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December 23, 2014 11:46 am

University of California Provost Confirms Prohibition on Faculty Promotion of Anti-Zionist Propaganda

avatar by Ben Cohen

Members of UAW 2865 at the University of California voted in favor of a BDS resolution in early December. Photo: Screenshot

The AMCHA Initiative, an advocacy group combating anti-Semitism at American universities, has hailed as a “Chanukah Surprise” the confirmation by the administration at the University of California that “UC faculty are prohibited from bringing hateful anti-Semitic propaganda and the boycott of Israel into the classroom.”

Following the decision by UAW 2865, a local union representing graduate workers across the campuses of the University of California, to endorse the boycott campaign against Israel – as previously reported by The Algemeiner – AMCHA organized a letter on behalf of twenty-two advocacy groups seeking an answer to whether the prohibition on graduate instructors promoting anti-Zionist propaganda in the classroom also applied to UC faculty.

Responding to the letter, UC Provost Aimee Dore responded, “I understand from your letter that you are concerned that UC faculty may promote the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement in the classroom and that you are seeking clarification as to whether the Regents Policy on Course Content applies to UC faculty members.  In response to your question, the Regents Policy on Course Content does apply to UC faculty members.”

“We strongly applaud Provost Dorr, President Napolitano and all UC administrators for sending a clear message to professors that our classrooms are for education, not political indoctrination,” said Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, AMCHA Initiative co-founder and UC faculty member.  “This marks a huge victory for ensuring the well-being of Jewish students.”

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More than 40 UC faculty members signed a statement of support for the UAW’s call for BDS saying, “As faculty, it is now our turn to support our student-workers, teaching assistants, and advisees as they take this bold and courageous step.”  In addition, AMCHA said, more than 200 UC faculty, including several department chairs and program directors, have endorsed the academic boycott of Israel.

“We hope that in light of your very clear statement, administrators on each campus will strictly enforce the Regents Policy on Course Content in the case of both graduate student instructors and faculty, thereby ensuring that all students — including Jewish and pro-Israel students — have access to a quality learning environment that is safe and non-discriminatory,” AMCHA said in its response to Provost Dorr.

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