Action Alert: Urge UC Regents and elected leaders to ensure that UC classrooms are not being used to promote anti-Jewish bigotry
Appallingly, the UCLA Academic Senate Committee on Academic Freedom has given its official endorsement to Professor David Delgado Shorter’s use of his class website to promote the boycott of Israeli academics, universities, and cultural institutions. (See Shorter’s webpages HERE and HERE). In a letter written July 9, the UCLA Committee wrote to Professor Shorter and stated that his promotion of the U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, posted on his official class website, was “consistent with professional standards” and violated no University policies.
In response to this deplorable decision, the AMCHA Initiative co-founders Tammi Rossman-Benjamin and Leila Beckwith sent a letter today to the Board of Regents of the University of California (see HERE), pointing out that Shorter’s promotion of a boycott of Israel on his class website violates both University policies and the California Education Code. Further, the letter indicates that the boycott is anti-Semitic, since its founders state that their goal is to dismantle the Jewish state, and their campaign has been labeled anti-Semitic by the U. S. State Department’s Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism. The use of public resources to host the webpages is particularly offensive to the Jewish community.
The AMCHA co-founders’ letter warns that given the misuse of public resources for the promotion of anti-Jewish bigotry, it is difficult to recommend support for a ballot initiative endorsed by the UC Regents, which asks California citizens to voluntarily accept a significant tax increase in order to provide more funding to California public education, including the University of California.
To restore trust in the University of California, the AMCHA co-founders urge the UC Regents:
1. To publicly affirm and circulate widely among UC faculty the Regents Policy on Course Content, which states that the misuse of the classroom for “political indoctrination” constitutes misuse of the University as an institution.
2. To ask all campus academic senates and the UC-wide academic senate to outline how they will enforce this Regents Policy.
Please write to the UC Regents and to your elected California officials to express your outrage at the academic legitimation of anti-Jewish bigotry. Urge these leaders to enforce UC Policy and state law, which prohibit the use of the classroom and University resources for promoting political proganda.
We encourage you to copy your letter to other UC leaders and state and federal legislators, and you can find a relevant list HERE for your convenience. Please remember to BCC firstname.lastname@example.org when sending any letters.