Target Israel

Written by Cinnamon Stillwell


[incl. Joel Beinin, Hatem Bazian, Mark LeVine, Beshara Doumani, Hamid Algar, Saree Makdisi, Minoo Moallem, Suad Joseph, Rabab Abdulhadi, Sondra Hale, Middle East Studies Association]

In recent months, two University of California campuses, Berkeley [1] and San Diego [2], have been embroiled in fierce debates [3] following the introduction of anti-Israel divestiture resolutions by their respective student senates.

Both were defeated, but not before a number of California's Middle East studies academics signed a petition [4]supporting divestment.

The petition [4] is posted at the website for the U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel [5], which is dedicated to the BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) movement. The list of names reads like a Who's Who of California's anti-Israel academics:

By way of comparison-at least as far as one California university goes-not one UC Irvine Middle East studies academic signed the May, 2010 faculty letter [43] objecting to the atmosphere of "hatred against Jews and Israelis on campus" created by the MSU.

California academics have, however, played a leading role in the U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel [5]. According to a February, 2009 Daily Bruin article [44] on the Campaign for the Cultural and Academic Boycott of Israel, "eleven of the 15 organizing committee members represent California universities, and four of them are from the University of California." Moreover, two of the founding members [45] of the organizing committee teach Middle East studies at California institutions:

What is it about California that has inspired so many of its academics to join the BDS movement? Rank anti-Semitism on the left-masquerading as anti-Zionism-is hardly limited to California, but certain circumstances (beyond the sheer size of the system) have made the state's schools ripe for this malady:

So it is that California has become the epicenter for the BDS movement, a legacy of which there is nothing to be proud.

 FrontPage Magazine



Cinnamon Stillwell is the West Coast Representative for Campus Watch [63], a project of the Middle East Forum [64]. She can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. [65].



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