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October 21, 2016 10:10 am

U of California System ‘Doing Nothing to Curb Plague of Antisemitic Bigotry,’ Says Columnist

avatar by Lea Speyer

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The UC Berkeley campus. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The UC Berkeley campus. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

A syndicated political columnist from California recently rebuked his state’s major universities for “doing little or nothing so far to curb their plague of antisemitic bigotry.”

In an op-ed last week in the Napa Valley Register, Thomas Elias wrote, “There’s little or no good news on the campuses…when it comes to officially tolerated antisemitism.”

Recent events at various California schools only serve to highlight the University of California system’s failure to put its stated policy of combating the phenomenon to work, he said. 

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Referring to the controversy over an anti-Israel course at UC Berkeley — which, as The Algemeiner reported, was suspended and then reinstated without any major changes to its syllabus — Elias wrote that its “one-sided political orientation was clear and never denied. Like most of the movement to boycott Israel…this class is less about settlements…and more about the hate that’s spurred Palestinian terrorists attacks on Jews around the world and not only in Israel or the West Bank.” 

The course syllabus defames the Jewish state, which is in “clear violation” of the UC Regents prohibition against the use of the classroom for political indoctrination, and of a six-month-old policy against bigotry, which “lacks teeth,” Elias wrote.

He went on to cite the decision on the part of Milan Chatterjee, a third-year law student and former UCLA Graduate Student Association president, to leave the school after he was harassed by anti-Israel activists for his neutral stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in keeping with university policy.

“Anti-Israel groups…campaigned to censure Chatterjee,” Elias wrote. “Later, UCLA’s Discrimination Prevention Office concluded that his refusal of funds if the event was to be BDS-linked violated a university policy calling for impartiality. Huh?”

Elias also referred to San Francisco State University (SFSU), which is actively engaged in a partnership with An-Najah University, a Palestinian school in the West Bank which has been called a hotbed of terror activism.

SFSU’s president “has not acted on demands to cancel the arrangement,” and the facilitator of the partnership, Rabab Abdulhabi — a founding member of the national campaign to boycott Israel — “did not care that activists in Hamas…hold half the student council seats at An-Najah.”

“Should Californians’ tax and tuition dollars go toward a relationship with this university…?” Elias asked.

The situation at UC school’s paints a “sad picture,” Elias concluded. “No UC student has been punished for campus antisemitic activity in years, while fear forced Chatterjee from UCLA.”

As The Algemeiner reported, the UC system was recently listed in a new report as one of the top “hotspots” of antisemitic activity on US campuses.

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