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General Articles
AAUP Losing Credibility over the Palestinian-Israeli Dispute

 

28.05.2020

Editorial Note

 

The prestigious academic organization, the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), is losing credibility. Founded in 1915, the AAUP has helped to shape the standards and procedures of higher education to maintain quality in education and academic freedom.  However, of late, it has taken a wrong path.

 

First, it awarded the association's Georgina M. Smith Award of Outstanding Faculty Activist to Rabab Ibrahim Abdulhadi of San Francisco State University, a Palestinian activist, famed for attacking Israel. The award is traditionally given to a person who provides "exceptional leadership" in improving the status of academic women or the profession in general. Abdulhadi "exemplifies courage, persistence, political foresight, and concern for human rights," and brings "justice-centered knowledge," by advancing "the agenda for social change in Palestine, the United States, and internationally. Her leadership transcends the division between scholarship and activism that encumbers traditional university life."

 

But, Abdulhadi is controversial. She has been a mentor of Palestinian student groups that staged several anti-Israel incidents on campus. Two Jewish students, Charles Volk and Liam Kern brought a court case against the Board of Trustees of the California State University (CSU), for failing to protect Jewish students on campus from harassment by these groups. The case was settled in March 2019. CSU agreed to "express its commitment to safeguarding the rights of all members of the San Francisco State University ("SFSU") community, including Jews, to practice their religion, to express their legally protected viewpoints, including Zionist and pro-Israel viewpoints, and to participate in university-sponsored activities free from discrimination based on any protected status, including their Jewish faith. SFSU will commit that, going forward, its implementation of CSU antidiscrimination policy and procedure." It was a lesson learned from anti-Israel events on campus. Therefore, CSU assured it would "protect SFSU students' right to be free from discrimination in CSU programs or activities based on any protected status, including the Jewish faith. CSU will include in its statement that it understands that, for many Jews, Zionism is an important part of their identity." 

 

After the apology by the SFSU to Jewish students, Prof. Abdulhadi wrote a hostile message on Facebook: "I consider the statement below from President Wong, welcoming Zionists to campus, equating Jewishness with Zionism, and giving Hillel ownership of campus Jewishness, to be a declaration of war against Arabs, Muslims, Palestinians and all those who are committed to an indivisible sense of justice on and off campus. This includes our sisters and brothers in the Jewish community whose conscience refuses to allow Israel’s colonialism, racism and occupation –the inherent character of Zionism—to speak in their name. I am ashamed to be affiliated with SFSU administration and demand the immediate retraction of this racist, Islamophobic and colonialist statement, and the restoration of SFSU social justice mission." Abdulhadi detailed in length her anti-Israel political activism in the Foreword of the new book, Enforcing Silence: Academic Freedom, Palestine and the Criticism of Israel, edited by David Landy, Ronit Lentin, Conor McCarthy. 

 

Claiming that Abdulhadi advances "the agenda for social change in Palestine," is questionable. The dire human rights condition of the Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria are well known but have not been mentioned by Abdulhadi and other pro-Palestinian activists.  By focusing exclusively on the Israeli authorities, these egregious human rights abuses have been kept under the radar.  The AAUP should be reminded that, as per its own definition, academic discourse should be balanced, rather than blatantly biased to vilify a politically convenient target. 

 

Second, the AAUP false claims that BDS promoters have been unjustly treated as anti-Semite.  Henry (Hank) Reichman, professor emeritus of History at California State University, East Bay, and chair of the AAUP's Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure, pushed this argument in a recent article that appears on Academe Blog of the Academe Magazine, an outfit of the AAUP. Reichman discussed the case of two BDS advocates - Professor Achille Mbemebe and Kamila Shamsie - whose invitation to appear in Germany was canceled.  However, as IAM reported, the former espoused anti-Semitic writings. Mbembe claimed, for example, that the Israeli occupation of Palestine "is not apartheid, South African style. It is far more lethal." And that the Jewish "victimhood, and a supremacist complex" are making the occupation "the biggest moral scandal of our times, one of the most dehumanizing ordeals."  

 

Reichman has also signed an open letter to the City of Dortmund, on behalf of Kamila Shamsie, whose Nelly Sachs literary prize was rescinded because of commitment to BDS.  Reichman and the group called to "fulfill the mandate of the Nelly Sachs award by demonstrating its commitment to a writer’s freedom of conscience and expression." 

 

However, Reichman misrepresented the spirit of the Nelly Sachs award. Sachs, a strong supporter of Israel, was a Jewish Swedish-German author and Nobel prize laureate, forced into exile under the Nazi regime.  The prize named for her intends to honor individuals who "produce outstanding creative achievements in the field of literary and spiritual life which aim in particular to improve cultural relationships." Awarding the prize to a supporter of BDS with its anti-Semitic connotations is clearly not a way to promote "cultural relationships.” Reichman should also be aware that while the BDS movement claims to only target Israeli institutions, individuals have often been attacked.

 
The AAUP is one of several academic associations in the West that has been maneuvered to promote the Palestinian agenda of attacking Israel. IAM reported on similar cases of the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES), the British University and College Union (UCU), the American Studies Association (ASA), the American Anthropological Association (AAA), among others. For the prestigious AAUP, this is probably just the beginning, and there will be more to come. IAM would continue to report on this new and worrisome trend. 

 

 



https://academeblog.org/2020/05/11/international-scholars-oppose-political-litmus-tests-in-germany/  

International Scholars Oppose Political Litmus Tests in Germany

 / 2020/05/11

BY HANK REICHMAN

In two remarkable statements issued recently scholars from more than thirty countries, including Germany, Israel and the U.S., have spoken out against efforts by the German government to restrict the academic freedom and free speech rights of artists and scholars suspected of supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian rights. In March, public officials, including Felix Klein, the Federal government Commissioner for Jewish Life in Germany and the Fight against Antisemitism, put pressure on the Ruhrtriennale Festival to disinvite Cameroonian philosopher Achille Mbembe, who was to deliver the festival’s opening address. The festival has since been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Last year, the City of Dortmund reversed the decision to award British-Pakistani author Kamila Shamsie the Nelly Sachs Prize for Literature.

On April 30, a group of Jewish scholars from Israel and elsewhere released an open letter to German Minister of the Interior Horst Seehofer, with copies to Chancellor Angela Merkel and Minister of Foreign Affairs Heiko Maas, calling for the removal and replacement of Commissioner Klein for his support of the attacks on Mbembe, which the letter said had “degraded into a witch-hunt.”

“Prof. Achille Mbembe is one of the most important intellectuals in Africa, whose humanistic voice and scholarship is heard and admired globally,” the letter said. “We consider Mr. Klein’s attempt to frame Prof. Mbembe as an antisemite baseless, inappropriate, offensive and harmful.”

The letter continued:

By accusing Prof. Mbembe of “relativizing the Holocaust”, Mr. Klein has also harmed academic freedom. This toxic allegation relates to Prof. Mbembe’s study in reference to the Holocaust in comparative context. We wish to be very clear: such study isn’t a trivialization of the Holocaust and certainly not antisemitism. It is legitimate, essential and in fact commonplace in Holocaust and genocide studies. Some 600 leading Holocaust scholars recently asserted that banning analogies from the debate about the Holocaust is “a radical position that is far removed from mainstream scholarship on the Holocaust and genocide. And it makes learning from the past almost impossible.”

“Unjustified allegations of antisemitism are increasingly creating a climate of fear in Germany, deterring intellectuals, journalists and the public at large from exercising free speech regarding controversial issues that should be publicly debated. At this very hour, free and critical speech in relation to Israel is needed more than ever,” the letter continued.  The signatories noted that “our views on BDS differ, but it is entirely clear: BDS as such is not antisemitic and is essentially protected by freedom of speech and freedom of assembly.”

Among those signing the letter were Daniel Boyarin, Taubman Professor of Talmudic Culture at the University of California, Berkeley; Alon Confino, Pen Tishkach Chair of Holocaust Studies, Director of The Institute for Holocaust, Genocide and Memory Studies, Department of History and of Jewish and Near Eastern Studies at the University of Massachusetts; Amos Goldberg, Department of Jewish History and Contemporary Jewry at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Nurit Peled-Elhanan, School of Education at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and co-recipient of the Sakharov Prize; Amnon Raz-Krakotzkin, Department of Jewish History at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev; and Barry Trachtenberg, Michael R. and Deborah K. Rubin Presidential Chair of Jewish History, Department of History at Wake Forest University.

Last year some 240 Israeli and Jewish professors had urged Germany not to enact into law a bill that would define the BDS movement as “anti-Semitic.”  That letter had declared that “we all reject the deceitful allegation that BDS as such is anti-Semitic and maintain that boycotts are a legitimate and non-violent tool of resistance.”  Signatories included 24 scholars from the Hebrew University, 24 from Tel Aviv University, 11 from Ben Gurion University, nine from Haifa University, five from the Weizmann Institute of Science and five from the Open University of Israel.

Then today it was announced that 384 scholars and artists from over thirty countries, including forty from Germany, had signed a statement pledging not to serve on juries or prize committees or in academic hiring consultations in Germany whenever there are “convincing indicators that their decisions may be subject to ideological or political interference or litmus tests.”  The pledge signatories state that they “hold a variety of positions on BDS, but we agree with the 40 Jewish organizations and also with the three German courts — most recently the Administrative Court of Cologne, in September 2019 — that have reaffirmed that support for BDS is a legitimate exercise of the universally recognized right of freedom of expression.”

The pledge signatories affirm that, “To reverse a prize jury’s decision or to withdraw an invitation to speak on ideological grounds is an intolerable interference that we cannot condone, even by our participation in juries subject to such interference.” They state that making decisions contingent on a commitment to disavow BDS violates academic freedom and freedom of expression, making “a mockery of the very system for and purpose of awarding prizes to individuals judged to be leaders in their fields.”

Signatories include Judith Butler of the University of California, Berkeley; Étienne Balibar of Columbia University;  Nobel laureate in Chemistry George P. Smith; AAUP Committee A member Joan W. Scott; and linguist and social critic Noam Chomsky. The statement declares that accusations directed by German officials against Shamsie, Mbembe, and others “are intended to narrow the frame of discussion solely to antisemitism and its pernicious impacts” and “are designed to draw attention away from, and to silence, any critical focus on the treatment of Palestinians in Israel-Palestine.”  Shamsie and Mbembe both signed the pledge.

Below are the full texts and lists of signatories of both statements.  

Mr. Horst Seehofer
Minister of the Interior, Building and Community
Alt-Moabit 140
10557 Berlin
Germany

Copied: Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany
Heiko Maas, Minister of Foreign Affairs

Concerns: Call to replace Felix Klein as the Federal government Commissioner for the Fight against Antisemitism

30 April 2020

Dear Minister Seehofer,

We, Jewish scholars and artists from Israel and elsewhere, many of whom specialize in anti-Semitism and in Jewish, Holocaust and Israel Studies, are calling on you to replace Felix Klein, the Federal government Commissioner for Jewish Life in Germany and the Fight against Antisemitism, following his shameful attack on Prof. Achille Mbembe.

As you know, Prof. Achille Mbembe is one of the most important intellectuals in Africa, whose humanistic voice and scholarship is heard and admired globally. We consider Mr. Klein’s attempt to frame Prof. Mbembe as an antisemite baseless, inappropriate, offensive and harmful.

We are aware that the attack on Prof. Mbembe was initiated by others, who rejected him as the opening speaker of this year’s Ruhrtriennale Festival. Given his official role and responsibility, we find it unacceptable that Mr. Klein joined this attack, which degraded into a witch-hunt.

We are perplexed that Mr. Klein did so without bothering to study Prof. Mbembe’s work. Instead, he relied for his allegations on a deeply selective reading and manipulative interpretation of Prof. Mbembe’s writings by others. Considering that accusations of antisemitism can ruin someone’s reputation, this in itself amounts to severe professional and moral misconduct.

The Ruhrtriennale Festival has been cancelled by now, due to the coronavirus. This incident, however, cannot remain without consequences for Mr. Klein. Apart from the personal and professional harm done to Prof. Mbembe, Mr. Klein has done a disservice to the urgent fight against real antisemitism, casting a shadow over the integrity of his public office.

By accusing Prof. Mbembe of “relativizing the Holocaust”, Mr. Klein has also harmed academic freedom. This toxic allegation relates to Prof. Mbembe’s study in reference to the Holocaust in comparative context. We wish to be very clear: such study isn’t a trivialization of the Holocaust and certainly not antisemitism. It is legitimate, essential and in fact commonplace in Holocaust and genocide studies. Some 600 leading Holocaust scholars recently asserted that banning analogies from the debate about the Holocaust is “a radical position that is far removed from mainstream scholarship on the Holocaust and genocide. And it makes learning from the past almost impossible”.

Mr. Klein’s attack on Prof. Mbembe fits into a pattern. He has assumed a leading role in the “weaponization” of antisemitism against critics of the Israeli government and activists exercising their freedom of speech and assembly to protest Israel’s violations of basic rights of the Palestinians. As an official representative of the German government, Mr. Klein is undermining the exercise of fundamental freedoms – this should deeply alarm your government, considering itscommitment to democratic principles and the rule of law.

Unjustified allegations of antisemitism are increasingly creating a climate of fear in Germany, deterring intellectuals, journalists and the public at large from exercising free speech regarding controversial issues that should be publicly debated. At this very hour, free and critical speech in relation to Israel is needed more than ever. While the world is desperately fighting the coronavirus, the incoming Israeli government is moving towards annexation of vital parts of the occupied Palestinian West Bank – a grave violation of international law, formalizing a situation of two peoples with unequal rights inside one territory.

56 former members of the Knesset, some of whom have served as ministers in various Israeli governments, have recently warned this would establish an Apartheid state in Israel-Palestine.

Does Mr. Klein consider them antisemites? And all others who will speak of inequality and discrimination, after annexation has been implemented? These questions arise after Mr. Klein has accused Prof. Mbembe of antisemitism for allegedly equating Israel with Apartheid South Africa.

In addition, Mr. Klein has promoted and amplified aggressive campaigns against organizations and individuals, some of them Jewish, due to their support for “BDS”. He is clearly obsessed by the BDS campaign, which has a miniscule footprint in Germany, and appears to devote more of his time to it than to the acute threat that the surge in far-right antisemitism poses to Jews and Jewish life in Germany.

Our views on BDS differ, but it is entirely clear: BDS as such is not antisemitic and is essentially protected by freedom of speech and freedom of assembly, as also confirmed by several German courts. It is deplorable but unsurprising that the Israeli government is waging war against BDS – but how can a German government official join this war in the frontline?

In this context, we wish to add that this anti-BDS crusade is undeniably contributing to the marginalization of non-white voices and minorities in Germany, fostering racism and nationalistic sentiments. It is a shame that none other than the Federal Commissioner for the Fight against Antisemitism is leading this trend.

We also deplore that Mr. Klein has been encouraging politicized abuse of the IHRA definition, which conflates antisemitism with criticism and activism directed at Israel, to discredit and silence opponents of Israel’s policies. Here again, we observe Mr. Klein operating in synergy with the Israeli government.

That same Israeli government is currently preparing for annexation of vital parts of Palestine. It has deliberately weaponized allegations of antisemitism to politically shield this dramatic step and to distract from the documented evidence about its systematic violations of the human rights of the Palestinians.

On numerous occasions since his appointment in May 2018, Mr. Klein has facilitated and legitimized this fatal instrumentalization, which – we wish to repeat – harms the fight against real anti-Semitism. The latest example is his attack on Prof. Mbembe.

For all these reasons, we consider Mr. Klein unqualified and unfit for the important task assigned to him. He is a civil servant that operates and falls under your political responsibility. We call on you to replace Mr. Klein without delay as the German government Commissioner for Jewish Life and the Fight against Antisemitism.

Yours sincerely,

Prof. Gadi Algazi, Department of History, Tel Aviv University; Associate Fellow at Re:Work:
International Research Center Work and Human Lifecycle in Global History at Humboldt
University, Berlin

Dr. Seth Anziska, Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies, University College London

Prof. Louise Bethlehem, Department of English and the Program in Cultural Studies, The
Hebrew University of Jerusalem; recipient European Research Council Consolidators Grant

Prof. Daniel Boyarin, Taubman Professor of Talmudic Culture, University of California,
Berkeley; Fellow American Academy of Arts and Sciences; Von Humboldt Senior Laureate

Prof. (emeritus) Jose Brunner, Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and
Ideas (former director) and Buchmann Faculty of Law; co-founder of Israel’s first legal clinic for
the rights of Holocaust survivors, Tel Aviv University

Prof. (emerita) Jane Caplan, History Department, University of Oxford; Emeritus Fellow, St.
Antony’s College, Oxford; Marjorie Walter Goodhart Professor Emeritus of European History,
Bryn Mawr College; Visiting Professor, Birkbeck, University of London

Dr. Raya Cohen, formerly Department of Jewish History, Tel Aviv University; formerly
Department of Sociology, University of Naples Federico II

Prof. Jean Comaroff, Alfred North Whitehead Professor of African and African American
Studies and of Anthropology; Oppenheimer Research Fellow in African Studies, Harvard
University

Prof. John Comaroff, Hugh K. Foster Professor of African and African American Studies and of
Anthropology; Oppenheimer Research Fellow in African Studies, Harvard University

Prof. Alon Confino, Pen Tishkach Chair of Holocaust Studies, Director of The Institute for
Holocaust, Genocide and Memory Studies, Department of History and of Jewish and Near Eastern
Studies, University of Massachusetts; recipient of the Humboldt-Stiftung and of the Guggenheim
Fellowships

Prof. (emerita) Sidra DeKoven Ezrahi, Department of General and Comparative Literature, The
Hebrew University of Jerusalem; recipient of Guggenheim Fellowship

Prof. (emeritus) Gideon Freudenthal, The Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of
Science and Ideas, Tel Aviv University

Dr. Katharina Galor, Hirschfeld Visiting Associate Professor, Program in Judaic Studies, Brown
University

Prof. Amos Goldberg, Department of Jewish History and Contemporary Jewry, The Hebrew
University of Jerusalem

Prof. Neve Gordon, School of Law, Marie Curie Fellow, Queen Mary University of London

Dr. Ilana Hammerman, Writer, recipient of the Yeshayahu Leibowitz Prize

Prof. David Harel, Department of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics, The Weizmann
Institute of Science; recipient of the Israel Prize and of the EMET Prize

Prof. Eva Illouz, The Department of Sociology and Anthropology, The Hebrew University of
Jerusalem; The European Centre for Sociology and Political Science, Paris; recipient of the
Anneliese Meier International Award for Excellence in Research from the Alexander von
Humboldt-Foundation and of the EMET Prize

Dani Karavan, Sculptor, projects include the Memorial to the Sinti and Roma victims of National
Socialism in Berlin, the Regensburg Synagogue Memorial and the Way of Human Rights in
Nuremberg; recipient of the Israel Prize

Miki Kratsman, Photographer; former head of the Photography Department at Bezalel Academy
of Arts and Design; recipient of the EMET Prize

Alex Levac, Photographer, recipient of the Israel Prize

Prof. (emeritus) Yehuda Judd Ne’eman, Tel Aviv University, recipient of the Israel Prize

Dr. (emeritus) Mark Levene, Department of History, University of Southampton UK; Parkes
Centre for Jewish/non-Jewish Relations; recipient of the Lemkin Prize of the Institute for the
Study of Genocide

Prof. Neil Levi, English Department (chair), Drew University

Dr. Anat Matar, Department of Philosophy, Tel Aviv University

Prof. (emeritus) Paul Mendes-Flohr, Dorothy Grant Maclear Professor Emeritus of Modern
Jewish History and Thought and Associate Faculty in the Department of History, The University
of Chicago Divinity School; Professor Emeritus of Jewish Thought, The Hebrew University of
Jerusalem

Prof. Isaac Nevo, Department of Philosophy, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Prof. (emeritus) Adi Ophir, The Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and
Ideas, Tel Aviv University; Visiting Professor of the Humanities, The Cogut Institute for the
Humanities and the Center for Middle East Studies, Brown University

Prof. Nurit Peled-Elhanan, School of Education, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem; The

David Yellin Academic College of Education; co-recipient of the Sakharov Prize

Prof. Amnon Raz-Krakotzkin, Department of Jewish History, Ben-Gurion University of the
Negev, recipient of the Zalman Shazar Prize for Jewish History

Prof. (emerita) Shlomith Rimmon-Kenan, Departments of English Literature and Comparative
Literature, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem; member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and
Humanities

Prof. Ishay Rosen-Zvi, Head of the Talmud and Late Antiquity section, The Department of
Jewish Philosophy and Talmud, Tel Aviv University

Prof. Michael Rothberg, 1939 Society Samuel Goetz Chair in Holocaust Studies, Department of
Comparative Literature, University of California

Prof. Catherine Rottenberg, Department of American and Canadian Studies, University of
Nottingham

Prof. Barry Trachtenberg, Michael R. and Deborah K. Rubin Presidential Chair of Jewish
History, Department of History, Wake Forest University

Prof. David Shulman, Department of Asian Studies, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem,
member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, recipient of the Israel Prize and of the
EMET Prize

Prof. (emeritus) Moshe Zuckermann, The Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of
Science and Ideas, Tel Aviv University

 

Pledge opposing ideological or political interference and litmus tests in Germany

We the undersigned writers, artists, scientists, and scholars have either been invited (many of us more than once) or occupy professional positions that make it likely that we will in future be invited to nominate candidates for literary, artistic, scientific, and scholarly honors awarded by German institutions, to serve on or report to the juries selecting the recipients for these honors, and/or to assist academic committees at German universities with hiring or promotion decisions. We were therefore dismayed to learn that on two recent occasions city authorities in Germany have intervened to overrule the decisions of prize committees on ideological and political grounds, and that for similar reasons a performer has been threatened with cancellation of an already publicized concert.

On September 14, 2019, the City of Dortmund rescinded the award—already announced—of the Nelly Sachs Prize for Literature that was to have gone to British-Pakistani author Kamila Shamsie. Sixteen days later, the City of Aachen announced that it had reversed a previous decision to award the Aachen Art Prize to the Lebanese-American artist Walid Raad. Around the same time, Israeli-German performer Nirit Sommerfeld received a warning from the municipal Gasteig cultural center in Munich that her planned concert at the center faced cancellation if she broached certain themes. This March, Stephanie Carp, curator of the 2020 Ruhrtriennale Festival in Bochum, came under pressure from two public officials (Lorenz Deutsch, a Deputy in the Nordrhein-Westfalen State Parliament, and Felix Klein, Federal Government Commissioner for Jewish Life in Germany and the Fight against Anti-Semitism) to rescind the invitation to Cameroonian philosopher Achille Mbembe to deliver the festival’s opening address; the two falsely claimed that Mbembe’s academic work was anti-Semitic because it includes an analysis and critique of Israeli government policies.

These four incidents, involving four German cities and four different forms of expression, had one thing in common: in each case, the artist or intellectual in question was considered a supporter of the non-violent Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian rights. In Raad’s case it was his “evasive[ness]” when asked to “distance himself from BDS” that led to the withdrawal of Aachen’s sponsorship of his prize, on the grounds that BDS is a form of anti-Semitism; and even though the Verein der Freunde des Ludwig Forums decided to award the prize to Raad without the city’s cooperation, they did so only after their “intensive” investigation turned up no “conclusive” proof that the accusations against Raad were justified. Although Sommerfeld’s concert went forward as planned, three years earlier a benefit concert in which she was scheduled to perform, in the same city, was cancelled on the same grounds. And while this year’s Ruhrtriennale has been cancelled because of Covid-19, Carp and the festival organizers remain under pressure not to invite Mbembe in the future either.

In declaring BDS a form of anti-Semitism, the authors of the attacks on Mbembe and the cities of Aachen, Dortmund, and Munich aligned themselves in direct opposition to more than forty progressive Jewish organizations around the world — including European Jews for a Just Peace, the Israeli Coalition of Women for Peace, and the German Jüdische Stimme für gerechten Frieden im Nahost e.V. — that on July 17 2018 issued a statement affirming that “dangerously [conflating] anti-Jewish racism with opposition to Israel’s policies and system of occupation and apartheid … undermines both the Palestinian struggle for freedom, justice and equality and the global struggle against anti-Semitism. It also serves to shield Israel from being held accountable to universal standards of human rights and international law.”

The signatories of this letter hold a variety of positions on BDS, but we agree with the 40 Jewish organizations and also with the three German courts — most recently the Administrative Court of Cologne, in September 2019 — that have reaffirmed that support for BDS is a legitimate exercise of the universally recognized right of freedom of expression.

To make the awarding of a prize, or a hiring decision, contingent on a commitment to disavow BDS not only violates academic freedom and the rights of freedom of expression described above. It also makes a mockery of the very system for and purpose of awarding prizes to individuals judged to be leaders in their fields. To reverse a prize jury’s decision or to withdraw an invitation to speak on ideological grounds is an intolerable interference that we cannot condone, even by our participation in juries subject to such interference.

Accusations of the kind levelled by politicians like Deutsch, Klein, and city officials in Germany are intended to narrow the frame of discussion solely to antisemitism and its pernicious impacts. They are designed to draw attention away from, and to silence, any critical focus on the treatment of Palestinians in Israel-Palestine. We anticipate that some will seek to paint this point as an expression of or relativization of anti-Semitism; to do so would be to engage in exactly the tactics we are opposing with this statement.

While we wish to acknowledge how much we appreciate the honor of being chosen to consult on prizes and hiring decisions, we cannot continue to lend our weight to judgments of artistic, scientific, or scholarly distinction that are subject to political interference. We therefore wish to inform the German artistic and academic community and the institutions that support them, including municipal councils, that all of us undersigned will no longer agree to serve on prize committees or in hiring consultations if there are convincing indicators that their decisions may be subject to ideological or political interference or litmus tests. In such cases, we will specifically require assurance that the support for any non-violent campaign (including BDS) directed at any country that practices discrimination and violence against any population under its control will not be used as a litmus test to disqualify candidates selected for hiring, distinction, or honor.

  1. Ackbar Abbas, University of California, Irvine, United States
  2. Ahmed Abbes, mathematician, Directeur de recherche au CNRS, France
  3. Rabab Abdulhadi, Director and Senior Scholar, Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Studies, San Francisco State University, United States
  4. Malek Abisaab, McGill University, Canada
  5. Nadia Abu El-Haj, Barnard College and Columbia University , United States
  6. Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Artist, Lebanon
  7. Lila Abu-Lughod, Columbia University, United States
  8. Evelyne Accad, University of Illinois / Prof Emerita, United States
  9. María del Rosario Acosta , University of California Riverside , United States
  10. Mojisola Adebayo, Lecturer, Queen Mary, University of London, UK
  11. Elena Agudio, curator, art historian, Germany
  12. Arnika Ahldag, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi , India
  13. Mounira Al Solh, Lebanese Artist , Netherlands
  14. Nadje Al-Ali, Professor of Anthropology and Middle East Studies, Brown University, United States
  15. Antonia Alampi, Artistic Co-Director, SAVVY Contemporary, Germany
  16. Mehdi Alioua, Sociologist, International University of Rabat (UIR), Morocco
  17. Heba Y. Amin, Artist, Germany
  18. Hila Amit, Writer, Germany
  19. Evelyn Annuss, Professor of Gender Studies, University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, Austria
  20. Arjun Appadurai, The Hertie School and New York University, Germany
  21. Iasmin Omar Ata, Graphic novelist, United States
  22. Danielle Aubert, Wayne State University, United States
  23. Ariella Azoulay, Brown University, United States
  24. Annie Baker, Playwright and Associate Professor, the University of Texas at Austin, United States
  25. Viviane Baladi, Mathematician, CNRS, France
  26. Alex Baladi, Comic book artist, Switzerland
  27. Lynhan Balatbat-Helbock , SAVVY Contemporary , Germany
  28. Etienne Balibar, Department of French & Institute for Comparative Literature and Society, Columbia University, United States
  29. Nicolas Bancel, University of Lausanne, Switzerland
  30. Sindre Bangstad, Research Professor KIFO (Institute For Church, Religion And Worldview Research, NO
  31. Kass Banning, University of Toronto, Professor, Canada
  32. Edwige Baron, Project Manager, Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, Germany
  33. Yto Barrada, Artist, United States
  34. Taysir Batniji, Visual artist, France
  35. Ian Baucom, University of Virginia, United States
  36. Jean-François Bayart, IHEID (Genève), Suisse
  37. Arnaud Beauville, Professor emeritus, Université Côte d’Azur, France
  38. Joel Beinin, Donald J McLachlan Professor of History, Emeritus, Stanford University, United States
  39. Habib Bel Hedi, Producer, Tunisia
  40. Joachim Ben Yakoub, Ghent University, Belgium
  41. Roberto Beneduce, University of Turin, Professor of Cultural Anthropology, Dept. of Cultures, Politics, and Society, Italy
  42. Ruha Benjamin, Princeton University, United States
  43. Hourya Benthouami , Université de Toulouse , France
  44. Lauren Berlant, University of Chicago , USA
  45. Florence Bernault, Centre d’Histoire, Sciences Po, France
  46. Susan Bernofsky, Associate Professor of Writing & Director, Literary Translation at Columbia, School of the Arts, Columbia University, United States
  47. Omar Berrada, Writer and Curator, Morocco
  48. Bjørn Enge Bertelsen, Dept. of social anthropology, University of Bergen, Norway
  49. Jess Bier, Assistant Professor of Urban Sociology, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  50. Yahya Birt, University of Leeds, United Kingdom
  51. Susan Blackwell, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands
  52. Pascal Blanchard, Groupe recherche Achac (Paris) et LCP CNRS, France
  53. Nicholas Blincoe, Writer, United Kingdom
  54. Gilles Boetsch, CNRS, France
  55. Claudia Bosse, artist, choreographer, artistic director theatercombinat, Österreich
  56. Stefanie Böttcher, Director Kunsthalle Mainz, Germany
  57. Charles Bottex, Retraité , Canada
  58. Hemley Boum, Writer, France
  59. Daniel Boyarin, Taubman Professor of Talmudic Culture, United States
  60. Robert Boyce, London School of Economis and Political Science, United Kingdom
  61. Brian Boyd, Columbia University, United States
  62. Sarah Bracke, Professor of Sociology, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
  63. Anouar Brahem, Composer, Tunisia
  64. Rony Brauman, Physician, writer, France
  65. Candice Breitz, Hochschule für Bildende Künste Braunschweig, Germany
  66. Marie Brennan, University of South Australia, Australia
  67. Timothy Brennan, University of Minnesota, United States
  68. Haim Bresheeth, SOAS, London, United Kingdom
  69. Wendy Brown, University of California, Berkeley, United States
  70. Judith Butler, Maxine Elliot Professor of Comparative Literature and Critical Theory, University of California, Berkeley, United States
  71. Alexandre Capitaine, Writer, France
  72. Ana Casares, Escritora. Editora. Universidad Nacional de Córdoba. Unversidad Nacional de Jujuy. Argentina, Argentina
  73. James Chandler, Univerisity of Chicago, U.S.
  74. Julie Chateauvert, School of social Innovation, St-Paul University, Canada
  75. Zahid Chaudhary, Princeton University, United States
  76. Hannah Chazin, Columbia University, United States
  77. Usuf Chikte, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa
  78. Noam Chomsky, Professor Emeritus at MIT, Laureate Professor of Linguistics, Agnese Nelms Haury Chair University of Arizona, United States
  79. Barriere Christine , Headmaster, France
  80. Andrés Claro, Universidad de Chile, Chile
  81. Véronique Clette-Gakuba, Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgique
  82. Yinon Cohen, Sociology, Columbia University, United States
  83. Steven Cohen, Artist, France
  84. Juan Cole, University of Michigan, United States
  85. Elliott Colla, Georgetown University , United States
  86. Imraan Coovadia, University of Cape Town, South Africa
  87. Eli Cortiñas, Visual artist, Germany
  88. Molly Crabapple, artist and writer, United States
  89. Carolina Crespo, CONICET-INAPL- UBA, Argentina
  90. Warren Crichlow, York University, Toronto, Canada
  91. Jacopo Crivelli Visconti, curator, Brazil
  92. Robin Huw Crompton, Hon. Professor, Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease and School of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology, University of Liverpool, United Kingdom
  93. Ayça Çubukçu, Asssociate Professor, Co-Director, LSE Human Rights, London School of Economics and Political Science, United Kindgdom
  94. Iftikhar Dadi, Cornell University, United States
  95. Patricia Dailey, Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature, Columbia University, United States
  96. Leyla Dakhli, CNRS, Centre Marc Bloch, Allemagne
  97. Luis Dapelo, translator, France
  98. Chandler Davis, Professor of Mathematics, University of Toronto, Canada
  99. Sonia Dayan-Herzbrun, Sociologist, Emeritus Professor at the University of Paris Diderot, France
  100. Université libre de Bruxelles de Vries, Director Weserburg Museum for Modern Art, Germany
  101. Tj Demos, University of California, Santa Cruz / Professor, United States
  102. Manthia Diawara, University Professor, New York University, United States
  103. James Dickins, University of Leeds, United Kingdom
  104. Laurence Dreyfus, Professor Emeritus, University of Oxford, FBA, United Kingdom
  105. Madhusree Dutta, Artistic Director Akademie der Künste der Welt, Köln, Germany
  106. Ronit Eden, Curator, Netherlands
  107. Ben Ehrenreich, Writer, United States
  108. Anna Ehrenstein, visual artist, Germany
  109. Paul Eid, Professor, dept. of sociology, Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada
  110. Galit Eilat, Curator, writer, The Netherlands
  111. Ivar Ekeland, Professor Emeritus and Former President, the University of Paris-Dauphine, France
  112. Yara El-Ghadban, Anthropologist and novelist, Canada
  113. David Eng, University of Pennsylvania, United States
  114. Farid Esack, Professor, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
  115. Arturo Escobar, Professor of Anthropology Emeritus, University of North Carlina, Chapel Hill, United States
  116. Maria J. Esteban, Mathematician, director of research at CNRS, France
  117. Iolanda Évora, University of Lisbon, Portugal
  118. Reem Fadda, Curator , Palestine
  119. Mohammad Fadel, University of Toronto Faculty of Law, Canada
  120. Richard Falk, Professor of International Law, Emeritus, Princeton University, United States
  121. Emmanuel Farjoun, Mathematics Department, Hebrew University, Israel
  122. Leila Farsakh, Associate Professor and Chair, Political Science Department, University of Massachusetts Boston, United States
  123. Aslam Fataar, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
  124. Gary Fields, University of California, San Diego, United States
  125. Jonathan Flatley, Wayne State University, United States
  126. Marilyn Frankenstein, University of Massachusetts/Boston (retired), United States
  127. Gideon Freudenthal, Professor emeritus, Tel-Aviv University, Israel
  128. Will Fredo Furtado, artist writer, Germany
  129. Jeanne Marie Gagnebin, Catholic Pontifical University in São Paulo, Prof.f.sil, Brazil
  130. Verónica Gago, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina
  131. Zeynep Gambetti, Political theorist, Turkey
  132. Debjani Ganguly, Professor of English, University of Virginia, USA
  133. Keya Ganguly, Professor, Cultural Studies & Comparative Literature, U of Minnesota, United States
  134. Luis-Manuel Garcia, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom
  135. Flavia Gasetua, Citca-CONICET, Argentina
  136. Irene Gendzier, Prof. Emeritus, Boston University, United States
  137. Peter Geschiere, Emeritus Professor for the anthropology of Africa, University of Amsterdam / Leiden University, Netherlands
  138. Bishnupriya Ghosh, University of California, Santa Barbara, United States
  139. Natasha Ginwala , Curator and Writer, Germany
  140. Carlo Ginzburg, UCLA/Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa, Italy
  141. Charles Glass, Author and journalist, England
  142. Amos Goldberg, Holocaust history professor, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
  143. David Theo Goldberg, University of California, Irvine, USA, USA
  144. Catherine Goldstein, CNRS, IMJ-PRG, France
  145. Priyamvada Gopal, Cambridge University, United Kingdom
  146. Arunima Gopinath, Jawaharlal Nehru University/ Professor, India
  147. Neve Gordon, Queen Mary University of London, United Kingdom
  148. Michael Götting, Writer, Germany
  149. Daragh Grant, University of Chicago, United States
  150. Erella Grassiani, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  151. Herman Gray, University of California, Santa Cruz, United States
  152. Lev Grinberg, Ben Gurion University, Israel
  153. Raphaël Grisey, Artist, Germany
  154. Francio Guadeloupe, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  155. Nacira Guénif, Professor of sociology and anthropology at University Paris 8 Vincennes – Saint- Denis, France
  156. Mahmoud Guettat, Ethnomusicologist, Professor Emeritus, University of Tunis, Tunisia
  157. Henriette Gunkel, Professor of Media Studies, Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany
  158. Farid Hafez, University of Salzburg, Austria
  159. Ghassan Hage, University of Melbourne, Australia
  160. Wael Hallaq, Columbia University, United States
  161. Ross Hamilton, Professor, Barnard College, Columbia University, United States
  162. Yael Harlap, University of Bergen, Norway
  163. Michael Harris, Professor of Mathematics, Columbia University and Université Paris-Diderot, United States
  164. Michelle Hartman, Professor, McGill University, Canada
  165. Salah Hassan, Professor, Cornell University, USA
  166. Wail Hassan, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, United States
  167. Abe Hayeem, Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), Chair of Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine, United Kingdom
  168. Eric Hazan, Editor, France
  169. Nanna Heidenreich, media/cultural studies scholar and curator, Germany
  170. Ethan Heitner, Cartoonist and visual artist, United States
  171. Charles Heller, Co-director of the Forensic Oceanography project, Goldsmiths, University of London, United Kingdom
  172. Barry Heselwood, Honorary Senior Lecturer, University of Leeds, UK, United Kingdom
  173. Shir Hever, Scholar, journalist, Germany
  174. Béatrice Hibou, CNRS – SciencesPo, France
  175. Alcinda Honwana, London School of Economics and Political Science, United Kingdom
  176. Laura Horelli, Visual artist and filmmaker, Germany
  177. Nancy Rose Hunt, Universities of Florida | Michigan, United States
  178. Hannah Hurtzig, Mobile academy Berlin / theatre maker, Germany
  179. Simon Inou, Journalist, Austria
  180. Jean E. Jackson, Professor of Anthropology Emerita, MIT, United States
  181. Sean Jacobs, The New School, United States
  182. Stine Marie Jacobsen, Artist, Germany
  183. Shamil Jeppie, University of Cape Town, South Africa
  184. Ivana Jofre, Conicet, Argentina
  185. Emily Jones, Lecturer in Law, University of Essex, United Kingdom
  186. Rebecca Jordan-Young, Professor, Barnard College, United States
  187. Ashraf Kagee, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
  188. Tom Kalin, Columbia University School of the Arts, Film, United States
  189. Louis Kampf, Professor of Literature and Women’s Studies, Emeritus, MIT, United States
  190. Sibel Karadag, Koc University, Turkey
  191. Nina Katchadourian, New York University, United States/Germany
  192. Suvir Kaul, A M Rosenthal Professor, United States
  193. David Kazanjian, University of Pennsylvania, United States
  194. Michael Keith, University of Oxford, United Kingdom
  195. Enora Keller, Theater Author & Director, Perfomer, Artist, France
  196. Assaf Kfoury, Computer Science Department, Boston University, United States
  197. Rashid Khalidi, Columbia University, United States
  198. Laleh Khalili, Queen Mary University of London, United Kingdom
  199. Ranjana Khanna, Duke University , United States
  200. Sami Khatib, Professor of Visual Arts, American University in Cairo, Egypt
  201. Dina Khoury, Professor of History, George Washington University, USA, United States
  202. Ana Kiffer, Ponficia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro, PUC-Rio, BRAZIL
  203. Nadia Yala Kisukidi, Philosopher, Associate Professor at Paris 8 Vincennes St Denis / France, France
  204. Séverine Kodjo-Grandvaux, Philosopher, France
  205. Lina Louisa Krämer, Kunsthalle Mainz, Germany, Germany
  206. Kobi Kremnitzer, University of Oxford, England
  207. Nancy Kricorian, Writer, United States
  208. Phil Kutzko, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics, University of Iowa, United States
  209. Dominique Lacombe, Syndicaliste, France
  210. Premesh Lalu, Centre for Humanities Research, University of the Western Cape, South Africa
  211. Brian Larkin, Barnard College, Columbia University, United States
  212. Vito Laterza, Associate Professor, Department of Global Development and Planning, University of Agder, Norway
  213. Maurizio Lazzarato, Writer, France
  214. Patrick Le Monnier, Sound engineer and musician, Canada
  215. Nitzan Lebovic, Lehigh University, United States
  216. Herman Lebovics, Distinguished Professor of History emeritus, Stony Brook University, United States
  217. Patricio Lepe-Carrión, Núcleo de Ciencias Sociales y Humanidades, Universidad de La Frontera, Chile
  218. Les Levidow, Open University, United Kingdom
  219. Jean-Marc Lévy-Leblond, Emeritus professor, University of Nice, France
  220. Zachary Lockman, Professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies and of History Acting Chair, Department of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies New York University, United States
  221. Ania Loomba, University of Pennsylvania, United States
  222. Ali Louati, Writer, Tunisia
  223. Geraldine Lublin, Swansea University, United Kingdom
  224. John MacKay, Yale University, United States
  225. Revital Madar, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, France
  226. Ewa Majewska, ICI Berlin (affiliated fellow), Poland
  227. Antje Majewski, Artist, Professor for painting at Muthesius Kunsthochschule Kiel, Germany
  228. Fouad Makki, Development Sociology, Cornell University, United States
  229. Dominique Malaquais, CNRS, France
  230. Mahmood Mamdani, Columbia University, United States
  231. Firoze Manji, Daraja Press, Canada
  232. Sarah Marusek, University of Leeds, United Kingdom
  233. Brian Massumi, Professor (retired), Communication Department, University of Montreal, Canada
  234. Anat Matar, Tel Aviv University, Israel
  235. Florencia Mazzadi, Director of cinema, Argentina
  236. Achille Mbembe , University of the Witwatersrand, Cameroon/South Africa
  237. Alberto Medina, Professor, Columbia University, United States
  238. Monika Mehta, Binghamton University, United States
  239. Natalie Melas, Cornell University, United States
  240. Bjørn Melhus, Kunsthochschule Kassel, Germany
  241. Constanza Mendoza Sutherland, artist and researcher, Germany, Germany
  242. Dilip Menon, University of Witwatersrand , South Africa
  243. Nivedita Menon, Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, India
  244. Lena Merhej, Samandal collective, France
  245. Brinkley Messick, Professor of Anthropology, Columbia University, United States
  246. Soumaya Mestiri, Professor of political and social philosophy, University of Tunis, Tunisia
  247. Birgit Meyer, Utrecht University, Netherlands
  248. Faranak Miraftab, Professor, University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, United States
  249. Nicholas Mirzoeff, New York University, United States
  250. Timothy Mitchell, Columbia University, United States
  251. Tariq Modood, University of Bristol, United Kingdom
  252. Raul Mondragon , Comunicador, Músico , Perú
  253. Célestin Monga, Economist, University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, USA
  254. Pete Moore, Case Western Reserve University, United States
  255. Marissa J. Moorman, Associate Professor, Indiana University, United States
  256. Annelies Moors, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
  257. Clément Mouhot, Professor of mathematics, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
  258. Franz Müller, film director, Germany
  259. Abdul-Karim Mustapha, Writer/ Multitudes Journal , United States
  260. Charles NACH, Generation 90 Think Tank, Malaysia
  261. Lubna Nadvi, Senior Lecturer, School of Social Sciences, University of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa
  262. Sina Najafi, Editor-in-Chief, Cabinet Magazine, Germany & United States
  263. Arlette-Louise Ndakoze, Philosopher, writer, curator, Germany
  264. Bonaventure Ndikung, SAVVY Contemporary (Director), Germany
  265. Basile Ndjio, Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study/university of Douala, Cameroon, the Netherlands
  266. Mary Jane Nealon, Writer, United States
  267. Michael Neocosmos, Emeritus Professor in Humanities Rhodes University , South Africa
  268. Christopher Newfield, University of California, Santa Barbara, United States
  269. Alf Nilsen, University of Pretoria, South Africa
  270. Onur Suzan Nobrega, Institute of Sociology, Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany, Germany
  271. Anne Norton, University of Pennsylvania, United States
  272. John Oakes, OR Books, publisher, United States
  273. Adi Ophir, Tel Aviv University, Israel
  274. Elsa Oréal, CNRS, France
  275. Juan Orrantia, Photographer, South Africa
  276. Pablo Oyarzun, Professor, University of Chile, Chile
  277. Rose Parfitt, Kent Law School, United Kingdom
  278. Hadas Pe’ery, Tel Aviv University, Israel
  279. Peter Pelbart, Professor in Catholic Pontifical University in São Paulo, Brasil
  280. Nicola Perugini, University of Edinburgh , United Kingdom
  281. Gregory Pflugfelder, Associate Professor of Japanese History, Columbia University, United States
  282. Edgar Pieterse, African Centre for Cities, University of Cape Town, South Africa
  283. Charles Piot, Duke University, United States
  284. Alexandra Pirici , Artist, Romania
  285. Sheldon Pollock, Raghunathan Professor of Sanskrit and South Asian Studies, Columbia University, United States
  286. Megan Povey, Professor of Food Physics, United Kingdom
  287. Anjali Prabhu, Wellesley College, United States
  288. Nicola Pratt, University of Warwick, United Kingdom
  289. Nasser Rabbat, Aga Khan Professor of Architecture, MIT, United States
  290. Anandi Ramamurthy, Sheffield Hallam University , United Kingdom
  291. Norma Rantisi, Professor, Canada
  292. Roshdi Rashed, CNRS, Paris, France
  293. Marwan Rashed, Professor of Philosophy, Sorbonne University, France
  294. Carina Ray, African and African American Studies, Brandeis University, United States
  295. Bruce Robbins, Columbia University, United States
  296. François Robinet, Paris-Saclay University, France
  297. Steven Robins, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa
  298. Shira Robinson, The George Washington University, United States
  299. Mariela Rodríguez , Universidad de Buenos Aires- CONICET, Argentina
  300. Noa Roei, Assistant Professor, Department of Literary and Cultural Analysis, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  301. Jonathan Rosenhead, Emeritus Professor of Operational Research, London School of Economics, United Kingdom
  302. Andrew Ross, New York University, United States
  303. Michael Rothberg, 1939 Society Samuel Goetz Chair in Holocaust Studies, UCLA, United States
  304. E. Natalie Rothman, University of Toronto, Associate Professor of History, Canada
  305. Catherine Rottenberg, University of Nottingham, United Kingdom
  306. Renée Roukens, Creative producer, Nederland
  307. Mario Rufer, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Mexico, Mexico
  308. Teemu Ruskola, Emory University, United States
  309. Marie-Noëlle Ryan, Professor of Philosophy, Université de Moncton, Canada
  310. Vladimir Safatle, Professor, Universidade de São Paulo, Brasil
  311. Dana Sajdi, Associate Professor of History, Boston College, United States
  312. Maréme Samb Malong, Fondation MAM , Cameroun
  313. Katya Sander, Professor, Nordland School for Art & Film, Germany
  314. Peter Santos, Sociologist, Brazil
  315. Felwine Sarr, Professor of Economics, University Gaston Berger, Saint-Louis, Sénégal
  316. S. Sayyid, Professor, University of Leeds, United Kingdom
  317. James Schamus, Professor of Professional Practice, Columbia University, United States
  318. Pierre Schapira, Professor emeritus, Sorbonne University, France
  319. Nancy Scheper-Hughes, University of California, Berkeley, United States
  320. Willem Schinkel, Professor of Social Theory, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  321. Joan W. Scott, Professor Emerita, Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton NJ), United States
  322. Richard Seaford, Professor, United Kingdom
  323. Karen Seeley, Columbia University, United States
  324. Michel Seymour, Université de Montréal, Canada
  325. Andrée Sfeir-Semler, Gallery Owner, Germany
  326. Dr. Andrée Sfeir-Semler, Sfeir-Semler Gallery Owner, Germany & Lebanon
  327. Nishant Shah, ArtEZ University of the Arts, The Netherlands
  328. Sa’diyya Shaikh, Associate Professor, University of Cape Town, South Africa
  329. Kamila Shamsie, Writer, United Kingdom
  330. Wendy Shaw, Free University, Berlin/ Professor, Germany
  331. Dr. Simon Sheikh, Programme Director, MFA CUarting, Goldsmiths, University of London, Germany
  332. Todd Shepard, Johns Hopkins University, United States
  333. Marc Siegel, Scholar, Berlin, Germany
  334. Shelly Silver, Associate Professor, Columbia University, United States
  335. Adam Sitze, Amherst College, United States
  336. Eyal Sivan, Filmmaker and Professor, Head of Research in Cinema, Amsterdam University of the Arts, Netherlands
  337. Leila Slimani, Writer, France
  338. John Smith, Artist filmmaker, United Kingdom
  339. George Smith, Professor emeritus of Biological Sciences, University of Missouri; Nobel laureate in Chemistry 2018, United States
  340. Rasha Soliman, University of Leeds, United Kingdom
  341. Ania Soliman, Artist, France
  342. Sylvain Sorin, Professor of mathematics, France
  343. Michael Sorkin, Urbanist, Distinghished Professor, CUNY, United States
  344. Ahdaf Soueif, Writer, Egypt
  345. Sid Ahmed Soussi, Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada
  346. Chantal Spitz, Tahitian writer, French Polynesia
  347. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, University Professor in the Humanities, Columbia University, United States
  348. Bettina Steinbrügge, Kunstverein in Hamburg, Director, Germany
  349. Raid M. Suleiman, Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, United States
  350. Zohreh T. Sullivan, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, United States
  351. Kaushik Sunder Rajan, University of Chicago, United States
  352. Leslie Swartz, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
  353. Simona Taliani, University of Turin, Dep. of Cultures, Politics and Society, Italy
  354. Michael Thaddeus, Columbia University, United States
  355. Madeleine Thien, Writer, Canada
  356. Lembe Tiky, University of Connecticut , United States
  357. Anya Topolski, Nijmegen University, The Netherlands
  358. Maryse Tripier, Sociologist, University of Paris Diderot, France
  359. Lou Turner, Clinical Assistant Professor, Dept. of Urban & Regional Planning, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, United States
  360. Gray Tuttle, Leila Hadley Luce Professor of Modern Tibet, Columbia University, United States
  361. Beata Umubyeyi, Writer, France
  362. Eli Valley, Comic Artist, United States
  363. Salim Vally, Professor, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
  364. Peter Van Der Veer, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Göttingen, Germany
  365. Rogier van Reekum, Assistant Professor, The Netherlands
  366. Pierre Vanhove, Physicist, Commissariat à l’énergie Atomique, France
  367. Zachary Vaupen, artist and writer, United States
  368. Françoise Vergès, Writer, Antiracist Decolonial Feminist, France
  369. Claude Vergès, Professor of Medical Ethics University of Panama, Panama
  370. Guido Veronese, University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy
  371. Tonje Vold, Oslo Metropolitan University, Norge
  372. Elisa von Joeden-Forgey, Stockton University, USA
  373. Elisa von Joeden-Forgey, Associate Professor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Stockton University, United States
  374. Hans von Sponeck, UN Assistant Secretary-General (ret.), Germany
  375. Dror Warschawski, Biophysics, UQAM, Montréal, Canada, Canada
  376. Joanna Warsza, Curator / Konstfack University of Arts , Germany
  377. Silja Weber, Germanic Languages, Columbia University, United States
  378. Lisa Wedeen, Professor, The University of Chicago, United States
  379. Eyal Weizman, Professor, Goldsmith’s, University of London, United Kingdom
  380. Robert Wintemute, Professor of Human Rights Law, King’s College London, England, United Kingdom
  381. Nicole Wolf, Goldsmiths, University of London, United Kingdom/Germany
  382. Natalie Zemon Davis, Professor of History, University of Toronto, Canada
  383. Linda M. G. Zerilli, Charles E. Merriam Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science, University of Chicago, USA
  384. Lew Zipin, University of South Australia, Australia


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https://www.aaup.org/news/aaup-announces-2020-awards-outstanding-faculty-activists 


AAUP Announces 2020 Awards for Outstanding Faculty Activists

The AAUP is proud to announce the recipients of its 2020 awards.

Georgina M. Smith Award

Rabab Ibrahim Abdulhadi of San Francisco State University, Catherine Moran of the University of New Hampshire, and Anne Sisson Runyan of the University of Cincinnati are this year’s recipients of the AAUP’s Georgina M. Smith Award, which is given to a person or persons who provided exceptional leadership in a given year in improving the status of academic women or in academic collective bargaining and through that work improved the profession in general. The academic and community work of these three women encompasses important aspects of academic labor struggles--the struggle for fair treatment, the struggle to be recognized, and the struggle to be included in institutional visions of progress.

Rabab Ibrahim Abdulhadi exemplifies courage, persistence, political foresight, and concern for human rights, including union organizing, gender and sexual justice, in her scholarship, teaching, public advocacy, and collaboration with a diverse group of academic, labor, and community organizations. Her commitment to global scholarship that builds mutual understanding is evident in the collaborations she has initiated. As a director of the Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Studies Program she brings together scholars, activists, academics, and organizers to create justice-centered knowledge, build broad-based coalitions, and advance the agenda for social change in Palestine, the United States, and internationally. Her leadership transcends the division between scholarship and activism that encumbers traditional university life.

 

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  https://www.algemeiner.com/2019/07/11/eighty-groups-protest-california-professors-use-of-official-department-facebook-page-to-spread-anti-israel-propaganda/

JULY 11, 2019 4:08 PM16

Eighty Groups Protest California Professor’s Use of Official Department Facebook Page to Spread Anti-Israel Propaganda

by Benjamin Kerstein

A petition from dozens of organizations large and small has been sent to the chancellor of California State University system protesting a professor’s use of a department’s official Facebook page to spread anti-Israel propaganda.

Rabab Ibrahim Abdulhadi — the director and senior scholar at the Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Studies (AMED) department at San Francisco State University (SFSU) — posted an image of a large banner saying, “Zionism = Racism,” and, “Boycott! Divest! Sanction!”


This is not the first time Abdulhadi has exploited the Facebook page to spread such sentiments. Last year, she wrote a lengthy letter bashing Zionism, Jewish students and the Jewish campus organization Hillel after President Leslie E. Wong said, “Zionists are welcome on our campus.”

In a response notable for its vehemence, Abdulhadi posted, “I consider the statement below from President Wong, welcoming Zionists to campus, equating Jewishness with Zionism, and giving Hillel ownership of campus Jewishness, to be a declaration of war against Arabs, Muslims, Palestinians and all those who are committed to an indivisible sense of justice on and off campus.”

She signed the statement with her official titles, all of which cited her positions of authority at SFSU.

Despite a complaint from pro-Israel and Jewish advocacy groups, the post was never taken down.

In response to Abdulhadi’s latest missive, 80 organizations led by pro-Israel campus group AMCHA wrote to California State University Chancellor Timothy White that it and the other signatories were “deeply concerned about the unlawful use of the name of California State University or any of its campuses to promulgate anti-Zionist propaganda and promote a boycott of Israel.”

“While Prof. Abdulhadi has the right to express religious, ethnic, or political hatred on her personal platform,” the letter said, “it is a flagrant breach of academic conduct for her to use her administrative position and the Facebook page bearing her academic unit’s logo — which includes the name ‘San Francisco State University’ — to do so.”

“Moreover, unless the CSU Trustees provided their permission to use the University’s name in this way, Abdulhadi’s posting appears to be a clear violation of California Education Code section 89005.5,” the signatories pointed out.

The code in question prohibits the use of the names of the universities in question for “propaganda, advertising, or promotional activity of any kind” or “the support, endorsement, advancement” of a “boycott or of any political … movement, activity, or program.” A violation is considered a misdemeanor.

“Prof. Abdulhadi’s flagrant and unlawful conduct requires your immediate attention, and we look forward to hearing how you will address this matter,” the letter concluded.

Among the signatories were the AMCHA Initiative, the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa (JIMENA), the Simon Wiesenthal Center, StandWithUs, Students Supporting Israel and the Zionist Organization of America.  

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https://www.jadaliyya.com/Details/40024 



Open Letter to the City of Dortmund

By : Jadaliyya Reports  

We write to express our shock and disappointment with the City of Dortmund, for rescinding the Nelly Sachs Award for Literature from Kamila Shamsie because of her commitment to the nonviolent Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian rights.

The Nelly Sachs Prize seeks to promote tolerance and reconciliation across cultures. Since Kamila Shamsie not only engages these themes directly in her fiction, but also exhorts the values of justice and fairness in her lectures and public writings, it is a sign of dark times that the City of Dortmund is punishing a writer for her support and advocacy of human rights.

While the German Bundestad passed a motion in May 2019 labeling the BDS movement anti-Semitic, this judgment has not only been protested by Israeli and Jewish academics, but three German courts have since ruled in favor of the right to boycott. The most recent decision comes from the Administrative Court of Cologne, delivered on September 13, 2019, and with reference to the Bundestad motion stating that such “motions alone cannot justify, from any legal perspective, the restriction of an existing legal right.” Moreover, forty Jewish groups released a letter last year condemning the conflation of anti-Semitism with opposition to Israel’s policies and occupation. In this letter they concluded that such a conflation “undermines both the Palestinian struggle for freedom, justice and equality and the global struggle against antisemitism. It also serves to shield Israel from being held accountable to universal standards of human rights and international law.”

Given this background, the decision to rescind the Nelly Sachs Award for Literature from Kamila Shamsie is a disturbing one, and directly contravenes the mission of the prize itself. More disturbing is the City of Dortmund’s refusal to make public Kamila Shamsie’s response to its decision.  Because she deserves to be heard in her own defense, we include that powerful response here:

“In the just-concluded Israeli elections, Benjamin Netanyahu announced plans to annex up to one third of the West Bank, in contravention of international law, and his political opponent Benny Gantz’s objection to this was that Netanyahu had stolen his idea; this closely followed the killing of two Palestinian teenagers by Israeli forces - which was condemned as ‘appalling’ by the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process. In this political context, the jury of the Nelly Sachs prize has chosen to withdraw the award from me on the basis of my support for a non-violent campaign to bring pressure on the Israeli government. It is a matter of great sadness to me that a jury should bow to pressure and withdraw a prize from a writer who is exercising her freedom of conscience and freedom of expression; and it is a matter of outrage that the BDS movement (modeled on the South African boycott) that campaigns against the government of Israel for its acts of discrimination and brutality against Palestinians should be held up as something shameful and unjust.”

We Call upon The City of Dortmund, as a steward of this important literary prize, to reverse its decision and so to fulfill the mandate of the Nelly Sachs award by demonstrating its commitment to a writer’s freedom of conscience and expression.

Lila Abu-Lughod, Columbia University Walid Afifi, University of California, Santa Barbara Huma Ahmed-Ghosh, San Diego State University Anthony Alessandrini, City University of New York, USA Dina Al-Kassim, University of British Columbia Anjali Arondekar, University of California, Santa Cruz Colleen Asper, Princeton University Ariella Azoulay, Brown University Sandra Babcock, Cornell Law School Ben C. Baer, Princeton University Paola Bacchetta, University of California, Berkeley Bobby Banerjee. Cass Business School M. Theresa Basile, United Methodists' Holy Land Task Force Wendy Belcher, Princeton University Nina Berman, Columbia University Mark Beissinger, Princeton University Emanuela Bianchi, New York University Purnima Bose, Indiana University Elie Bou-Zeid, Princeton University Brian Boyd, Columbia University Renate Bridenthal, Emerita, City University of New York, Brooklyn College Carole H Browner, University of California, Los Angeles Wendy Brown, University of California, Berkeley Susan Buck-Morss, City University of New York Graduate Center Judith Butler, University of California, Berkeley Eduardo Cadava, Princeton University Mrinalini Chakravorty, University of Virginia Iain Chalmers, James Lind Library James Chandler, University of Chicago Zahid R. Chaudhary, Princeton University Eva Cherniavsky, University of Washington Eric Cheyfitz, Cornell University Kirk Cheyfitz, Independent Zinzi Clemmons, Occidental College Kevin Coleman, University of Toronto Laurence Cox, National University of Ireland, Maynooth Elyse Crystall, Univ of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Patricia Dailey, Columbia University Elizabeth DeLoughrey, University of California, Los Angeles Gina Dent, University of California, Santa Cruz Susana Draper, Princeton University Hester Eisenstein, City University of New York Khaled Abou El Fadl, University of California, Los Angeles Samera Esmeir, University of California, Berkeley Daniel Garber, Princeton University Richard Falk, Emeritus, Princeton University Christiane Fellbaum, Princeton University Margaret Ferguson, University of California, Davis Gary Fields, University of California San Diego Manzar Foroohar, California Polytechnic State University Nancy Gallagher, University of California, Santa Barbara Bishnupriya Ghosh, University of California, Santa Barbara Daniella Gitlin, New York University Tao Goffe, Cornell University Van Gosse, Franklin & Marshall College Yogita Goyal, University of California, Los Angeles Molly Greene, Princeton University Inderpal Grewal, Yale University Larry Gross, University of Southern California Sarah Gualtieri, University of Southern California Joshua Guild, Princeton University Gerry Hale, University of California, Los Angeles Sarah Hamerman, Princeton University Gillian Hart, University of California, Berkeley Laurie Kain Hart, University of California, Los Angeles Clare Hemmings, London School of Economics Sang Hea Kil, San Jose State University Aleksandar Hemon, Princeton University Gail Hershatter, University of California, Santa Cruz Neil Hertz, Cornell University Charles Hirschkind, University of California, Berkeley Ivan Huber, Emeritus, Fairleigh Dickinson University Suad Joseph, University of California, Davis Persis Karim, San Francisco State University Zayn Kassam, Pomona College Suvir Kaul, University of Pennsylvania David Kazanjian, University of Pennsylvania Jennifer Kelly, University of California, Santa Cruz Haider Riaz Khan, University of Waterloo David Klein, California State University Northridge Dennis Kortheuer, Emeritus, California State University, Long Beach Amanda Lagji, Pitzer College Christina León, Princeton University Ross Lerner, Occidental College Mark LeVine, University of California, Irvine Elliott Lieb, Princeton University Math and Physics Ralph Litzinger, Duke University Zifeng Liu, Cornell University Ania Loomba University of Pennsylvania Jennifer Loewenstein, Palestine Chronicle Wahneema Lubiano, Duke University Dana Luciano, Rutgers University Nidhi Mahajan, University of California- Santa Cruz Neepa Majumdar, University of Pittsburgh John Makhlouf, Independent Lori Marso, Union College Bill Martin, Al-Quds Bard College Cecelia McCall, Emerita, Baruch College, Monika Mehta, Binghamton University Natalie Melas, Cornell University Joseph Margulies, Cornell University Anne McClintock, Princeton University V. Mitch McEwen, Princeton University Zia Mian, Princeton University Warren Montag, Occidental College Diane Morrison, Emerita, University of Washington Nasser Mufti, University of Illinois at Chicago Ahlam Muhtaseb, California State University, San Bernardino Barbara Nagel, Princeton University Jamal Nassar, California State University San Bernardino Diane M. Nelson, Duke University Leila Neti, Occidental College Ilhan Niaz, Quaid I Azam University Rob Nixon, Princeton University Adi Ophir, Emeritus, Tel Aviv University Goldie Osuri, University of Warwick David Palumbo-Liu, Stanford University Geeta Patel University of Virginia Charles Piot, Duke University Ismail Poonawala, University of California, Los Angeles Margaret Power, Illinois Institute of Technology Jyoti Puri, Simmons University James Quesada, San Francisco State University Nasrin Rahimieh, University of California, Irvine Shahla Razavi, Mt. San Jacinto College Rush Rehm, Stanford University Henry Reichman, Emeritus, California State University, East Bay Craig Reinarman, University of California, Santa Cruz Russell Rickford, Cornell University William I. Robinson, University of California Stephen Roddy, University of San Francisco Lisa Rofel, University of California, Santa Cruz Jordy Rosenberg, University of Massachusetts, Amherst Catherine Rottenberg, University of Nottingham Parama Roy, University of California, Davis Srirupa Roy, Professor, University of Göttingen Jeffrey Sacks, University of California, Riverside Vida Samiian, University of California, Los Angeles Paul Sawyer, Cornell University Stuart Schaar, Emeritus, City University of New York, Brooklyn College Ellen Schrecker, Emerita, Yeshiva University, Joan W. Scott, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton NJ Andrea Scrima, Writer, Berlin Sherene Seikaly, University of California, Santa Barbara Mark Selden, Emeritus, State University of New York, Binghamton Pamela Selwyn, translator, Berlin Meheli Sen, Rutgers University Eldar Shafir, Princeton University Stephen Sheehi, College of William & Mary Todd Shepard, Johns Hopkins University David Simpson, University of California, Davis Elin Slavick, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill Judith Stevenson, California State University, Long Beach Rei Terada, University of California, Irvine Baki Tezcan, University of California, Davis Daniel Tiffany, University of Southern California Saadia Toor, City University of New York Alberto Toscano, Goldsmiths, University of London Devra Anne Weber, Emerita, University of California, Riverside Elizabeth Weed, Brown University Max Weiss, Princeton University Robyn Wiegman, Duke University Howard Winant, University of California, Santa Barbara Joseph Winters, Duke University Tamsen Wolff, Princeton University Maria Woltjen, Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights Jenny Xie, Princeton University Nadine Zubair, University of East Anglia 

====================================================



https://palestine-legal.squarespace.com/s/Volk-v-CSU-Final-Signed-Settlement.pdf

Volk v. Board of Trustees: Settlement Agreement
1. On Wednesday, March 20, 2019, the parties will jointly submit to the Court this Settlement Agreement and Stipulated Dismissal with Prejudice.
2. As part of the settlement between the parties, California State University ("CSU") will agree to issue a statement focused on Charles Volk and Liam Kern v. Board of Trustees of California State University and Mandel, et al. v. Board of Trustees of California State University, et al. In the statement, CSU will express its commitment to safeguarding the rights of all members of the San Francisco State University ("SFSU") community, including Jews, to practice their religion, to express their legally protected viewpoints, including Zionist and pro-Israel viewpoints, and to participate in university-sponsored activities free from discrimination based on any protected status, including their Jewish faith. SFSU will commit that, going forward, its implementation of CSU antidiscrimination policy and procedure shall be guided by lessons learned in connection with the Mayor Barkat event and the Know Your Rights Fair; and CSU will protect SFSU students' right to be free from discrimination in CSU programs or activities based on any protected status, including the Jewish faith. CSU will include in its statement that it understands that, for many Jews, Zionism is an important part of their identity. (All conduct remains subject to university policy and applicable federal and state law.)
3. As part of the settlement between the parties, SFSU will reaffirm its commitment to enforcing all applicable university policy, including CSU Executive Orders 1096, 1097 and 1098 (and any successor executive orders), and SF State University Executive Directive 89-13 (and any successor directive or policy), in furtherance of the rights discussed herein.
4. As part of the settlement between the parties, CSU will issue a statement that persons of all faiths, ethnicities, national origins, and viewpoints, including but not limited to Jews, Israelis, and Zionists, are welcome on the SFSU campus. (All conduct remains subject to university policy and applicable federal and state law.)
5. CSU is in the process of seeking to hire a Coordinator of Jewish Student Life within the Division of Equity & Community Inclusion who will, among other responsibilities, address issues concerning Jewish students' experience, engagement and success at SFSU. This Coordinator will also work to address issues of anti-Semitism on the SFSU campus through a variety of programming efforts. CSU will consult with the Jewish Studies Department about who to hire as Coordinator of Jewish Student Life. CSU will make all reasonable efforts to fill this position within 90 days of a settlement agreement, and the position will be preserved and funded for a minimum of 48 months.
6. As part of the settlement between the parties, SFSU will retain an independent, external consultant (i) to assess SFSU's procedures for enforcement of applicable CSU system-wide antidiscrimination policies and student code of conduct; (ii) to assess SFSU's campus policy and procedures regarding time, place and manner; and (iii) to make non-binding recommendations about best practices in these respects. SFSU will share with plaintiffs (through their counsel) and make publicly available the consultant's recommendations and the campus's response to the recommendations (subject to any privacy or confidentiality restrictions imposed by law). Further, SFSU will conduct a program review of work conducted by the new Coordinator for Jewish Student Life on an annual basis for 48 months. SFSU will share with plaintiffs (through their counsel) and make publicly available the findings of this program review.
7. As part of the settlement between the parties, SFSU will, for a period of 24 months, assign all complaints of religious discrimination under either EO 1096 or EO 1097 to an independent, outside investigator for investigation. During this time period, SFSU will take appropriate steps to ensure that internal investigators and appropriate administrators receive updated training on issues related to discrimination based on religion informed by current best practices, the recommendations of the consultant referenced in paragraph 6, and the knowledge and expertise of the Coordinator of Jewish Student Life.
8. As part of the settlement between the parties, SFSU will dedicate suitable office space for the Coordinator of Jewish Student Life. The Division of Equity & Community Inclusion will employ a variety of modalities (including web-based) to notify the SFSU community of this new position and the location of the Coordinator's office.
9. As part of the settlement between the parties, SFSU will allocate an additional $200,000 to support educational outreach efforts to promote viewpoint diversity (including but not limited to pro-Israel or Zionist viewpoints) and inclusion and equity on the basis of religious identity (including but not limited to Jewish religious identity); and SFSU will report
how such funds were invested and any outcomes/assessment data, as well.
10. As part of the settlement between the parties, each party would bear its own fees and costs. CSU would make a $36,000 contribution toward plaintiffs' litigation expenses.
11. As part of the settlement between the parties, CSU will make reasonable efforts to create, within 24 months, a more formalized and centralized campus programming system for campus events, which would attempt to prevent the sorts of problems that arose with the Mayor Barkat and Know Your Rights Fair events.
12. As part of the settlement between the parties, CSU will engage in student shared governance process about allocating space on the SFSU campus for a mural to be installed under the oversight of the Division of Equity & Community Inclusion, paid for by the University, that will be designed by student groups of differing viewpoints on the issues that are the subject of this litigation to be agreed by the parties (including but not limited to Jewish, pro-Israel, and/or Zionist student groups, should such student groups elect to participate in the process).
13. As a part of the settlement between the parties, Plaintiffs will dismiss with prejudice all claims for relief and causes of action in Mandel v. Board of Trustees and Volk v. Board of Trustees.

By: Ross M. Kramer   Winston & Strawn, LLP    Attorney for Plaintiffs Charles Volk and Liam Kern

Bradley S. Phillips   Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP    Attorney for Defendant  Board of Trustees of the California State University

Date:
3/20/2019  

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