February 6th, 2012
Re: Letter from the Jewish Community regarding anti-Semitic website at CSUN
Dear Chancellor Reed:
We are the co-founders of the AMCHA Initiative, a grassroots organization committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of Jewish students on California college and university campuses. Together with more than 1,800 members and supporters of the California Jewish community, we are writing to you to express our outrage that CSU Northridge continues to host the anti-Semitic web pages of one of its professors on the official University website, and we urge you to exercise your authority to have these web pages removed. (Please see Attachment 1 for our letter).
Many members of the California State University community were signatories to the letter:
- 282 CSU alumni and current students, including 139 from CSUN
- 200 parents of CSU alumni and current students, including 64 from CSUN
- 60 former or current faculty or staff from CSU, including 12 from CSUN
- 74 donors to CSU, including 22 who donated specifically to CSUN, with several of those indicating they would no longer donate to the University
(Please see Attachment 2 for a complete list of signatories).
Here are a few of the many comments from signatories:
- “As a CSUN alumna, I am ashamed and disgraced by such nonsense and bigotry on a university campus.”
- “Outrageous. My alma mater has been hijacked by bigots. Shame on you. I would advocate budget-cutting to cut out this cancer. My legislators will hear from me.”
- “Take me off your list of alumni. I want nothing to do with your Jew-hating college.”
- “As an alumna of Northridge, I am disgusted by the school’s lack of action against such blatant anti-Semitism.”
- “I find this appalling. I have 2 children who graduated from this campus. How can you allow such political libel to filter through your website?”
- “I have 3 children all who might have considered CSU as an option. There is absolutely no way I would consider giving tuition funds, not to mention the considerable donation potential to any of these campuses under these conditions.”
- “As CSU faculty, I am embarrassed to have any association with the anti-Semitic activities at CSUN.”
- “As a CSUN graduate student and a professor for 37 years, I never felt the shame I feel now regarding Klein and some very respectable CSUN administrators who publicly support these anti-semitic opinions and suggestions.”
- “I am a tenured faculty member and while “academic freedom” means that a professor has the option to teach her/his studied discipline correctly and accurately in whatever manner that will enable the students to understand and learn, spewing hate rhetoric in the public forum of a web site is outside the umbrella intended for freedom of speech in the academy.”
As you may be aware, in response to our letter, the U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI) has initiated their own petition urging you to allow Professor David Klein, a member of the USACBI Organizing Committee, to continue to post web pages advocating the boycott of Israel. USACBI further calls for supporters to expand the exploitation of university resources for the purpose of furthering their campaign.
It is important to point out that the founders of the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel campaign have openly stated that their ultimate goal is the elimination of the Jewish state, and Hannah Rosenthal, U.S. State Department’s Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, has called their campaign anti-Semitic.
Far from being an expression of academic freedom, the USACBI campaign to deny contact with Israeli scholars and to misuse university resources to promulgate anti-Jewish hatred is itself an egregious violation of academic freedom and a perversion of the very mission of the University. We believe that the USACBI’s promotion of Professor’s Klein’s web pages for anti-Semitic purposes is further evidence that these web pages should be removed from CSUN’s tax-payer funded website.
We look forward to receiving your response to the enclosed letter.
Co-founder the AMCHA Initiative
Co-founder the AMCHA Initiative
Cc: CSUN Interim President Harold Hellenbrand
Board of Trustees
California Governor Jerry Brown
California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom
California Speaker of the Assembly John A. Perez
California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson
Congressman Brad Sherman
California State Senator Alex Padilla
California State Senator Darrell Steinberg
California State Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes
Los Angeles Mayor – Antonio Villaraigosa
Los Angeles City Council President
Bcc: Members and supporters of the Jewish community