Faculty at University of California campuses are organizing “Faculty for Justice in Palestine” groups, ostensibly to protect pro-Palestinian students from accusations of antisemitism and support for terror.
The Los Angeles Times notes that pro-Palestinian activists are waking up to the fact that early support for the Hamas terror attack against Israel in the days after October 7, and rhetoric about getting rid of Israel, have hurt their broader messaging efforts.
But left-wing faculty believe that criticism of the radical tactics and genocidal aims of the major Palestinian national movements exposes their students to abuse.
The Times reported Thursday:
The effort to form Faculty for Justice in Palestine groups is part of a national movement that has taken off at nine of the 10 UC campuses, along with Princeton,New York University and Rutgers, among others. Faculty organizers said they were propelled to act by what many described as a singularly dangerous time for academic freedom and free speech, with the lives, careers and safety of campus Palestinian supporters on the line.
The organizing effort comes as Israel supporters said Jewish students on campuses across the nation have been subjected to hostile rhetoric against them and have experienced acts of escalating antisemitism. Many Israel supporters criticize the Students for Justice in Palestine campus group for what they regard as threatening actions. The student organization was recently suspended until the end of fall term by Columbia University for violating school policy leading to an “unauthorized event” that included “threatening rhetoric and intimidation,” according to a campus statement.
The newfound enthusiasm for free speech on campus — often by the same people who want to police the use of gender pronouns and “microaggressions” — found voice in the recent testimony of university presidents in Congress, none of whom would agree that explicitly calling for the “genocide” of Jews on campus should be punished.
Dozens of student groups at campuses like UC Berkeley already exclude pro-Israel students and speakers — a practice that has led to the university being sued for antisemitic discrimination.
There are no student groups — not even Jewish ones — at University of California campuses that exclude pro-Palestinian students and speakers.
Jewish students have also been targeted by violence at UC Berkeley and elsewhere when they attempt to express pro-Israel sentiments.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.