AMCHA’s Responses to Antisemitic Activity at California State University Fresno
1. University-Sponsored Speaking Tour of Ilan Pappe on 3 CSU Campuses – Including California State University Fresno (CSUF)
- INCIDENT: Prof. Ilan Pappe, an anti-Israel professor, who has publicly called for the elimination of Israel as a Jewish state, was flown from London to speak on several CSU campuses in February 2012. This speaking tour was organized and promoted by CSU administrators and faculty members and used university resources to do so. At CSUF, the lecture was organized by the Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities, Vida Samiian, and sponsored by the Middle East Studies Department. There is little doubt that Dean Samiian organized this event for the purposes of propagandizing rather than educating students at CSUF. Like Ilan Pappe, Dean Samiian has made her political animus towards Israel a matter of public record.
- 2/13/12 – AMCHA’S RESPONSE: AMCHA Initiative wrote to the president of the CSU system as well as the presidents of the individual campuses where Pappe spoke, alerting them of Pappe’s animus towards the Jewish state, as well as the animus of the administrators and faculty members that organized the tour.
- 2/13/12 – AMCHA’S RESPONSE: AMCHA Initiative produced a video explaining our concerns.
- 2/16/12 – CSU’S RESPONSE: The Presidents of the 3 CSU campuses where Ilan Pappe was scheduled to appear – Jeffery Armstrong at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, John Welty of CSU Fresno, and Harry Hellenbrand of CSU Northridge – issued a statement affirming the “academic freedom” of the faculty organizers of Pappe’s tour to use university resources to promote Pappe’s politically-motivated and directed tour.