90 Groups Call on California Governor to Veto ‘Anti-Zionist’ Ethnic Studies Courses
According to the Algemeiner, over 90 civil rights, religious and educational groups including the Combat Anti-Semitism Movement have called on California Governor Gavin Newsom to use his executive powers to veto a bill that would require an anti-Zionist ethnic studies course as a requirement for graduation in the California State University (CSU) system.
The AMCHA Initiative organized the letter to Governor Newsom in response to the “Critical Ethnic Studies” course referenced in the AB 1460 bill currently pending Newsom’s approval.
The letter undersigned by groups such as the World Jewish Congress, StandWithUs, and B’nai B’rith International amongst many others spoke to the fear that the proposed ethnic studies curriculum would become a vehicle for anti-Zionist activism on campus and create an increasingly hostile climate for Jewish students:
“We are deeply concerned that without adequate safeguards, these courses could become vehicles for one-sided political advocacy and activism that will both subvert the academic mission of the university, and incite bigotry and harm against some CSU students.”
The groups underscored the fact that faculty have the right engage in political activism outside the university context but also acknowledged that faculty members who were billed to teach “Critical Ethnic Studies” had a history of bringing support for BDS and anti-Zionist sentiment into their classrooms and lectures.
AMCHA Initiative Director Tammi Rossman-Benjamin acknowledged the correlation between academic support for the BDS movement and the difficult environment it creates for Jewish students in college settings.
“This type of anti-Zionist political activism directly corresponds to a rise in anti-Semitic incidents on campus.”
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