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August 20, 2018 12:43 pm

Student Group Claims Tufts’s Anti-Israel Class Violates Administrative Policy

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Tufts University. Photo: Pete Jelliffe / Flickr.

JNS.org – A fall course at Tufts University violates guidelines by the school’s president, according to a statement issued by Tufts Friends of Israel, a pro-Israel student group on the college campus.

Titled “Colonizing Palestine,” the course proposes to “explore the history and culture of modern Palestine and the centrality of colonialism in the making of this contested and symbolically potent territory,” according to the class description.

JNS reported that the class focuses on writers and activists in the anti-Israel movement. Several Jewish organizations have condemned the course as political propaganda masquerading as an academic class.

Tufts Friends of Israel said that the course breaches a statement by the Office of the President, which reads: “While members of our community vigorously debate international politics, Tufts University does not adopt institutional positions with respect to specific geo-political issues.”

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“By blindly condoning this course under the guise of the ‘free exchange of ideas,’ Tufts is explicitly endorsing a parochial narrative that rejects Jewish indigeneity to the land of their origin,” the student group stated.

Tufts University now faces two options, according to the student group. Either the university must “admit to taking a geopolitical stance” by offering a course premised on a “biased narrative” that distorts Jewish history, or the school must “take measures to greatly reform or retract this course and work towards the university’s stated principles and ‘bridging differences’ initiative.”

“Tufts’ academic reputation is on the line here,” said Liel Asulin, campus coordinator with CAMERA on Campus, an organization which combats campus antisemitism. “Does the school want to be known for scholarship or political propaganda?”

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