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VOICES: UC Union Vows to Bring BDS to Classrooms



On July 29, 2014, the 83-member joint council of UAW 2865, the union representing all of the teaching assistants, tutors and readers at the 9 teaching campuses of the University of California, issued a statement outlining the union’s intent to support the anti-Israel and antisemitic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, and to seek a full-membership vote on the statement this coming year. In the statement, UAW 2865 members exclaimed the need to “educate” others on the “settler-colonial” and “apartheid” nature of the Jewish state.

For more information on this campaign, please click HERE.

August 15, 2014

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  • “Now it is the Student Union’s turn to bring propaganda, BDS, and indoctrination against Israel into the UC classrooms. It was not enough for these advocates of hate against Jews and Israelis to inject their venom through the instructors, but now also through the teaching assistants. Please stop this by fighting them. Students should learn and decide on their own about the facts and the history, but be exposed to one side of the issue by indoctrination and propaganda as we have seen. As an alumni and parent of alumna of UC system, I am horrified at this prospect and ask you to stop it.”
  • “I understand that members of UAW 2685 are trying to disseminate propaganda that is both biased and untrue about Israel, recommending boycotts and divestment. Knowing how Hamas both caused the latest devastation in Gaza and tightly controlled press coverage of their guilt, emotions are undoubtedly skewed. Allowing the union, comprised of TAs and others who are in a position to turn students against Israel and Jews without presenting a true and complete picture of the dangers Israel has been facing, is alarming both to Jewish students as well as to those who are well-read about the history and circumstances surrounding Israel’s actions to protect itself. I would like to be assured that such anti-Israel propaganda and prejudice is kept out of the classroom.”
  • “I am increasingly disturbed by the steady intrusion of anti-Semitism (sometimes blatant, sometimes disguised) into our UC classrooms. I hear of more and more examples of professors and staff misusing their position and their funding to promote their hateful agenda, and I hear of more and more Jewish students who report an atmosphere of fear. Please ensure that UAW Local 2865 is not allowed to make the situation even worse. Their propaganda, so hateful, hypocritical and inaccurate, should not be permitted.”
  • “Today I received an email outlining a succession of hateful speeches against Jews and Israel by the UC Student Workers Union. This has got to stop, period. The UAW’s vile propaganda goes beyond of the parameters of free speech and infringes upon the safety of Jewish students on UC campuses. There have already been several incidents in which Jewish students were threatened/hurt. Every student, no matter his background, should be able to learn in an environment without fear of being hurt in any way. There are lives at stake.”
  • “While the membership of the union has full freedom of speech outside of their professional teaching responsibilities, they also have obligations to the university and to academic integrity.”
  • “It should go without saying that the university, both campus and classrooms, are there for one purpose and one purpose only : learning. Any and all such propaganda materials and activities, presented in any form on campus, violates the stated mission of the University: to teach students what they came to study. Hateful material distributed, or conveyed by academics clearly does NOT fall under that definition. Nor for that matter, public funds for higher education pay for such activities. All that belongs OUT of the campus.”
  • “[At] the LAUSD, the spirit of mutual appreciation permeates our cultural festivals and hate speech and exclusionary talk are not permitted, condoned, or otherwise tolerated on campus, or with school resources, on school emails, etc. I do not have to face an instructors religious or political beliefs when I talk with faculty about my son. The UC system can lead the way in student safety, and exploration by holding a firm and PROACTIVE line that hate speech will not be tolerated.”
  • “That promotion of ones ideas cannot come through the targeting of someone else, even if that person is not present to defend themselves. This would go far in teaching the great value of integrity. A trait that most people would like to be known for and most institutions would want to have their names associated with.”
  • “I hope the UC system will take a strong, proactive, and vigilant approach to set firm limits against hate speech that creates a sense of fear, intimidation, and danger. The more hate the UC tolerates, the more it will experience. This cycle does not benefit the students, the school, or the community at large.”
  • “As a mother of an incoming senior at UCLA I am writing to strongly urge you to reaffirm the UC Regents Policy on Course Content as well as provide public assurances that UAW 2865 members will not be allowed to promote hateful anti-Semitic propaganda or the boycott of Israel as part of their contractual teaching responsibilities at the University of California.”
  • “As a Jew I have good reasons to be concerned about my son’s physical and emotional safety and well-being as he is attending classes on the UCLA campus. I brought [my son] a T-shirt with “Stand for peace, stand for Israel” on the front. His response: “I will probably get stabbed if I wear this on campus”. That is what Jewish students face now if they dare to express their positions, concerns, perspectives.”
  • “Have you ever lived in fear? Probably not, and I envy you that. Because I have. Born in Poland of Holocaust survivor parents I knew fear, and mostly fear, for the first 22 years of my life. Afraid to go out of the house, to walk the street to school, to play with other children. No, it was not an imaginary threat that I was afraid of. I was chased and assaulted, spat upon, called names, had my clothes torn and stones thrown at me on a daily basis. I know how humiliating it is to live in fear, how it deprived me of the dignity of being human, how it left an indelible chokehold on my life. Now I am afraid that my children’s lives, ambitions, accomplishments will be similarly stifled.”
  • “It is time to stop this madness and it is your responsibility to do so! All students deserve the right to dignity, respect for their views and values and freedom to express them. All students deserve to be nurtured and assured of personal safety. There is no room for political propaganda on university campuses, on university supported websites and at university sponsored activities.”
  • “There is no room for universities to sponsor BDS activities which should be recognized for what they really are: at attempt to institute global Nazi Nuremberg laws against an entire country and an entire people.”
  • “As a UC Davis grad-school graduate, I have to strongly urge you to intervene and use all the power of your administration to stop an off-campus issue that targets the students of UC by the UAW 2865 members who feel compelled to use our federal and state tax supported UC system to promote hateful antisemitic propaganda or the boycott of Israel as part of their contractual teaching responsibilities at the University of California. The double standard of the UAW2865 violates the entire concept of academic discussion without bias nor prejudice to those who made differ.”
  • “Israel is not a settler colonial or apartheid state.  It is the only democracy in the entire Middle East, and the Palestinians would soon have their state if their terrorist groups would stop attacking Israel and Palestinians would agree to Israel’s right to exist.”
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