UC Berkeley suspends student-led anti-Israel course


(JNS.org) The University of California, Berkeley suspended a student-led anti-Israel course on Tuesday after Jewish and pro-Israel groups complained it had a blatant anti-Semitic bias.

The campus of the University of California, Berkeley. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

The course, “Palestine: A Settler Colonial Analysis,” was cancelled because the facilitator, Paul Hadweh, “did not comply with policies and procedures that govern the normal academic review and approval of proposed courses for the Decal program,” a statement from UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirk’s office said.

AMCHA, a watchdog group focused on combating anti-Semitism, coordinated the protest of 43 Jewish groups that signed an open letter to Dirk objecting to the course.

Hadweh’s course was sponsored by faculty member, Hatem Bazian, known as one of the leaders of the Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment (BDS) movement.

Berkeley officials also noted they felt concerned about any course that “espouses a single political viewpoint and/or appears to offer a forum for political organizing rather than an opportunity for the kind of open academic inquiry that Berkeley is known for.”

Roz Rothstien, CEO of StandWithUs, an Israel advocacy group, praised the decision.

“We applaud the UC Berkeley administration for recognizing that this course was designed for political indoctrination, and not open academic inquiry,” she said. “Approving a class premised on the denial of Jewish history, identity, and rights in their homeland would have been a stain on the university's reputation as both an academic institution and a force for progress in the world.”

Posted on September 14, 2016 .