Shalom Life | April 26, 2015

Anti-Semitic Class Taught At UC Riverside Is Not Being Pulled

“The course schedule is filled with egregiously one-sided, anti-Israel readings and films that falsely paint Israel as a settler-colonial and apartheid state"

By: Caitlin Marceau

Published: April 23rd, 2015 in News » World

Photo: Poster near UCLA labelling Students for Justice in Palestine as part of Hamas


Outraged students and pro-Israel groups are up in arms over a new course being taught at the University of California Riverside. The class, called “Palestine & Israel: Settler-Colonialism and Apartheid,” labels Jewish citizens of Israel as “occupiers,” and tries to discredit their claims to their homeland.

The class is being taught by Tina Matar, an undergrad student at the school. Matar is also part of the university's Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapter, and has (along with other members of the SJP) voiced her support of Hamas and other terrorist groups committing genocide against the Jewish peoples. Matar, along with the SJP, have also tried to get the school to boycott Israel, and partake in the BDS movement at campuses around the globe.

Currently the Riverside campus is partaking in the BDS movement, and their vote to do so made headlines when Jewish students began to get heckled on campus, with people yelling that Hamas had taken over the school.

The class, which pro-Israel groups are calling a violation of school policy that prohibits political indoctrination in the classroom, is being sponsored by David Lloyd, an English professor at the school who is openly supportive of boycotting Israel, and a supporter of the SJP.

Over twenty organizations have been in contact with UC Riverside, asking them to remove the class as it’s anti-Semitic. From Christians United for Israel, the National Conference on Jewish Affairs, and even to the AMCHA Initiative, they've all reached out to try and have it banned.

According to a report by Israel National News, even the Simon Wiesenthal Center has contacted the school claiming that the syllabus itself shows, “the full extent of the course’s anti-Israel bias, and its clear intent to politically indoctrinate students to hate the Jewish state and take action against it… it [also] includes a patently false canard about Israel frequently used to delegitimize the Jewish state, language which meets the U.S. State Department’s definition of anti-Semitism.”

“The course schedule is filled with egregiously one-sided, anti-Israel readings and films that falsely paint Israel as a settler-colonial and apartheid state, hold Israel to a double standard to which no other democratic country is held, vilify and demonize Israel and Israel’s supporters, and argue for an end to the Jewish state; these tropes are all considered anti-Semitic according to the U.S. State Department’s definition of anti-Semitism," the Wiesenthal Center added.

However despite requests to disband the class, officials at UC Riverside are claiming that the one-credit course doesn’t violate any terms outlined in the school mandate.

“The course ‘Palestinian Voices’ was reviewed by a faculty committee here and that committee decided that it did meet UC standards,” a spokesman for the school claimed in the report. He also explained that it’s one of many student led, one-credit courses offered on the campus and that it meets the criteria.

“I’m not sure what’s worse, having a college course taught by an undergraduate student or having a course syllabus that reads like the Facebook page of a skinhead teenager,” said David Brog in a group letter to the school, executive director of CUFI, according to Israel National News.

“This course isn’t just anti-Semitic, it is a complete waste of time and money. If (university head) Janet Napolitano wants to preserve a shred of respect for the once august UC system she runs, she must demand that her instructors at least pretend to promote facts over propaganda."

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