San Jose State University Library Hosts ‘Raging Antisemite’ Who Blames Zionist Jews for 9/11
A well-known conspiracy theorist who claims Israeli and Zionist Jews planned the 9/11 terror attacks spoke at San Jose State University’s flagship library on Saturday, despite strong objections from Jewish faculty members, The Algemeiner has learned.
Christopher Bollyn, described as “a raging anti-Semite” by the Southern Poverty Law Center, lectured at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library — which is jointly run by SJSU and the city of San Jose — about the alleged role of Israeli and American Zionists in orchestrating “false flag” attacks on the World Trade Center. Nearly two dozen people were in attendance, according to an SJSU professor who gave The Algemeiner an account of the event on condition of anonymity.
Bollyn’s beliefs are well recorded. In his 2012 book Solving 9/11: The Deception that Changed the World, Bollyn called the 9/11 attacks “a monstrous Jewish-Zionist crime of our time,” whose culprits were “being protected by a gang of like-minded Jewish Zionists in the highest positions of the U.S. government.”
Despite this, in a now-removed listing on SJSU’s events calendar promoting his appearance (cache available here), Bollyn was only described as an “independent researcher, investigative journalist, and author.”
Jonathan Roth, a history professor at SJSU, told The Algemeiner that Bollyn’s talk was booked by Candice McGee — the university’s meeting room, exhibits, and administrative specialist — and approved by both Tracy Elliott, the dean of the university library, and Jill Bourne, the city of San Jose’s chief library director.
In his talk, Bollyn accused Israel of carrying out the 9/11 attacks with UN complicity and then blaming the attacks on Muslim terrorists to launch a fraudulent “War on Terror” and reshape the Middle East. He also argued that the 1993 World Trade Center bombing — which Pakistani-Palestinian terrorist Ramzi Ahmed Yousef was convicted of masterminding — was a “false flag” operation organized by the FBI and wrongly blamed on Muslims.
Bollyn claimed that the “Israeli military command” controlled Washington’s public response to the 9/11 attacks — choosing to push a false narrative that radical Islamic terrorists were responsible for them — and created fake histories for hijackers.
According to Bollyn, this charge was advanced with the help of the Project for the New American Century, a now-defunct conservative think tank founded by William (Bill) Kristol and Robert Kagan, as well as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and their allies, the “Jewish neo-cons” in the US and Israeli governments.
Bollyn — who also spoke of the “Zionist Freemason Organization” and frequently invoked the Rothschild family — charged that accusations of antisemitism are wrongly used to stop discussion of these alleged events.
Roth told The Algemeiner that, according to its Customer Conduct Policy, the SJSU library does not allow its users to engage in racial or verbal abuse. “Saying that the Jews or Israel or the Zionists [carried out the 9/11 attacks] is racial, verbal abuse, in my opinion,” he observed. “They could have canceled it.”
The professor first noticed a poster promoting Bollyn’s talk while visiting the library on September 20, the eve of Rosh Hashanah. “I lived in New York and I knew a lot of people who lived through 9/11,” Roth said, “and I thought it was outrageous that the university is hosting this guy.”
Roth registered his concerns that afternoon with SJSU and library officials including Elliott, Bourne, McGee, SJSU president Mary Papazian and chief diversity officer Kathleen Wong(Lau).
In email correspondence obtained by The Algemeiner, Roth directed the officials to an advisory by the Anti-Defamation League identifying Bollyn as “an anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist” and asked them to cancel the event. He cautioned that Bollyn’s talk would not be well received by the Jewish community, which he planned to engage if SJSU failed to take action.
Roth said he got a call from the president’s office that evening, indicating that the event was being studied but would likely proceed as planned. Shortly afterward, a fellow faculty member pointed out that the listing of the talk was removed from SJSU’s events calendar.
Believing that the university had decided to reverse course, Roth expressed his appreciation and relief in an email to Papazian, Elliott, Bourne, Wong(Lau) and SJSU’s chief academic officer, Andy Feinstein. He also asked Elliott and Wong(Lau) to meet with him and other members of the Jewish Faculty and Staff Association (JFSA), “to discuss how we can prevent this sort of thing from getting quite so far, and also to work on better communication with the Jewish community.”
“I note that timely communication was a serious problem with our last anti-Semitic incident, the swastikas in the dorm,” Roth wrote, referring to antisemitic vandalism that took place on campus in 2016.
He was notified the following day by Jaye Bailey, SJSU’s chief of staff and vice president for organizational development, that “the University has not cancelled the event.”
Roth said that the JFSA then decided not to openly protest Bollyn’s talk, partly because it did not have sufficient time to prepare and partly because it did not want to draw attention to it.
“I can understand them not making a public statement beforehand, so as not to advertise it,” Roth said of the president’s office, “but since it happened, [Papazian] hasn’t made any statement, either to the university as a whole or to the Jewish community through Hillel or through the Jewish Faculty and Staff Association.”
“I feel like if this had been any other ethnic group or any other gender group or sexual orientation group, that the university would’ve made some sort of statement” disavowing the event, even if they allowed it to go on, Roth added.
“They did not communicate with us well,” he continued. “They didn’t bring the Jewish community into this in any way, shape, or form. I really feel like we’ve been thrown under the bus. That antisemitism is really not seen in the same category as …racism or sexism or homophobia.”
“I don’t think any of the people involved are antisemitic,” Roth noted. “But I do think there is a kind of feeling that it doesn’t rise to the same level.”
He recalled casually informing a lecturer at SJSU that Bollyn was coming to campus to argue “that the Jews and Israel manufactured 9/11.” The lecturer, who Roth declined to identify, responded by asking, “Does he have good evidence?”
“There may be people on the staff and faculty who think that it’s at least theoretically possible that the Jews and Israel would’ve done this, which in itself is very disturbing,” Roth said.
Multiple requests for comment from SJSU were unanswered by press time.