Monday, December 21, 2015

causally connected to the campus catawampus?


electronicintifada |  During his time as UC president from 2008 to 2013, Yudof ignored a litany of assaults, vandalism and threats against members of Students for Justice in Palestine on UC campuses, but spoke out loudly against alleged “incidents of intolerance” when supporters of Israel were affected.

Yudof admitted he “sought guidance” from the American Jewish Committee, a leading Israel lobby group, following the 2010 divestment initiative at UC Berkeley and the UC Irvine protest by Muslim students during a university-sponsored propaganda event featuring Israeli ambassador Michael Oren.

The students — known as the Irvine 11 — were prosecuted at the instigation of the university administration and eventually convicted in September 2011 of “criminal conspiracy” for their decision to make statements of protest during Oren’s speech. The University of California also suspended the Muslim Student Union at UC Irvine.

Rights groups warned Yudof that the University of California under his administration had “exacerbated” a climate of fear for Arab and Muslim students.

Doubled down
Before he left office, Yudof doubled down on his support for Israel and suppression of speech related to Palestine on UC campuses.

He helped draft a 2012 California State Assembly resolution that conflated criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism.

In 2013, Yudof participated in a conference organized by Israeli military and political elites — which renowned physicist Stephen Hawking boycotted.

In his talk, Yudof railed against the growing divestment campaigns on college campuses and asserted that the “delegitimization of Israel is an ongoing problem.”

Three years earlier, Yudof had changed the university’s policy to make it much harder to divest. Had his policy been in place a generation ago, it would have prevented the university divesting from apartheid South Africa, as it did in 1986.

Fear
Yudof’s fears about the spread of BDS on campus are shared by the presidents of Israeli universities. They are demanding that the American Anthropological Association not move forward with a referendum to endorse its recent vote to boycott Israeli academic institutions.

Many in Israel already fear that a “silent boycott” is taking hold that is far more threatening to the status quo than even the visible boycott initiatives.