16 UC-Berkeley Faculty Members Endorse ‘Outrage’ Over Lecturer Who Shared Antisemitic Images
Sixteen faculty members at the University of California, Berkeley “strongly” backed concerns raised by Jewish students at the school over Hatem Bazian, a lecturer accused of sharing antisemitic images on social media.
Bazian shared a tweet in July accusing a “Zionist” of crimes including “genocide” and theft of Palestinian “body-organs.” The tweet also included inflammatory images, one of which featured a stereotype of a religious Jew saying, “I is chosen! I can now kill, rape, smuggle organs & steal the land of Palestinians *yay* #Ashke-Nazi.”
Bazian — a member of Berkeley’s department of ethnic studies, and a cofounder of the anti-Zionist campus group Students for Justice in Palestine — has since apologized for sharing the “wrong and offensive” images, which UC-Berkeley said in a statement “cross the line” into antisemitism. However, a coalition of Jewish student groups at the school dismissed the apology as insufficient and called for Bazian’s removal in a letter sent to administrators last week, pointing to his years-long record “of spreading or justifying anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry.”
Dan Mogulof, assistant vice chancellor at UC-Berkeley, told The Algemeiner at the time that administrators would seek to discuss these “important issues” in a meeting with the students.
In a response published by The Jewish News of Northern California on Wednesday, faculty members including George Breslauer — UC-Berkeley’s former executive vice chancellor and provost — as well as faculty directors at the school’s Center for Jewish Studies and Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies, endorsed “the outrage expressed by Jewish student groups in the face of a persistent pattern of anti-Semitic expressions (statements, postings, re-tweets) by UC Berkeley Lecturer Hatem Bazian.”
Bazian’s postings stoke “anti-Semitism in its age-old form of demonizing Jews,” they warned.
“Whether or not such expressions are protected by the First Amendment or by academic freedom, they are clearly a violation of the principles of community and principles of tolerance embraced by the system wide University of California and by UC Berkeley,” the faculty members argued.
Mogulof told The Algemeiner on Thursday that the faculty members’ letter “aligns with our prior condemnation of Dr. Bazian’s … re-tweet of offensive material that expressed hatred for a religious minority.”
“The University has made clear that it will not tolerate anti-Semitism, along with every other form of bias and discrimination,” he added, noting that administrators are “currently reviewing and considering” these issues in advance of their meeting with concerned Jewish students.