TICK TOCK…IT’S BEEN A YEAR AND STILL NO RESPONSE FROM KAMALA HARRIS ON CSUN MATHEMATICS PROFESSOR’S ANTISEMITIC WEBSITE

Contact: Nicole Rosen
202-309-5724
[email protected]

 

Santa Cruz, CA, January 29, 2015– A year ago today, AMCHA Initiative asked California Attorney General Kamala Harris to investigate California State University Northbridge (CSUN) mathematics professor David Klein.  For five years, Klein has illegally used CSUN’s name and resources to promote a personal anti-Israel and antisemitic agenda. Harris has yet to acknowledge the request.

“It has been exactly one year since we wrote  to inform you of new evidence that we had found regarding the case of California State University Northridge Mathematics Professor David Klein, who has been using the taxpayer-funded CSUN website to host his politically-motivated, antisemitic web page,” wrote AMCHA Initiative’s co-founders, Tammi Rossman Benjamin and Leila Beckwith, in a letter sent to Harris today. “We, and many other concerned California citizens, are extremely disappointed that you have to date ignored our letter.  Indeed no one in your office has even acknowledged receipt of our complaint.”

A year ago, AMCHA provided Harris substantial evidence demonstrating that Klein has been in violation of the following state and federal laws:

  • CAL. GOV’T CODE § 8314, which considers it a misdemeanor to use “public resources” to advocate for “personal or other purposes which are not authorized by law.”
  • CAL. EDUC. CODE § 89005.5(a)(2)(C), which considers it a misdemeanor to “display” the CSU name or any variant of that name “in connection with” any propaganda or promotional activity “which has for its purpose the support, endorsement, advancement…[of] boycott or of any political…activity or program,” without the permission of the CSU Trustees.
  • 50 U.S.C.App. § 2402 (5) and § 2407 (c), which make it illegal for a state agency to engage in anti-Israel boycott activities.

“Freedom of speech and academic freedom are essential on a university campus,” stated AMCHA’s letter.  “However it is very difficult for us, and for many citizens of this state, to understand how either “freedom of speech” or “academic freedom” applies in the case of a state-employed mathematics professor who has been using the state university’s taxpayer-funded server to promote his own personal hatred of the Jewish state and an illegal boycott against it.”

“Professor Klein is a math professor.  You wouldn’t hire him as an International Affairs lecturer.  You wouldn’t offer course credit to students if he decided to teach a class on Middle East studies.  His boycott websites are not educational; they are part of his personal mission to indoctrinate,” added Rossman-Benjamin.  “Yet he is allowed to promote his anti-Israel and antisemitic agenda on the taxpayer dime.”

AMCHA demanded that Harris address the issue immediately.  “This matter clearly requires legal adjudication, and yet after one year you still have not provided us with answers to the reasonable legal questions we raised,” wrote AMCHA.

A full copy of today’s letter can be found HERE and below.

AMCHA Initiative is a non-profit organization, based in California, dedicated to investigating, documenting, educating about, and combating antisemitism at institutions of higher education in America.  AMCHA Initiative’s efforts are bolstered by a network of more than 5,000 members and supporters of the Jewish community — including university alumni, parents and grandparents, rabbis, religious school principals and synagogue members — who have joined together to speak in one voice to ensure the safety and well-being of Jewish students on college and university campuses across the country.

 

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Kamala D. Harris
Attorney General
California Department of Justice
1300 “I” Street
Sacramento, CA 95814-2919

January 29, 2015

RE: One-Year Follow Up of Alleged Misuse of State Resources

 

Dear Attorney General Harris:

It has been exactly one year since we wrote to inform you of new evidence that we had found regarding the case of California State University Northridge Mathematics Professor David Klein, who has been using the taxpayer-funded CSUN website to host his politically-motivated, antisemitic web page, entitled “Boycott Israel Resource Page“, for five years. We, and many other concerned California citizens, are extremely disappointed that you have to date ignored our letter.  Indeed no one in your office has even acknowledged receipt of our complaint.

In our letter, we provided substantial evidence showing that Klein has been in violation of the following state and federal laws:

  • CAL. GOV’T CODE § 8314, which considers it a misdemeanor to use “public resources” to advocate for “personal or other purposes which are not authorized by law.”
  • CAL. EDUC. CODE § 89005.5(a)(2)(C), which considers it a misdemeanor to “display” the CSU name or any variant of that name “in connection with” any propaganda or promotional activity “which has for its purpose the support, endorsement, advancement…[of] boycott or of any political…activity or program,” without the permission of the CSU Trustees.
  • 50 U.S.C.App. § 2402 (5) and § 2407 (c), which make it illegal for a state agency to engage in anti-Israel boycott activities.

Freedom of speech and academic freedom are essential on a university campus.  However, it is very difficult for us, and for many citizens of this state, to understand how either “freedom of speech” or “academic freedom” applies in the case of a state-employed mathematics professor who has been using the state university’s taxpayer-funded server to promote his own personal hatred of the Jewish state and an illegal boycott against it.

This matter clearly requires legal adjudication, and yet after one year you still have not provided us with answers to the reasonable legal questions we raised.  Given the importance of this matter not only to the Jewish community but to all citizens of the state, we request that you do one of the following:

If Klein is in violation of state law, then please ensure that his “Boycott Israel Resource Page” is removed from the CSUN server and that Professor Klein is appropriately sanctioned for his illegal behavior.

If Klein has not violated California law, then please publicly clarify for us, and for the citizens of California, why the substantial evidence presented in the letter we sent you one year ago fails to demonstrate that Klein has violated state or federal law.

We hope to receive a response from you in the near future.

 

Sincerely,

Tammi Rossman-Benjamin
Co-founder AMCHA Initiative

Leila Beckwith
Co-founder AMCHA Initiative

 

Cc:

CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White
CSU Board of Trustees
CSU Associate Vice Chancellor and Deputy General Counsel Andrew Jones
Senior Assistant Attorney General Douglas Woods
California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson
California State Senator Robert M. Hertzberg (Northridge)
California State Assembly Member Matthew Dababneh (Northridge)
California Senator Carol Liu, Chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Education
California Assembly Member Patrick O’Donnell, Chair of the Assembly Education Committee
California State Senator Marty Block, Chair of Legislative Jewish Caucus
U.S. Congressman District 30 Brad Sherman
California Jewish community leaders