16 November '16..
Are University of California academics who engage in anti-Israel activism subject to “silencing”? Such were the strident cries on October 27, when about one hundred students gathered on a cloudy morning outside of Sproul Hall at the University of California, Berkeley for the 3rd Annual International Day of Action for Palestine.
Organized by Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and Bears for Palestine, the rally featured Israel-bashing, BDS-promoting professors Hatem Bazian and Rabab Abdulhadi, who insisted over loudspeakers that they were being repressed by the UC system.
Bazian, director of UC Berkeley’s Islamophobia Research & Documentation Project, announced that “Palestine faces a whole structural silencing on this campus.” Likewise, Abdulhadi, director of San Francisco State University (SFSU)’s Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Initiative and a founding member of the U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, declared, “We are here for our freedom of speech!”
According to Bazian, the primary example of this alleged suppression was the initial cancellation, due to widespread criticism, of a student-led UC Berkeley course for which he’s the faculty sponsor, “Palestine: A Settler Colonial Analysis.” He didn’t mention that the course, which encourages the elimination of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, was reinstated with minimal alterations.
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Michael Lumish is an analyst on the Arab-Israeli conflict and the proprietor of Israel Thrives. He holds a Ph.D. in American History from the Pennsylvania State University and has taught at Penn State, San Francisco State University, and City College of San Francisco. He writes for Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum.
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