AMCHA’S Responses to Antisemitic Activity at California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo
1. University-Sponsored Speaking Tour of Ilan Pappe on 3 CSU Campuses – Including Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
- 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 Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Pappe’s talk was organized by History Professor Manzar Foroohar and sponsored by the History Department and the College of Liberal Arts. In an email announcing the event, which Professor Foroohar sent to all faculty in the College of Liberal Arts, she asked them to announce Pappe’s talk in their classes and to encourage their students to attend. Professor Foroohar is a founder of the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, and her animus towards Israel is 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.