North to South: Anti-Semitism at the University of California

Here we go: Day 3 of our brief survey of just a few of California’s more notorious anti-Semitic academics.

David Lloyd

David Lloyd is a professor of English at UC Riverside. You’d think he might be an impressive character: he holds B.A. (1977), M.A. (1981), and Ph.D. (1982) degrees from Cambridge and taught at several other California colleges (Davis, Scripps, Berkeley, USC) before settling in at Riverside in 2013. He is supposedly a poet, and supposedly an expert on Irish history. With those fancy Cambridge degrees in hand and all those impressive academic posts, you’d think that over these decades he’d have produced some serious poetry or worthwhile scholarship or books for the general reader. But no. When you look him up online, and separate out the items related to him from those related to the other academic David Lloyds around the world (including a Welsh biologist, an Irish chemist, an Australian university official, and a professor of business at the University of Missouri), pretty much all you can find by this David Lloyd is one nasty anti-Semitic rant after another.

For the fact is that during most if not all of his career, Lloyd’s primary focus has been on Israel, which he despises. He has sponsored branches of the anti-Israeli group Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at various California campuses, including Riverside, and has even founded a branch of Faculty for Justice in Palestine.

Tina Matar

As if this weren’t enough, he is involved in several other anti-Israeli campaigns, collectives, and committees. His devotion to this cause also led him, in 2015, to sponsor a course – entitled “Palestine & Israel: Settler-Colonialism and Apartheid” – that was taught by the undergraduate head of SJP-Riverside, Tina Matar, and that occasioned a critical letter from 27 major human-rights, pro-freedom, and Jewish organizations to Janet Napolitano, president of the UC system.

Janet Napolitano

The letter expressed concern that the course was “being used for political indoctrination rather than education” and cited Matar’s involvement in recent anti-Israeli campaigns on the campus. An independent, non-partisan organization that analyzes educational materials examined the course materials and concluded that it was one-sided on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict that was free of historical background and that seemed designed solely to encourage anti-Israeli activism. During the succeeding months, Lloyd wrote articles and gave lectures in which he represented the course as factually objective and its critics as would-be censors, enemies of academic freedom, and anti-Palestinian bigots.

Curtis Marez

Moving on, meet Curtis Marez, who teaches Ethnic Studies at UC San Diego. We’ve mentioned the unanimous 2013 vote by the board of the American Studies Association to boycott Israel because of its supposed human-rights offenses. Marez was president of the ASA at the time. Later, when confronted by the terrible human-rights records of many of Israel’s neighbors, Marez said, lamely: “one has to start somewhere.” He was still president when the ASA issued a statement claiming that the boycott was aimed only at Israeli academic institutions, not individual professors. But that proved to be a lie, with the boycotts by the ASA and other such organizations causing real damage to the ability of Israeli academics to work in American universities. Some Israeli professors have said, indeed, that in the wake of the ASA boycott their treatment by American colleagues had undergone a serious change, with respect and collegiality turning to unmannerliness and and even open contempt.

Deep in the heart of Texas: Jew-hatred

An outfit called Canary Mission, a watchdog group that “anonymously monitors anti-American, anti-Israel and antisemitic activity on US college campuses,” reported recently on a particular egregious finding.

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UTA’s College Park Center

On both Facebook and Twitter, no fewer than 24 current and former students at the University of Texas-Arlington (UTA) have posted the vilest imaginable comments about Jews. They’ve advocated anti-Semitic violence, denied the Holocaust, celebrated the Holocaust, and written things like “Stuff Jews in the oven.”

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Some members of the UTA chapter of SJP

How can such extensive Jew-hatred have taken root in, of all places, a college in Arlington, Texas? Well, one clue to the answer is that most of the repulsive posts were made by members of the UTA chapters of two groups. One of them is Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), which has been described as a “front for Hamas and the Hamas intermediary American Muslims for Palestine.” The group, which has chapters on at least 200 campuses in the U.S., is viewed as playing a leading role in the spread of anti-Semitism among American college students. As a 2014 article observed,

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Mariam Ghanem

Instead of promoting justice, SJP and/or its members spend almost all of their energy demonizing Israel, advocating for its eventual destruction, showing an unfortunate affinity for pro-terrorist figures, bullying and intimidating pro-Israel and Jewish students with vicious and sometimes anti-Semitic rhetoric, and even at times engaging in physical violence. While SJP may pay lip-service to peaceful aims, their rhetoric and actions make it hard to avoid the conclusion that a culture of hatred permeates nearly everything the group does—making the college experience increasingly uncomfortable, at times even dangerous, for Jewish or pro-Israel students.

Three years ago, Northeastern University banned SJU entirely, “after years of anti-Semitic vandalism, glorification of terrorist groups, calls for the destruction of Israel, and other actions.”

The other group behind the rash of anti-Semitism at UTA: the Muslim Student Association (MSA), a front for the Muslim Brotherhood that has chapters around the world and that has not only routinely voiced a virulent anti-Semitism but has also aligned itself with Communist and other radical-left groups.

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Nancy Salem

Among the UTA students named in Canary Mission’s report is Mariam Ghanem, who belongs to both the SJP and MSA and who has “compared Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Hitler, and tweeted a cartoon equating Nazi soldiers and IDF officers.” Ghanem, now a senior at George Mason University, has worked as an intern at the Treasury Department and Federal Reserve; her profile at the Society of Egyptian American Professionals says that she hopes to “use her education and background to give back to the global community and to improve the lives of as many people as she can.”

Also mentioned in the report was SJP member Nancy Salem, who once “retweeted a riddle asking: ‘How many Jews died in the Holocaust?’ The answer: ‘Not enough, HAHAHAHA.’” When a friend left for a visit to the Holy Land, Salem tweeted: “Have a safe trip Lulu. I love you baby girl! See you in 3 weeks! Kiss the Palestine ground for me and kill some jews! <3 #IMissYouAlready.” Then there’s Ismail Said Aboukar, who “referred to the Nazi genocide of the Jews as ‘#LiesToldInSchool’” and wrote that the “world would be sooo much better without jews man.”

Attention UTA administrators: perhaps it’s time for you to learn a lesson from Northeastern University and, in fact, do them one better by banning both of these hate-inculcating groups?