Updated October 24
Palestine Legal joined American Muslims for Palestine, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus, Arab Resource and Organizing Center, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, and local chapters of the National Lawyers Guild, Council on American-Islamic Relations, and Jewish Voice for Peace to demand that the University of California Irvine (UCI), University of California Berkeley (UCB) and San Francisco State University (SFSU) protect campus members targeted by hateful posters.
In a letter to UCI, a letter to UCB and a letter to SFSU, the groups insisted that administrators take immediate steps to condemn the latest poster campaign by the David Horowitz Freedom Center. Previous poster campaigns by Horowitz drew sharp criticism and were covered by the LA Times, The Guardian and NPR.
Posters have appeared this month at UCI, UCB, UCLA, San Francisco State, San Diego State University, Brooklyn College, Tufts, University of Chicago, University of Tennesee - Knoxville, and Vassar. They repeat false and inflammatory accusations against individual faculty, students, and student groups.
UCLA Vice Chancellor Jerry Kang condemned similar posters last spring, calling them “thuggish intimidation” and “demagoguery,” and “focused, personalized intimidation that threatens specific members of [the campus] community.” As retribution, the David Horowitz poster campaign has now targeted UCLA Vice Chancellor Kang himself.
As of this update – October 24, 2016 – UCI has so far stayed silent on the poster campaign targeting its students and faculty.
“This is not the first time Irvine students have been targeted by campaigns of intimidation and disinformation,” emphasized Palestine Legal attorney Liz Jackson. “A network of Israel advocacy organizations recently leveled false accusations against students who participated in a protest of an Israeli film screening last spring. Chancellor Gilman rebroadcast the false accusations in a public statement, echoing the claims of Israel advocacy organizations. A thorough factual investigation by UCI concluded the allegations were unfounded, but the damage to SJP’s reputation had already been done. Chancellor Gilman must step up now and condemn this latest outrageous attack on members of the UCI community.”
Jackson added, “Similarly at UC Berkeley, administrators would like to blame off campus perpetrators, but the administration promotes the same false conflation as Horowitz: that anti-Zionism is the same as anti-Jewish hatred. Last month the university suspended a student-led course on Palestine and questioned whether the course violated the Statement of Principles Against Intolerance. This feeds the Horowitz campaign of defamation and intimidation.”
See the letter to UCI Chancellor Gilman here.
See the letter to UC Berkeley here.
See the letter to SFSU here.