April 5, 2019
News Press Release

ZOA Urges Pitzer College Board of Trustees to Endorse President Oliver’s Decision and to Reject the College Council’s Bigotry

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) calls on the Pitzer College Board of Trustees to endorse President Melvin I. Oliver’s appropriate and wise decision to veto the bigoted College Council’s recommendation to suspend Pitzer’s study-abroad program with the University of Haifa in Israel. 

Just recently, ZOA National President Morton A. Klein and Susan B. Tuchman, Esq., Director of the ZOA’s Center for Law and Justice, praised President Oliver for rejecting the College Council’s anti-Semitic, anti-Israel resolution: “President Oliver exercised exemplary leadership by rejecting the recommendation, plainly understanding what it was truly about – that it amounted to an anti-Israel boycott motivated by bigotry, that it would impair students’ educational opportunities in violation of the College’s core values, and that it would irreparably harm the community and the College’s reputation.” 

Following President Oliver’s veto, the College Council, Israel-bashers and anti-Semites at Pitzer are using bullying tactics to intimidate, stifle and silence their detractors. The Student Senate has even drafted a resolution calling for a vote of no confidence in President Oliver. The resolution states that if President Oliver does not retract his decision to veto the College Council’s recommendation by the end of the day on April 11, 2019, the Student Senate is “call[ing] for his immediate resignation or removal from office.”  

On April 4, 2019, ZOA National President Morton A. Klein, Susan B. Tuchman, Esq., Director of ZOA’s Center for Law and Justice, and Leore Ben-David, Managing Director of ZOA Campus sent a letter to the Pitzer College Board of Trustees to point out the obvious bigotry and hypocrisy of the College Council’s recommendation, highlighting that it sought to suspend only one study-abroad program, in the human-rights-loving Jewish state of Israel, while ignoring others in countries with documented horrific human rights records, such as China, Cuba and Turkey.

“Targeting the University of Haifa, of all places, is even more outrageous and ludicrous because it happens to be a model of pluralism among institutions of higher education. Arab students comprise over 41 percent of the student population. The Israel-bashers and anti-Semites at Pitzer are wrongly trying to prevent your students from studying at a distinguished university that is in fact a shining example of diversity, respect and inclusion.”

The ZOA calls on the Pitzer College Board of Trustees to endorse President Oliver’s decision and reject the bigoted College Council’s recommendation that, if implemented, would violate students’ academic freedom.  We urge Chairman Brown and the honorable trustees to issue a clear and forceful statement, prior to April 11, 2019, which expresses (1) their support for President Oliver’s decision; (2) their rejection of any effort to boycott Israel; and (3) their complete and total confidence in President Oliver and his continued leadership of Pitzer College. 

President Oliver is a model for other college leaders across the country who are facing similar discriminatory calls for boycotting America’s ally, Israel. We urge the Pitzer College leadership to stand with him and let the anti-Semites and Israel-bashers know that bullying, name-calling and intimidation will not work on their campus.