update deskSchools & Higher Education

Lawsuit: Jews endure ‘pervasive ostracization’ at California College of Arts

The private college voiced “support for the murder of Jewish Israelis and to end the Jewish state” shortly after Oct. 7, according to professor Karen Fiss.

The California College of the Arts campus in San Francisco. Credit: HaeB/Wikipedia.
The California College of the Arts campus in San Francisco. Credit: HaeB/Wikipedia.

Soon after Hamas’s Oct. 7 terrorist attacks in southern Israel, professors and students at California College of Arts trumpeted “Decolonization is not a dinner party,” alleges Karen Fiss, a professor at the San Francisco private school in a new lawsuit.

“They meant that any action needed to end Israel is morally justified, including the slaughter of innocents,” stated the professor, who teaches in the school’s art history and visual culture program.

The lawsuit, brought on Fiss’s behalf by the Deborah Project, alleges that the art school is guilty of “pervasive antisemitism,” violating Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The college, per the suit, aims to indoctrinate students in “an ideologically orthodox factory enforcing a single acceptable view—which is anathema to the plaintiff and a great many other Jews—on issues relating to the Jewish people, the State of Israel, the land of Israel and the history of the Middle East.”

“The Jewish state is consistently vilified and delegitimized” at the school, which means members of the school’s faculty and student body “are effectively forced into a position where they must either align with the prevailing narrative or risk ostracism,” the lawsuit alleges. It adds that the school’s “enforcement of the view that the Jewish state is genocidal and illegitimate, devoid of its inherent right to self-defense or existence, is a calculated assault on intellectual diversity and academic freedom.”

It adds that the college threatened to fire Fiss because she refused to “comply with student demands to contact her congressional representatives to pressure Israel—a sovereign nation—to cease its military response to an ongoing threat” and for “respectfully challenging this monopolization of discourse and reaffirming the principles of open dialogue and open debate within CCA.”

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