California Scholars for Academic Freedom
October 5, 2015
“The UC Berkeley case is but the latest assault on academic freedom that has increased in intensity over the last fifteen years, overwhelmingly in the interest of one foreign government, namely Israel.”
On September 13, well after the school year had begun, UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks and Dean Carla Hesse cancelled a course entitled “Palestine: A Settler Colonial Analysis” that had been vetted and approved by all the appropriate committees and authorities. It was soon revealed that 43 Zionist organizations (some of these may be organizations in name only) had sent letters of protest asking for its suppression. Faculty and student protest forced the administration to reinstate the course. But adding insult to injury, UC Berkeley administrators have refused to apologize publicly, and have continued to conceal the obvious reasons for their caving in to outside pressures behind a veil of administrative lingo and half-truths.
Well-funded interest groups outside of the university, including AMCHA, Campus Watch, Louis D. Brandeis Center, Anti-Defamation League, Zionist Organization of America, the David Horowitz Freedom Center, the Canary Mission Website, the Middle East Forum, and the David Project Center for Jewish Leadership have kept up a continuous effort to silence open debate about a controversial issue: the Israeli occupation and Palestinian rights. It is worth noting that two of the main proponents of these organizations, David Horowitz and Daniel Pipes, were named as leading Islamophobes by the Southern Poverty Law Center. [Continue reading here . . . ]