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75 Groups to Pitzer College President Oliver Re: Faculty Vote to Suspend Study Abroad in Israel

November 29, 2018

Re: 75 Organizations Call for Statement Condemning Faculty Vote to Suspend Israel Abroad Program

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Dear President Oliver,

We are 75 civil rights, education, and religious organizations appalled by the recent Pitzer Faculty vote to suspend the college’s study abroad program with the University of Haifa.

The Pitzer Faculty’s attempt to implement an academic boycott of Israel that subverts the educational opportunities and academic freedom of their own students and colleagues, is reprehensible. Pitzer faculty members have abrogated their most basic professional responsibility – to promote the academic welfare of their students.

It is important to understand that calling to shut down a study abroad program is expressly part of an the implementation of an academic boycott, and in full compliance with the 2014 guidelines of the Palestinian Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI). While portrayed as an effort aimed at Israeli universities and scholars, in reality the implementation of an academic boycott will violate the rights of, and directly harm, students and faculty on U.S. campuses. For example, PACBI clearly and explicitly calls on U.S. faculty to:

  • Work to close their own university’s study abroad programs in Israel;
  • Impede a fellow faculty member’s collaborative research or teaching projects with Israeli universities and scholars;
  • Interfere with the equal non-discriminatory treatment of all applicants for admissions to graduate programs;
  • Try to cancel, disrupt and shut down events featuring Israeli leaders or scholars organized by their colleagues or students; and
  • Refuse to write letters of recommendation for their own U.S. students who want to pursue studies in Israel.

We understand the issue is currently going through an official university governance process. However, we call on you to act now by issuing a statement that condemns this Pitzer Faculty action and commits to ensuring that no Pitzer student will be impeded from studying about or in Israel.

Thank you in advance for your leadership and commitment to protecting the academic rights and opportunities of all students and faculty at your school, including those whose study or scholarship focuses on Israel.


The Undersigned 75 Organizations

Academic Council for Israel
Accuracy in Academia
Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity (AEPi)
Alums for Campus Fairness - National
Alums for Campus Fairness - Swarthmore
Alums for Campus Fairness - UC Davis
Alums for Campus Fairness - UC Riverside
Alums for Campus Fairness - UCLA
AMCHA Initiative
American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists
American Council of Trustees and Alumni
American Institute for Jewish Research
American Truth Project
American Zionist Movement
Americans for Peace and Tolerance
Association of Reform Zionists of America (ARZA)
B'nai B'rith International
BEAR: Bias Education, Advocacy & Resources
Binghamton University Zionist Organization (BUZO)
Bobcats for Israel at Ohio University
Boston Israel Action Committee
Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law
California Association of Scholars
Campus Anti-Semitism Task Force of the North Shore
Center for Righteousness and Integrity
Christians and Jews United for Israel
Club Z
Coalition for Jewish Values
Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA)
Dartmouth Students for Israel
Davis Faculty for Israel
Eagles Wings
Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET)
Facts and Logic About the Middle East (FLAME)
Hasbara Fellowships
Hoos for Israel (University of Virginia)
Institute for Black Solidarity with Israel
Iranian American Jewish Federation
Iranian Jewish Women’s Organization
Israel in NYC
Israel Matters
Israel Peace Initiative (IPI)
Israeli-American Civic Action Network
Israeli-American Civic Education Institute
Jewish War Veterans of the USA
Mercaz USA
Middle East Forum
Middle East Political and Information Network (MEPIN)
National Council of Young Israel
Proclaiming Justice to the Nations
Rabbinical Alliance of America
Religious Zionists of America - Mizrachi
Rhode Island Coalition for Israel
Russian Jewish Community Foundation
Scholars for Peace in the Middle East
Simon Wiesenthal Center
Slugs for Israel (University of California Santa Cruz)
Stop BDS on Campus
Students and Parents Against Campus Anti-Semitism
Students Supporting Israel at Columbia
Students Supporting Israel at San Jose State University
Students Supporting Israel at UCLA
Students Supporting Israel at University of Minnesota
Students Supporting Israel National
Swarthmore Students for Israel
The Israel Christian Nexus
The Israel Project
Tufts Friends of Israel
Young Jewish Conservatives
Zionist Organization of America
ZOA’s Fuel for Truth


Cc: California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson
Senator Benjamin Allen, Chair California Senate Standing Committee on Education
Assembly Member Jose Medina, Chair California Assembly Higher Education Committee
Assembly Member Mark Levine, Chair Jewish Legislative Caucus

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