ADL Deeply Concerned About Biased Course Denying Jewish History and Self-Determination

San Francisco, CA, September 20, 2016 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today expressed deep concern that a University of California at Berkeley reinstated course “Palestine: A Settler Colonial Analysis” presents students with blatantly biased views towards Zionism and Israel as fact. As the title implies, the class thesis and much of its syllabus is built on the foundation of the denial of the Jewish connection to the Land of Israel and the attempt to negate the right of Jews, like any other people, to assert their self-determination. 

Seth Brysk, ADL Central Pacific Regional Director, issued the following statement:

We hope that University of California students, as engaged members of the intellectual community, will exercise critical thinking to understand and reject the extreme, anti-Israel bias the course content reflects.  Attempts to deny the Jewish people’s connection to Israel and the right to self-determination are modern expressions of anti-Semitism.

ADL reiterates its commitment to both meet the challenge posed by anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry and protect the constitutional right to free expression and the principles of academic freedom. Accordingly, we are using our voice to draw attention to the course’s deficiencies and extreme bias. 

As Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis wisely said, ‘If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence.’ ADL urges fair-minded members of the UC Berkeley community to reject the biased, ahistorical, and illogical course.

ADL will continue to monitor the course closely.

ADL supported the recently passed UC Regents Principles Against Intolerance which states both that, “Anti-Semitism, anti-Semitic forms of anti-Zionism and other forms of discrimination have no place at the University of California” and that “Freedom of expression and freedom of inquiry are paramount in a public research university and form the bedrock on which our mission of discovery is founded.”

More from this Section