UC faculty.

“The classroom must be a place where all views are welcomed and all students feel like they can have a voice,” Bloom said.

UC Santa Cruz lecturer Tami Rossman-Benjamin, the founder of the AMCHA Intiative that counters anti-Semitism at American institutions of higher education, warmly praised Bloom for reaching out to Napolitano.

“Jewish students are lucky to have a courageous representative like Assembly Member Bloom fighting for their safety and well-being,” Rossman-Benjamin said.

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  • Anonoymous

    So, one of the accusations that anti-BDS supports hurled towards pro-BDS union members (I am a voting member of UAW 2865) was that by pledging to “not to ‘take part in any research, conferences, events, exchange programs, or other activities that are sponsored by Israeli universities complicit in the occupation of Palestine and the settler-colonial policies of the state of Israel’,” we were violating a fundamental principle of the Academy and of the pursuit of knowledge. Now an anti-BDS activist is suggesting that we limit what can and cannot be discussed in university classrooms here in California, due simply to the possibility that hypothetical topics under discussion might conflict with his own personal political allegiances?! I mean, talk about hypocrisy! “The classroom must be a place where all views are welcomed and all students feel like they can have a voice,” Bloom said.” If that’s true, then why aren’t pro-BDS views being welcomed?!

    “The UAW 2865 vote is consistent with a dramatic spike in anti-Semitism …” Mr. Bloom, you and anyone who seeks to advance this ridiculous and insulting position should feel ashamed of yourselves. Anti-Semitism and critiques of the Israeli government are two completely separate issues. There may be anti-Semites out there who view the BDS movement as a great way to express their irrational hatred of the Jewish people, for the vast Vast VAST majority (nearly 99.9%, I’m sure) of UAW 2865 members are NOT anti-Semitic in anyway!!! That’s a cheap, childish lie on your part that’s designed only to strike fear into the hearts of BDS supports with the suggestion that their political positions might be misconstrued for racial hatred. If you sincerely believe that our BDS vote had anything to do with anti-Semitism, then you must be an extremely ignorant and unintelligent man who has no business serving in government. That’s a very irresponsible thing of you to say without sufficient and undeniable evidence (which, by the way, does not exist).

    For the rest of you, I’ve compiled the Greatest Hits of whacko scribblings currently featured in the comments section of this article:

    al sheeber wrote: “The problem with the university is that it is run by a Lefty butsch [sic!] dyke, they don’t care much for Israel!” I DON’T EVEN …

    tom tuey wrote: “… Hollywood and its bunch, insane courts of law, sillycon valley, obscene sexual wierdos [sic!], et. al. could all get together in their own repugnant country and have a huge luv in until the stench rises to heaven and God gets tired of it…..He did once before with another place(s)…remember?” I DO REMEMBER THAT FROM BIBLE SCHOOL WAY BACK WHEN. BUT DO YOU REMEMBER WHAT YOUR (IMAGINARY) GOD PROMISED NEVER TO DO AGAIN AFTERWARDS?! DID YOU GET THAT FAR IN YOUR BOOK OF FAIRY TALES, OR DO YOU NEED A NON-BELIEVER TO EXPLAIN YOUR OWN SCRIPTURES TO YOU?!

    Wolff Bachner wrote: “The ground work is being laid for LETS KILL SOME JEWS PART TWO.” YOU ARE A PSYCHOPATH FOR MIXING UP BDS WITH A HYPOTHETICAL SECOND HOLOCAUST.

    Steve Wenick wrote: “Once again the supposedly educated have succumbed to blatant anti-Semitism. Unfortunately in academia today being anti Jew is the in thing. History really does repeat it self. After all it was the highly educated Germans that participated in boycotting Jewish owned shops before the murderous mutants took complete ownership of their government’s genocidal activities.” YOU GUYS ARE SERIOUS THE DUMBEST PEOPLE ON THE PLANET! YOU AREN’T ABLE TO DISTINGUISH BETWEEN IRRATIONAL NAZI HATRED TOWARDS THE JEWS AND OTHER MINORITIES AND A LARGELY LEFTIST, ANTI-RACIST GROUP OF GRADUATE STUDENTS WANTING TO PROTEST ISRAEL’S BRUTAL COLONIALISM IN THE WEST BANK? IS THE ENORMOUS DIFFERENCE THERE REALLY HARD FOR YOU TO COMPREHEND?! IF SO, WE’RE ALL SCREWED …

    To conclude, if you can’t spell correctly, you probably don’t have anything insightful to offer the world, politically speaking.

    • Sam

      I am choosing not to address your points, but can you please answer this question: how is promoting boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israel, while not against other countries with far worse human rights abuses not anti-Semitic? I have been trying to think of another explanation, but I cannot.

      • David

        UAW 2865 didn’t single out Israel for scrutiny. US foreign policy did that, to the tune of $3 billion dollars a year and a special relationship that is always bragged about by Zionists. If you don’t think Israel should be singled out for unique treatment, take that up with the US State Department. As Americans, billions of our tax dollars aren’t going to support human rights atrocities in Qatar. As union members, our union dues don’t support abuses in Egypt, because, guess what, the union isn’t invested in Egypt. And personally, as a Jew, Zionism unfairly conflates my identity with the human rights atrocities of the Israeli government, giving me a personal stake in ending crimes there that I don’t have when it comes to other countries.

        This should all be obvious to anyone who has taken the time to research these issues, and actually cares about justice.

  • al sheeber

    The problem with the university is that it is run by a Lefty butsch dyke, they don’t care much for Israel!

  • tom tuey

    Just what can you expect from California??? If Cal.
    were to break off from the other states and float
    away into the Pacific, it would not bother me one
    iota..then perhaps some of the craziness,
    Hollywood and its bunch, insane courts of law,
    sillycon valley, obscene sexual wierdos, et. al.
    could all get together in their own repugnant
    country and have a huge luv in until the stench
    rises to heaven and God gets tired of it…..He did
    once before with another place(s)…remember?

  • Charlotte Greenbarg

    He’s fighting the good fight, but the anti-Semites/ anti-Israel crowd is very well financed and dug in.

    And his colleagues are where? And Pres. Napolitano is where?

    The liberal fashionistas are like a cancer.

  • California

    This is a good thing; when these acti-holes start disseminating BDS propaganda, Jewish students can sue the UC system, UAW 2865 and others for libel, discrimination and other offenses.

    The fact that less than 11% of the members voted in support is very telling. I wonder if any voted were accidentally “lost”.

  • Edward

    Thank you Representative Bloom for standing up against the scourge of antisemitism. We need more like you and Tami Rossman-Benjamin, the founder of the AMCHA.

  • Wolff Bachner

    The ground work is being laid for LETS KILL SOME JEWS PART TWO.
    Time for every Jew to move to Israel and learn to defend their homeland.

  • David

    There is an incredibly large error in this article. There are not 52,000 members of the union. There are only 13,000 members. This vote also had twice the number of voters as the last union election, which was about accepting or rejecting the union contract. This was an incredibly high-turnout election.

  • Steve Wenick

    Once again the supposedly educated have succumbed to blatant anti-Semitism. Unfortunately in academia today being anti Jew is the in thing. History really does repeat it self. After all it was the highly educated Germans that participated in boycotting Jewish owned shops before the murderous mutants took complete ownership of their government’s genocidal activities.

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