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43 groups demand that UC Berkeley Chancellor take immediate action to ensure course vetting procedure includes Regents’ policy prohibiting political indoctrination in the classroom

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ANTI-ZIONIST COURSE AT UC BERKELEY REVEALS THAT COURSE VETTING PROCESS ALLOWS FOR UNCHECKED POLITICAL INDOCTRINATION


43 Groups Demand that Chancellor Dirks Take Immediate Action to Ensure that All Courses Comply with Regents Policy on Course Content


 

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TAKE ACTION: Write to Chancellor Dirks (chancellor@berkeley.edu) and urge him to take the following steps to ensure that student and faculty instructors may not misuse the classroom for political indoctrination:
1) Publicly affirm his commitment to enforcing the Regents Policy on Course Content;
2) Direct the staff responsible for student-taught courses at UCB to ensure that student instructors, faculty advisors, and department chairs comply with the Regents Policy; and 3) Direct the UCB Academic Senate to ensure that all new courses are compliant with the Regents Policy.
 


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The Syllabus of Palestine: A Settler Colonial Analysis. Source Credit: DeCal Course List


In an AMCHA-coordinated letter sent today to UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks, 43 Jewish, civil rights and education advocacy groups demanded that he take immediate steps to overhaul the course review process that allowed a student-taught, credit bearing course entitled “Palestine: A Settler Colonial Analysis” to be offered this semester. Not only is the course in clear violation of the Regents Policy on Course Content that prohibits using the classroom for political indoctrination, but the Regents Policy was not even consulted in the procedure for vetting this, or any other new course at UCB.

The student instructor is an active member of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), a group that advocates for Israel’s elimination, and the course faculty advisor is well-known anti-Zionist activist Hatem Bazian. Bazian is cofounder of SJP, a vocal supporter of the U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, and formerly raised funds for KindHearts, a group the U.S. government shut down for ties to the terrorist organization Hamas.

A review of the syllabus of “Palestine: A Settler Colonial Analysis” reveals that the course’s objectives, reading materials and guest speakers are politically motivated, meet our government’s criteria for antisemitism, and are intended to indoctrinate students to hate the Jewish state and take action to eliminate it.

Sadly this is not the first time anti-Zionist students and professors have successfully gamed the UC system to inject anti-Israel propaganda and antisemitic hate onto a UC campus in the guise of academics. A similar anti-Zionist and antisemitic course, “Palestine & Israel: Settler Colonialism and Apartheid,” was taught by an SJP member at UC Riverside last year.

With the UC Berkeley course, what is even more troubling than the course’s clear attempts to indoctrinate students is the fact that ‘Palestine: A Settler Colonial Analysis’ was able to successfully pass through a review process overseen by an administrative staff and members of the UCB academic senate. Of the 194 DeCal courses taught this semester, this is the only one that is blatantly politically motivated and directed. The egregious anti-Zionist bias of the syllabus, along with publicly available information about the extreme political bias and activism of the course instructor and faculty advisor, should have raised many red flags for the staff and faculty members responsible for overseeing the DeCal program. Had this course been properly evaluated for compliance with the Regents Policy on Course Content, it would never have been offered.

To prevent similar courses from being offered again, our organizations urged Chancellor Dirks to take the following steps:

  • Publicly affirm UCB’s commitment to enforcing the Regents Policy on Course content in the vetting of all courses taught by students and faculty.
  • Direct the staff responsible for the DeCal program to ensure that compliance with the Regents Policy is part of the check lists required of student instructors, faculty advisors and department chairs.
  • Direct the UCB Academic Senate to ensure that all future courses reviewed by COCI, whether taught by students or faculty, must be carefully evaluated for their compliance with the Regents Policy on Course Content.

A full copy of the letter can be viewed here.


 

INTERESTED IN KNOWING ABOUT ANTISEMITIC ACTIVITY ON CAMPUS?


See our:
2016 Antisemitism Tracker

 

September 8, 2016 – GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY –
A group of students interrupted an event hosted by the Center for Jewish Civilization on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s career. The students held a banner that read “Netanyahu is a War Criminal” and chanted, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” The demonstration occurred at the beginning of the question and answer period for the event, after a student referred to Netanyahu’s policies toward Palestinians as “imperial genocide.” A prepared statement by the protesters claimed, “We’re concerned that a conversation about the Israeli state took place without talking about it as an occupation and apartheid.” Georgetown University Police Department (GUPD) officers immediately removed the protesters from Gaston Hall, as event organizers informed them that they were in violation of the university’s Speech and Expression Policy.
(TARGETING JEWISH STUDENTS AND STAFF: SUPPRESSION OF SPEECH/MOVEMENT/ASSEMBLY; DENY JEWS SELF-DETERMINATION; DEMONIZATION)

September 2, 2016 – SWARTHMORE COLLEGE –
Another swastika was found on campus, this time at Crum Woods.
(TARGETING JEWISH STUDENTS AND STAFF: GENOCIDAL EXPRESSION; HISTORICAL)

August 31, 2016 – COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY/ BARNARD COLLEGE –
A “Disorientation Guide 2016” was produced by a new hub called Disorientation 2016, which was shared with students as a resource for activism on campus and progressive spaces. Pages 36 & 37 covered the campus organizations of Jewish Voice for Peace and Students for Justice in Palestine, both of whom called for BDS on their respective pages.
(BDS ACTIVITY: CALLS FOR BDS)

August 31, 2016 – SWARTHMORE COLLEGE –
Students found swastikas graffitied in the campus library.
(TARGETING JEWISH STUDENTS AND STAFF: GENOCIDAL EXPRESSION; HISTORICAL)

August 31, 2016 – SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY –
Israeli filmmaker Shimon Dotan was disinvited from showing his film at an upcoming conference on campus because, according to M. Gail Hamner, the professor who disinvited Dotan, “the BDS faction on campus will make matters very unpleasant for you and for me if you come” and “I will lose credibility with a number of film and Women/Gender studies colleagues.”
(TARGETING JEWISH STUDENTS AND STAFF: DISCRIMINATION)

August 29, 2016 – UC BERKELEY –
UC Berkeley offered a 1-unit decal course entitled, “Palestine: A Settler Colonial Analysis” with course facilitator Paul Hadweh and faculty sponsor Dr. Hatem Bazian. The course title and syllabus provided evidence that the course was designed to delegitimize Israel. The syllabus accuses Israel of being a “settler colonial state.”
(ANTISEMITIC EXPRESSION: DELEGITIMIZATION)

August 17, 2016 – UC SANTA CRUZ –
Antisemitic fliers with swastikas were printed on networked campus printers that were similar to antisemitic fliers printed earlier this same month and back in March. However, this flier differed in that it was extremely graphic and appeared to tell a fictional story of a man reveling in murdering and raping “filthy Jews” at a synagogue. The flier mentioned words and phrases such as “kike demon,” and “I know you f***ing Jews control the f***ing media anyway.”
(TARGETING JEWISH STUDENTS AND STAFF: GENOCIDAL EXPRESSION; DENIGRATION; HISTORICAL)

 

See the full list from 2016 HERE with over 400 antisemitic incidents recorded to date.

 


 

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