Carol T. Christ, Chancellor, University of California-Berkeley
Carol T. Christ became chancellor of UC-Berkeley in March 2017, thereby assuming leadership for a university that has a long and well-deserved reputation for radicalism and support for Israel’s terrorist adversaries. To cite only one recent indication, in the fall of 2016, Berkeley offered an academic course titled “Palestine: A Settler Colonial Analysis.” The course syllabus explained that the course would explore “the possibility of decolonization,” meaning the elimination of Israel as a Jewish state. The course was briefly suspended by the campus administration but it was reinstated after only minor changes to the syllabus.
Since taking over Berkeley’s top post, Chancellor Christ has done nothing substantial to change the institutional culture of anti-Semitism and terrorist sympathizing. Berkeley remains the academic home of Hamas supporter and SJP co-founder Hatem Bazian, who has repeatedly demonized and delegitimized Israel and supported a new intifada or violent uprising against the Jewish state.
Two academic centers at Berkeley recently hosted the “9th Annual Islamophobia Conference” during which speakers, including Bazian, repeatedly promoted the Hamas-funded BDS movement against Israel. Berkeley is home to a highly active SJP chapter that holds frequent events featuring pro-Hamas and pro-BDS speakers and which has repeatedly demonized Israel for repelling a Hamas attack on its borders. During a recent campus rally, students supporting the BDS movement chanted pro-terrorist slogans including “Let it be known that we here at Berkeley support the Intifada” and “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” – calls to kill Jews in Israel and destroy the Jewish state.
UC-Berkeley is the academic home of Professor Hatem Bazian, a co-founder of the Hamas-linked campus hate group Students for Justice in Palestine. Bazian is a lecturer in Berkeley’s Ethnic Studies Department and he founded the Center for the Study of Documentation of Islamophobia at the University. Bazian has repeatedly made public statements showcasing his hatred for the Jews and for Israel, including stating that Jews control Congress, and tweeting an anti-Semitic meme featuring a caricature of an Orthodox Jew. He has called for a new intifada (violent uprising) against Israel, defended an anti-Semitic mural, accused Jewish students of being ‘Zionist’ spies, and spoken at a fundraiser for a Hamas front group which was later dissolved after it was discovered funneling money to Hamas. Bazian has also demonstrated a penchant for revisionist history, tweeting that “Israel provoked the Six-Day War in 1967, and it was not fighting for survival" and that “Historical evidence does not support Zionist claims re the Western Wall.”
In June 2018, Berkeley SJP shared an article about the Great Return March on its Facebook page with the comment “Rest in Power... Israel continues to slaughter.” The Great Return March was composed primarily of Hamas militants who were openly attacking Israel’s border.
During April 2018, two academic centers at Berkeley, the Center for Race and Gender and the Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project, together with other academic entities, co-sponsored the “9th Annual Islamophobia Conference.” The conference included a panel on “Foreign Policy, Israel and Islamophobia, a Strategic Orientation.” Featured speakers included Paul Larudee, Richard Silverstein and Hatem Bazian. The speakers repeatedly promoted the Hamas-funded BDS movement against Israel and demonized and delegitimized the Jewish state. Larudee condemned Israel for “weaponizing Islamophobia as a strategic tool to legitimize and justify the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians” and Bazian alleged that “the shift to Islamophobia is part of Israel’s foreign policy shift…[to] keep balance of power… [and to] test & develop weapons.”
On April 16, 2018, Berkeley SJP held a “Candlelight Vigil in Solidarity with Gaza and Douma.” The event notice stated in part: “For the past two weeks, tens of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza have marched to the Israeli border demanding an end to the inhumane siege and the right of Palestinians to return to the lands from which they were violently dispossessed. In response Israeli snipers opened fire on thousands of unarmed protesters, killing at least 35 people…” In fact, the so-called Great Return March was a Hamas attack on Israel’s border, necessitating a military response.
During March 2018, Berkeley SJP held its annual “Palestine Solidarity Week” on campus. The week featured a mock-checkpoint and a mock “apartheid wall” meant to mimic the security barrier along Israel’s West Bank.
In February 2018, a Jewish professor at Berkeley was targeted with an anonymous anti-Semitic death threat. Benjamin Brinner, faculty director for the Center for Jewish studies, reported that the message was “posted outside of the office of a Jewish professor” and that it “mentioned Hitler and called for killing the professor, using an extremely racist epithet for ‘Jew.’”
On November 2, 2017, The Center for Race & Gender at UC-Berkeley together with Law Students for Justice in Palestine co-sponsored an event titled, "Colonial Legalism, 100 Years Since Balfour w/ Dr. Hatem Bazian." The Balfour Declaration was a statement made in a letter written by British foreign secretary Arthur James Balfour in 1917 supporting “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.” During his address, Bazian delegitimized Israel by claiming that this declaration was made “for the sole purpose to provide a cover for the outright civilized thievery of Palestine.” He also claimed that Israel “built itself on acts of ethnic cleansing and confiscation of land and property” and that the Jewish state has conducted “hundreds of massacres.” Bazian also expressed his support for the Hamas-funded BDS movement against Israel in which he included a boycott of Israel’s academic institutions.
On October 13, 2017, UC-Berkeley’s student-run paper published an anti-Semitic cartoon of Jewish Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz which also demonized Israel. The Amcha Initiative reports that the cartoon “depicted Alan Dershowitz's head inside a cut-out of his book, ‘The Liberal Case for Israel’ with him smiling, a rainbow, and children. The cartoon depicted his body behind the cut-out stepping on a person who had been carrying a Palestinian flag, flattening the person, and his hand was holding up an IDF soldier with a large gun standing over a dead person with blood around the body and blood dripping off his hand.”
On October 11, 2017, a flyer for an event with Harvard Professor Alan Dershowitz which had been posted on a campus bulletin board, was defaced by a swastika inked over Dershowitz’s face.
In July 2017, Hamas-supporting UC Berkeley professor Hatem Bazian retweeted an anti-Semitic meme which was originally tweeted by infamous anti-Semite Ron Hughes, whose twitter account Bazian follows. The meme features a photo of a man presumed to be Jewish, with Hasidic style curls, with the quoted statement: “MOM LOOK! I IS CHOSEN! I CAN NOW KILL, RAPE, SMUGGLE ORGANS & AND STEAL THE LAND OF PALESTINIANS *YAY* ASHKE-NAZI.” Another meme retweeted by Bazian pictured North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un with a yarmulke photoshopped on top of his head and the captions “God chose me,” “101 Judaism we teach it,” and “I just converted all of North Korea to Judaism. Donald Tlump (sic): Now my nukes are legal and I can annex South Korea and you need to start paying me 34 billion a year in welfare.” Berkeley’s administration labeled Bazian’s tweets “unacceptable anti-Semitism” that “clearly crossed the line” but did not take any disciplinary action against the professor.
During March 2017, Berkeley SJP held “Palestine Solidarity Week” on campus featuring the display of a mock apartheid wall, meant to symbolize Israel’s security fence which has saved thousands of Jewish lives by keeping Palestinian terrorists out. The Week also featured a “die-in” designed to showcase the Hamas propaganda lie that Israel commits indiscriminate violence against Palestinians, and a mock checkpoint on campus. At the die-in, students held signs proclaiming “Zionism is racism” and “Stop Israeli Occupation Forces From Killing Palestinian Children in Cold Blood.”
During November 2016, the Berkeley Law chapter of SJP posted an open letter on social media asking students to pledge not to participate in trips to Israel sponsored by “Israel & Co.” The open letter repeated Hamas propaganda lies, claiming that “This trip is part of a broader effort to normalize the occupation of Palestinian people by drawing attention away from a settler-colonial state’s systemic violations of human rights.” The chapter also tabled on campus in an effort to encourage students to sign the pledge. One student held a sign stating, “I pledge not to go on the Israel trip because: white supremacy here looks a lot like white supremacy there.” The Facebook page of the Berkeley Law chapter of SJP carries a banner which compares illegal immigrants in America to Palestinians with the slogan “we didn’t cross the border, the border crossed us.”
On October 27, 2016, SJP at Berkeley held the “3rd Annual International Day of Action on University Campuses for Palestine.” Speakers at the event which promoted the Hamas-inspired and funded BDS movement against Israel included Hatem Bazian and SFSU professor Rabab Abdulhadi who has used university funds to meet with anti-Israel terrorists. Social media promotions for the event stated, “Make this call of action part of campus education by holding teach-ins, rallies, sit-ins, civil disobedience, and push for BDS activities. No to Academic Complicity with Israeli Occupation, No to Study Abroad Programs in Israel, No Investments in Apartheid and Occupation Supporting Companies, No to University Presidents’ Visits to Israel, No Campus Police Training or Cooperation with Israeli Security, No Joint Research or Conferences with Israeli Institutions, No Cooperation with Hasbara Networks on College Campuses, No to Targeting Faculty for Speaking Against Israeli Crimes, No to Administrative Limits on Free Speech Rights of Palestine Activists, No to University Coordination and Strategizing with the ADL, JCRC, AJC, Stand With US, ZOA, Israeli Consulate to Limit Students Pro-Palestine Constitutionally Protected Activities.”
On September 22, 2016, anti-Semitic posters appeared on Berkeley’s campus which stated, “Jewish bullies smash free speech at Cal and are pledged $58 billion. Attention Non-Jews: PAY UP AND SHUT UP!”
A course offered at Berkeley during the fall 2016 semester was titled “Palestine: A Settler Colonial Analysis.” The course facilitator was Paul Hadweh and the faculty sponsor was Hatem Bazian. The course syllabus included generous doses of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic literature and claimed that the course would be “exploring the possibility of decolonization,” meaning the elimination of Israel as a Jewish state. The course was briefly suspended by the campus administration but it was reinstated after only minor and cosmetic changes to the course syllabus. Course facilitator Hadweh promoted the course on social media by stating that it would explore “the history and present of Zionist settler colonialism in Palestine” and by posting a series of infamous Hamas propaganda maps that falsely show Israel colonizing Arab Palestine. Of course the actual Arab colonization of the Middle East outside the Arabian peninsula - a historical fact - was absent from the syllabus which focused solely on the fictional colonization of an entity – Palestine – which has never existed.
In June 2016, UC Berkeley’s Center for Race & Gender offered a “Palestine De-Colonial Summer School” in Istanbul, Turkey. The program reinforced the Hamas narrative that Jews colonized a non-existent state called Palestine. Among the themes examined in the program were “Colonialism: settler colonialism and the meaning of de-colonization,” “Understanding Zionism, as a colonial, racial and Euro-centric Project,” and “The Palestinian Nakba and the dispossession.” A compendium of Hamas libels against the Jews.
During May 2016, UC Berkeley SJP shared several posts on Facebook commemorating the “Nakba,” an Arabic term meaning catastrophe that Hamas and its supporters use to refer to the creation of Israel and to commemorate the unprovoked aggressive war five Arab dictatorships launched against the tiny state on that day and have continued ever since.
On March 31, 2016, Berkeley SJP held a “Die-in, March, and Speakout for Palestine” on campus. The Facebook notice for the event read, “We are dying-in and marching in solidarity with all Palestinians subjected to Israeli violence. Our action seeks to represent visually the people who have shed blood and tears at Israel’s hands in the West Bank, in Jerusalem, in Gaza, and worldwide.” The rally included the display of a large mock “apartheid wall” which featured anti-Israel slogans and pro-terrorist propaganda. One panel of the “apartheid wall” depicted all of Israel replaced with a Palestinian flag, implying that Israel should be replaced by an Arab state of Palestine and should no longer exist.
On March 29, 2016, Berkeley SJP created a “mock checkpoint” on campus to demonize Israel and intimidate students as they attempted to cross the campus. The actual checkpoints have cut the number of Israeli civilians killed by Palestinian terrorists to near zero – a fact suppressed by SJP. During the demonstration, students impersonating Israeli soldiers with “IDF” written on the backs of their shirts, and armed with mock assault rifles, arrested those representing Palestinians, as though the IDF’s efforts were about oppressing Palestinians instead of defending innocent civilians.
Over March 8-10, 2016, UC Berkeley SJP held “Palestine Awareness Week” on campus, although events actually continued throughout the month of March. This week featured all the key propaganda points Hamas uses to justify its war of extermination against Israel’s Jews.
In March 2015, three Berkeley professors--Rutie Adler, Hatem Bazian, and Samera Esmeir--were among the signatories to an op-ed printed in the Daily Californian supporting BDS resolutions on UC campuses and the Hamas-inspired effort to destroy the Jewish state.
On February 19, 2016, Berkeley SJP shared an article on its Facebook page defending Palestinian terrorism against Israel. The article focused on a Fatah activist who spent 23 years in prison for killing an Israeli. The activist is quoted as saying “Call Me a Terrorist, but I’m No Different From Israeli Troops Defending Their Homeland.” The inability to distinguish between a defender and an aggressor is characteristic of Hamas-SJP propaganda.
On February 18, 2016, UC Berkeley hosted Dr. Jeff Halper for a talk on “War Against the People: Israel, the Palestinians, and Global Pacification.” The Facebook notice for the event repeated the Hamas libel that Israelis are using the “occupied territories” to test their experimental weapons: “Drawing on firsthand research, the author shows how the integration of militarized systems - databases, tracking civilian activity, automated targeting systems and unmanned drones – is perfected to sustain fear among the populace and how the Occupied Territories are used by Israel as a veritable weapon laboratory.” No mention was made by Halper of the fact that every time Israel withdraws its forces, as in Gaza, the vacuum is filled with Hamas terrorists firing rockets into Israeli schoolyards and digging multimillion dollar terror tunnels to carry out attacks in Israel.
On November 16, 2015, Berkeley SJP hosted anti-Israel poet Remi Kanazi on campus. Kanazi has called Israel “a racist state built on stolen Palestinian land” that is “maintained through ethnic cleansing, occupation, bombing campaigns, draconian laws, settlements, outposts, colonizer roads, siege, blockade, chemical warfare, an apartheid wall, home demolitions, control of borders/imports/exports/water aquifers/air/sea/taxes/currency, the denial of family reunification, jailing of children, night raids, administrative detention, uprooting olive groves, restriction on movement, denying refugees the ability to return, and much more.”
On October 14, 2015, UC Berkeley’s SJP chapter held a rally to support the “International Day of Action” for Palestine and the BDS movement against Israel at Sproul Plaza on campus. The Muslim Students Association co-sponsored the event. Featured speakers included SJP co-founder, Berkeley professor and Hamas-supporter Hatem Bazian. Speakers and participants at the event chanted pro-terrorist slogans including “Let it be known that we here at Berkeley support the Intifada” and “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” The Intifada refers to unprovoked attacks on Jews, and “from the river to the sea” means the obliteration of the Jewish state and its replacement by an Islamic totalitarian regime identical to the one that now exists in Gaza. A mock “apartheid wall” plastered with anti-Israel propaganda was displayed at the event, including the malicious and false accusation that “Israel massacred over 500 kids in Gaza.”
On September 18, 2015, Omar Barghouti, the founder of the Hamas-inspired and funded BDS movement against Israel, spoke at Berkeley. His talk was co-sponsored by SJP and by eight university departments including the Center for Race and Gender, Asian American Studies, Native American Studies, Ethnic Studies, English, Chicano Studies, Near Eastern Studies, and African American Studies. Barghouti’s speech was titled, “BDS: Academia’s Role in the Struggle for Freedom and Justice in Palestine,” and promoted the academic boycott of Israel.
On February 4, 2015, a swastika was found on a “university-owned building on University Avenue.”
On March 2, 2015, genocidal graffiti was found in a campus restroom reading: “Zionists should be sent to the gas chamber.”
On February 22, 2015, Berkeley SJP violated campus rules by distributing over 600 fake eviction notices to students in campus housing. SJP made clear that the campaign was in support of the Hamas-inspired BDS movement against Israel, stating in a press release that “With this action, we are calling on the UC Regents to honor the consensus in favor of divestment.”
On January 30, 2015, UC Berkeley’s office for Equity, Inclusion and Diversity posted an article on its website titled “Rhetoric of racism, from Ferguson to Palestine” that defended Hamas terrorism, claiming that “Hamas is a political party that has been under siege, along with the entirety of the Gaza Strip, for the last seven years and under Israeli military occupation since 1967.” The article, which ignored the 7 years of unprovoked Gaza aggression against Israel, the three aggressive wars conducted by the Arab states against Israel from its birth, and the 70 years of unprovoked terror attacks by Arabs and Palestinians against Jewish civilians, condemned Israel claiming that it “was founded after a systematic campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Palestinian population that continues until today.” Thus it merely repeated the genocidal lie created by Arab dictators and terrorists to justify their aggressive war against the Jews. The only ethnic cleansing proposed in the Middle East is the Arab plan to purge the region of Jews – and in so many words.