Friday, November 18, 2016

Israel-Bashing Profs At UC Berkeley Play Victim

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.

Meanwhile, Abdulhadi’s grievances were directed at the David Horowitz Freedom Center’s (DHFC) recent placement on campus of posters featuring the worst of her anti-Israel activities and its listing SFSU and UC Berkeley in its top five “Top Ten Schools Supporting Terrorists in the United States.” This followed Campus Watch’s recent campaign highlightingAbdulhadi’s role as architect of SFSU’s Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Hamas-dominated, terror-friendly An-Najah University in the West Bank and demanding an end to the MOU.

Although Abdulhadi clearly uses her position at SFSU to encourage hatred and violence toward Israel, she bellowed that critiquing such bigotry is a form of bullying: “They are trying to have a chilling effect—McCarthyism—to silence us, to intimidate us, to bully us, in a very violent, racist, Islamophobic, and vicious campaign in order to silence us!”

She then charged that “They come in the middle of the night. They put up [sic] intimidation and run away, exactly like the Klan does, exactly like the Israeli military does that comes and raids Palestinians in the middle of the night!”

That Abdulhadi would equate DFHC’s poster campaign with Klansmen torching crosses on the lawns of African-Americans, or lynching them for the crime of being black, exposes her intellectual and moral bankruptcy. Anti-Israel activists often equate their “struggle” with that of other minorities, however dissimilar, in order to foster sympathy and excuse violence against Israelis.

Accordingly, both Bazian and Abdulhadi suggested that the “social justice” movements of the 1960s were in spiritual kinship with anti-Zionism. As Bazian asserted, “It is the place where the Vietnam [anti-war] movement was. It is the place where the free speech movement [and] the environmental movement is today—and the time [sic] for us.”

In a dignified response, student groups Bears for Israel, Tikvah, and Hillel quietly formed a line and turned their backs on the speakers while holding aloft Israeli flags. In defiance of the BDS movement’s “anti-normalization” policy, a student with an Israeli flag could be seen politely chatting with a student holding a Palestinian flag on a balcony across from Sproul Hall.

If there is ever to be hope for a peaceful resolution to the Arab-Israeli conflict on U.S. college campuses, it will come from such students. It will never come from academic activists like Abdulhadi and Bazian, who want nothing more than to use their taxpayer-funded positions to foment the hatred of Israel. Their vitriol, which is mirrored on campuses nationwide, proves that not only are anti-Israel professors not silenced on campus, but are in fact the loudest voices in academe.

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.


UCLA Professors Freak Out Over Trump In Department-Wide Emails

Two political science professors at the University of California – Los Angeles have spent the last two days distraught over Donald Trump’s election in political science department-wide emails obtained by The Daily Caller.

TheDC previously reported on a meeting that was called for UCLA political science faculty and graduate students on Monday to discuss way to help students who are distraught over Trump’s victory.

Mark Sawyer, a political science professor, sent an email Tuesday regarding the meeting in which he said he was disappointed that the discussion was lacking “any real way to deal with the real threats that many of our students and us face from a Trump administration.” The professor described himself as “despondent” in the email.

“As political scientists we ought to be discussing Trumpism and what its features are. How does Trumpism democracy [sic], minorities, democratic norms, sexism, racism abelism and lgbtq rights? What is going on with the climate in the United States? Or the fact these kinds of white riot (backlash) politics often come after electing the first person of color to an executive office,” Sawyer wrote in the department-wide email. “Or as described before when blacks engage in civil unrest whites riot in response by cutting immigration, welfare, affirmative action etc. New York elected white nationalist Rudy Guiliani to follow David Dinkins in New York.”

Sawyer said, “You never discuss something as triggering and emotional as racism, Islamaphobia, sexism, abelism, sexual assault and xenophobia without an agenda a lesson plan and a clear set of goals.”

The professor continued to write, “With all do respect to Trump supporter students who may feel surrounded, the state is and has always been on their side.”

UCLA political science professor Michael Chwe wrote back to the whole department agreeing with Sawyer. “For our students, and indeed all of us, the department is our main institutional ‘home’ and it must be a place where everyone can go to feel understood, respected, and valued,” Chwe wrote.

He added, “In my social movements grad class next quarter I plan to spend most or all of the time on readings related to white nationalism, racial resentment, ethnocentrism, authoritarianism, etc.”

One professor, Leslie Jones, responded privately to Sawyer and wrote, “Jeff opened the meeting with a long statement that defined the parameters of the meeting; namely, that the meeting was not for people to express their personal views on the election.”

She added, “I’m sorry that you found the meeting distressing. But I think that you and some of the grad students came in expecting something different from what the stated agenda was.”

Sawyer wrote back to Jones Wednesday and included everyone in the political science department in his response. “Leslie what I wrote is what my students are worried about relative to the election. I guess those issues are not legitimate or proper subjects,” Sawyer said.

Later Wednesday, Sawyer sent three more department-wide emails, one was a guide about how to become an “ally to oppressed people.” The political science professor wrote, “Something productive to read.”

Another one was him relaying fears some of his student have about Trump, “In my course of 120. About a dozen students either fear deportation themselves or of a close family member. One has lost her job because of an anti-trump facebook post.”

Sawyer also forwarded a letter from the president of the National Conference of Black Political Scientists (NCOPS). The letter said, “NCOBPS cannot and does not endorse any political candidate nor directly lobby for any policy; but we see Trump’s election as an ominous turn in the fight for full human equality and economic justice in the United States.”

A source within the UCLA political science department said to TheDC regarding Sawyer, “We have several subfields, and in most of them people are relatively sane. But having a Race, Ethnicity, Politics subfield ensures that we’ll always have a steady stream of crazies like this professor here.”

Sawyer is the director of UCLA’s center for the study of race, ethnicity, and politics. Chwe teaches within that field.

The UCLA political science department source also said: “Probably 40 percent of my students are Hispanic. I have not seen a single one come to me distraught or scared about the elections. But I have seen several administrators send out e-mails or talk to us about being there for students who must be suffering. I tend to think that this PC stuff is more a top-down phenomenon than the opposite.”


CRIMINAL CHARGES Loom For 11-Year-Old Girl Suspended For Cutting Peach With Kid-Proof Knife

In the latest incident of anti-weapon hysteria to erupt in a school setting, officials at a middle school in South Florida have suspended an 11-year-old girl for six days because she brought a child-proof, toddler-size cutlery knife to school and used it to cut a peach in half for a friend.

Astonishingly, local police are now investigating the fact that a little girl cut a piece of fruit with a tiny knife at school. She faces the possibility of criminal charges.

The incident leading to the girl’s fruit-based suspension occurred recently in the cafeteria at Silver Trail Middle School in the Miami suburb of Pembroke Pines, reports Miami ABC affiliate WPLG.

The unidentified girl was preparing to eat the peach. A friend asked her for half of it. The girl then used her harmless toddler knife to cut the peach and share it with her friend.

“She goes to the bathroom and comes back and the guy said, ‘Follow me,'” the girl’s father, Ronald Souto, told WPLG.

“This is a set of a spoon, fork and knife for toddlers — one year old,” the girl’s mother, Andrea Souto, added. “It is made for children to learn how to eat properly. She’s used it since she was baby.”

Ronald Souto said he was confused and outraged at the punishment his daughter received — not to mention the looming possibility of criminal charges.

“There’s no one there trying to educate and to be reasonable to say, ‘Let’s work this out,'” he told the station. “She’s afraid now of the educators. She’s afraid of people at school. They need to change the system,” he said.

The furious father also noted that his daughter is an honor-roll student, and a good kid. “She’s always trying to help someone. She’s always trying to share things.”

School officials say they suspended the girl for six days — and notified police — because she violated a countywide weapons policy when she used the toddler knife to cut a peach in half for her friend.

“The school followed district policy regarding this incident and continues to work with the student and parents involved,” a Broward County school district spokeswoman said in a statement obtained by WPLG. “It is the district’s priority to maintain safe and secure campuses for students and staff at all times.”

The principal of Silver Trail Middle School is Steve Frazier.

The Pembroke Pines Police Department told WPLG it has handed the fruit crime investigation over the to the local Florida State Attorney’s office.

An attorney representing the Souto family, Larry Meltzer, said he was shocked at the suspension and resulting police investigation.

“The school board has abused its discretion to act in this case,” Meltzer told the Miami ABC station. “It is tragic that a school that this little girl loves sees fit to prosecute and suspend her — the epitome of a model and honor roll student — for using a child-proof utensil that could never be construed in any form as a weapon in order to share part of her lunch with a fellow classmate.”

“She should be applauded for her generosity, kindness and for her motivation to be a great student in all senses of that word,” the attorney also said.

The incident in Pembroke Pines is the latest incident in a long trend involving school officials going apoplectic over things that are not weapons but sort of resemble weapons because of zero-tolerance policies.


No comments: