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Thursday, May 10, 2012

University of California president targets critics of Israel



According to an article by Stephen Zunes here, U. of California president Mark Yudof has initiated a campaign against human rights groups and others who criticize Israeli actions in the West Bank and Gaza and support Palestinians.

In a March letter, Yudof posted a letter calling protest on campuses against Israel as hateful incidents and compared them to actions meant to intimidate gays, or blacks. The new policy seems to conflate the policies of Israel with the Jewish people so that any criticism of them becomes anti-semitic and hateful. This move seems to be aimed at making an criticisms of Israel simply an expression of anti-semitism and hence to be rejected.

One UCLA Professor David Shorter has received a public reprimand from the chair of the Academic Senate for including material about the BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions) campaign against Israel even though he also included material that criticized the campaign as well. This strikes me as ominous. The reprimand represents a viewpoint that is even less fair and balanced than Fox News! For much more see the full article. Stephen Zunes is a professor of politics and international studies at the University of San Francisco. For more on Zunes see this site.

NOTE: More on Mark Yudof can be found here. The entry notes that Yudof has been criticized for not being forceful enough in his response to events considered anti-semitic at California campuses. There is also this interesting tid-bit:

""Also in 2009, Yudof came under criticism for an interview that he gave to Deborah Solomon of the New York Times, Big Man on Campus, in which he joked about taking a pay cut from his salary of over $800,000 to $400,000 in exchange for the White House and Air Force One.""

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