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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

avatar by Ben Cohen

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.”

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.

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“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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