ZOA Urges California To Cut Funds To UC-Berkeley If It Doesn’t Cancel Course Urging Violence & Destruction Of Israel
May 15, 2002

Instructor Heads
Anti-Israel Extremist Group

NEW YORK – The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) is urging the Governor of California to reduce state funding to the University of California at Berkeley if the university refuses to cancel a planned course supporting violence against Israel and urging the destruction of Israel.

According to the Fall 2002 course catalogue, Course # R1A, to be offered in the Department of English, is titled “The Politics and Poetics of Palestinian Resistance.” An excerpt from the course description: “The brutal Israeli military occupation of Palestine, [ongoing] since 1948, has systematically displaced, killed, and maimed millions of Palestinian people. And yet, from under the brutal weight of the occupation, Palestinians have produced their own culture and poetry of resistance. This class will examine the history of the [resistance] and the way that it is narrated by Palestinians in order to produce an understanding of the Intifada ….This class takes as its starting point the right of Palestinians to fight for their own self-determination. Conservative thinkers are encouraged to seek other sections.”

The class is to be taught by graduate student Snehal Shingavi, a leader of a campus group called “Students for Justice in Palestine.” Last month, the group was temporarily suspended by the university administration after it took over a campus building, resulting in the arrests of 79 of its members, including one for assaulting a police officer. (Berkeley Daily Planet, May 15, 2002; Daily Californian, April 10, 2002)

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein, Chairman of the Board Dr. Alan Mazurek, and National Executive Committee Chairman Dr. Michael Goldblatt have sent a letter to California Governor Gray Davis, California Board of Regents chairman John J. Moores, and UC-Berkeley Chancellor Robert M. Berdahl, stating:

“This course will glorify the ongoing racist Arab violence against Jews in Israel, which the course description praises as ‘the resistance’. The course description also implies support for suicide bombings, since suicide bombings are a central part of the ‘resistance’ and ‘Intifada’ which the course clearly supports.

“The course will also promote the destruction of Israel, which is what is meant by referring to the ‘brutal military occupation of Palestine…since 1948’—a phrase that refers to the State of Israel itself, not the disputed territories, since between 1948-1967, it was the Arabs, not Israel, who controlled those territories.

“If a professor promoted violence against African-Americans, he would be immediately fired. Likewise, a professor who promotes violence against Israeli Jews should be fired.

“It is outrageous that after reviewing the course description, the only thing that the university found problematic —according to its May 10, 2002 press release— was the reference to excluding ‘Conservative thinkers’. Evidently it is perfectly acceptable to the university to have a course that encourages violence against Israeli Jews, and promotes the destruction of the Jewish State.

“If UC-Berkeley offers this course, we will urge all American Jewish parents —indeed, all parents who hate terrorism and love truth, fairness, and decency— to reconsider sending their children to a university where racism and violence are openly promoted in the classroom.

“We will also urge the State of California to reduce the allocation of state funds to UC-Berkeley, to send a clear message that it is morally wrong to use state funds to teach students to support racist violence against Israeli Jews and the destruction of America’s ally, Israel.”

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