New York Post: California coffee shop fires employees after they blocked a Jewish customer from using a bathroom while making anti-Israel remarks

Three employees at a California coffee shop who were seen blocking a Jewish woman from using the bathroom while making anti-Israel comments in a now-viral video are now out of a java job.

Amy and Chris Hillyard, the owners of Farley’s East in Oakland, posted on social media Sunday that the employees seen on the video berating the customer “was shocking and unacceptable” and they are now jobless due to their actions.

“We do not tolerate any behavior at Farley’s that makes people feel unwelcome or unsafe. Because this act was not aligned with our values, the employees involved in the incident are no longer employed by Farley’s,” the Hillyards posted on the shop’s social media.

“Events like these strike fear in the Jewish community and perpetuate the rise of anti-Semitism in our community and around the world.”

“We can and must do better — and this starts with us creating a safe space for anyone who patronizes our coffeehouse.”

The customer, who claims to have gone into the bathroom beforehand and noticed antisemitic graffiti written on the mirror saying, “Zionism = fascism” and “Your neutrality/apathy is enabling genocide” scribbled on a diaper-changing station, was attempting to re-enter to document the remarks when the employees prevented her.

One of the employees started telling the customer the café was “private property” and she needed to leave.

Stay on top of news out of the Israel-Hamas war and the global surge in antisemitism with The Post’s Israel War Update, delivered right to your inbox every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

As the customer stands her ground, insisting on using the public restroom, another employee says, “I know Israel loves taking private property and saying it’s their own, but we got to head [out],” while gesturing his hand toward the door.

The customer, who claims to have gone into the bathroom beforehand and noticed antisemitic graffiti written on the mirror saying, “Zionism = fascism” and “Your neutrality/apathy is enabling genocide” scribbled on a diaper-changing station, was attempting to re-enter to document the remarks when the employees prevented her.

One of the employees started telling the customer the café was “private property” and she needed to leave.

Stay on top of news out of the Israel-Hamas war and the global surge in antisemitism with The Post’s Israel War Update, delivered right to your inbox every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

As the customer stands her ground, insisting on using the public restroom, another employee says, “I know Israel loves taking private property and saying it’s their own, but we got to head [out],” while gesturing his hand toward the door.

One of the coffee shop employees tells her she can “use the other restroom” in the café, but the customer insists on using the one with the graffiti.

“All you’re going to get is a video of us saying that ‘Zionism is antisemitism’ because it is,” says the employee.

“If you agree with [the graffiti], why are you afraid that I take a picture of it?” the customer responds.

One of the coffee shop employees tells her she can “use the other restroom” in the café, but the customer insists on using the one with the graffiti.

“All you’re going to get is a video of us saying that ‘Zionism is antisemitism’ because it is,” says the employee.

“If you agree with [the graffiti], why are you afraid that I take a picture of it?” the customer responds.

Click here to read the full article in the NY Post

A Jewish professor at USC confronted pro-Palestinian students. He’s now barred from campus

Until recently, USC professor John Strauss was known mostly for his research on the economics of developing countries, with decades of fieldwork in Indonesia and China.

That changed Nov. 9, when Strauss stopped before students staging a walkout and protest calling for a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip and holding a memorial to thousands of Palestinian civilians killed in the Israel-Hamas war.

The economics professor’s interactions with students that day ended with the 72-year-old Strauss, who is Jewish, declaring: “Hamas are murderers. That’s all they are. Every one should be killed, and I hope they all are killed.”

Students captured those remarks on their cellphones, almost instantly seeming to recognize a viral moment. “Can you say that for the camera?” one pressed.

Within hours, Strauss’ comments were posted online, shared and reshared on X, Instagram, Facebook and TikTok.

As his remarks raced across the internet, his condemnation of Hamas was often excised, leaving only his “hope” for “all” to be killed. Captions and comments online framed his demand for “every one” to be killed in myriad, at times deceptive, ways. One Instagram post shared to millions of users claimed falsely that Strauss told the students, “[I] hope you get killed….”

Within a day, an associate dean told Strauss that he was on paid administrative leave, barred from campus, and that he would no longer teach his undergraduates this semester.

Within the week, a petition demanding that USC fire Strauss for his “racist, xenophobic behavior” and comments that “promote and incite violence” had collected more than 6,500 signatures.

Meanwhile, more than 9,000 signed a counter-petition decrying USC’s treatment of Strauss as “unjust,” saying he was the victim of online misinformation, and demanding that the university reinstate him.

Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Los Angeles, called for USC to launch an investigation into Strauss and to take actions to protect “Muslim, Palestinian and Arab students as well as any others who are targeted by hate and bigotry.”

Jonathan Friedman, director of free expression at PEN America, criticized USC for “a shocking overreaction,” adding in a statement, “What USC has done runs counter to the university’s obligation to foster dialogue and debate.”

By now, millions have viewed portions of Strauss’ remarks, and his statements — and USC’s response — have become a Rorschach test for a war raging 7,500 miles away.

With its political, ethnic, generational and religious fault lines, the incident has reignited intractable debates over campus censorship, academic freedom and student safety. Nearly every student who spoke to The Times for this article would do so only on condition of anonymity, citing a fear of online harassment.

But at a fundamental level, the episode is also a debate over what exactly transpired.

::

On that Thursday in early November, Strauss walked across USC’s brick-paved campus to teach an undergraduate course on the economics of sub-Saharan Africa.

He saw a large crowd by the university’s landmark statue, Tommy Trojan. At first he thought it was a demonstration for grad students who are negotiating their first union contract and threatening a strike.

He got closer and said he saw “that it was a big Palestinian demonstration.” He told The Times that he heard slogans such as “Destroy Israel” and calls for the U.S. to revoke funding for Israel. (Students dispute that “destroy Israel” was ever uttered at the demonstration.)

“That’s what I heard and I got angry,” said Strauss, who has worked at USC since 2004 and has tenure. “I am Jewish and very pro-Israel, so I shouted, ‘Israel forever. Hamas are murderers.’”

The demonstration was part of a national “Shut It Down for Palestine” action and included a student walkout from class, a march through campus and a rally where some students chanted, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” a phrase that is viewed as either a call for Palestinians to have equality or a call for the destruction of Israel, depending on the listener.

Near a busy campus corridor, the event also included a memorial to Palestinians killed in Gaza since Oct. 7, a death toll that was then about 10,000 and that has since grown to more than 13,000, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry. Partly enclosed by a fence, the memorial featured four long rolls of paper, at least 18 inches wide, unfurled several feet across the ground. On the paper were printed thousands of names.

Students said that when Strauss came to the demonstration, he stepped on the paper. One student said he was “desecrating the names.”

“All I did was walk through the crowd,” Strauss said, insisting he never saw the list of names but spotted the memorial later in the day after the crowd had dissipated. He acknowledged that he “might well have accidentally walked on” the list but said it was “completely unintentional.”

No one appears to have recorded the first interaction, but students say his presence caused a stir.

When Daphne, a USC student who asked to be identified only by her first name, came to help at the memorial and stand by a table for the event, she said she was told about an older man who seemed to be a professor and had shouted something like, “Long live Israel.”

“At that point, we didn’t know who he was,” she recalled.

::

Strauss’ undergraduate class ended around 3 p.m. and he planned to return to his office, on the western edge of campus, by passing by the Tommy Trojan statue and pro-Palestinian demonstration.

By that point, a cluster of Jewish students had begun to stand about 50 feet from the demonstration.

One of the students, who described herself as Jewish and a Zionist and also spoke on condition of anonymity, said she had seen the rally and memorial for Palestinians after her class let out. She said that although she felt “horrible for the innocent lives lost on both sides,” she was also upset that the event made “no mention of Hamas, a terrorist organization.”

She recalled seeing a fellow Jewish student nearby. “We just decided to stand and hold our flag. We weren’t saying anything,” she said.

In the center of campus, the two Jewish students held their mini Israeli flags aloft and were eventually joined by a rabbi and other Jewish peers wearing kippahs. Fifty feet away, Daphne and her peers watched over the memorial for slain Palestinians. A metal fence separated the two groups.

Each accused the other side of taunts and “harassment.”

Just after 3 p.m., Strauss walked by after leaving his class.

Among the Jewish students, he was greeted warmly.

Strauss continued, rounding the corner toward USC’s bookstore when witnesses say at least one student yelled out, “Professor Strauss, shame on you.”

Clad in cargo pants and a plaid-green dress shirt, he said he bellowed, “No, shame on you.”

Then the cameras started rolling again.

“You people are ignorant, really ignorant,” Strauss said, holding a file of papers in one hand and a bottle of water in the other.

A student in a gray Lululemon waffle-knit hoodie and black pants is heard telling Strauss that the event was to “pay respects” to those killed. A classmate wearing a red kaffiyeh wrapped around his head rushed over and inserted himself between the professor and the students.

That was the moment when Strauss uttered the words that precipitated the uproar: Hamas are murderers. That’s all they are. Every one should be killed, and I hope they all are killed.

“I got that on video. Thank you!” a student says.

::

Strauss drove home and when he checked his email later that evening, he saw messages from Jewish students expressing support and realized that an Instagram page, Trojans for Palestine, had posted some of the video.

Strauss said that video was “heavily doctored.”

Daphne, who made one of the two videos circulating online, denied the recording was edited. “I do not possess the ability to doctor a video like that. And also we have a second video that matches so, like, there’s no way on God’s green Earth that I would have been able to doctor that video.”

To Strauss and his supporters, “doctored” means edited or clipped in a deceptive way. The Times could find no evidence that his voice had been altered or his words substantively changed in the video.

But as the clip circulated online, it was at times trimmed to a few seconds of Strauss uttering, “Every one should be killed.”

The captions and superimposed text in social media posts could be minimal, misleading or wrong.

“This zionist econ professor purposefully stepped on the list of martyrs before our march and came by again after & said ‘everyone should be killed,’” a student group posted on Instagram.

Another post on Instagram, shared by @CravingPalestine and activist Shaun King, among others, said Strauss “threatened these students ‘hope you get killed and I hope they all are (*Gaza)” during a campus rally for Gaza.” That post has been viewed more than 3.2 million times.

At one point, the group Trojans for Palestine clarified on Instagram that Strauss “did not say he wanted Palestinians to be killed, but Hamas,” according to screenshots of the post.

Then, the group appeared to walk it back: “With his hateful rhetoric, you can draw your own conclusion about whether or not he wished death upon just Hamas or civilians as well.”

Within hours of Strauss’ recorded comments, USC’s Muslim Student Union issued a statement saying that Strauss was “repeatedly calling for the murder of the entirety of Palestine” and expressing “a desire for the death of those supporting Palestine.”

“Such remarks are not only beyond the boundaries of academic discourse, but also dangerously incite violence and contribute to a hostile campus atmosphere,” the Muslim Student Union declared in its statement, which called for USC administrators to “ensure a safe space for students to express themselves.” It listed the email addresses of USC’s president, provost and other officials.

Strauss said his rhetorical target was Hamas.

“The allegation was that I said, ‘Kill all Palestinians.’ I never said that and I never would say that. I said, ‘Kill all Hamas.’ That’s quite different,” Strauss asserted.

::

Strauss learned about 24 hours later, on Nov. 10, that USC’s provost was placing him on paid administrative leave. He said he was told by a university dean that he could continue to teach graduate students via Zoom, but he would not teach undergraduates for the rest of the semester.

The provost told Strauss four days later that he was the subject of multiple complaints to USC’s equity, diversity and Title IX office and that he would continue to be barred from campus while complaints were investigated, according to a letter from the provost obtained by The Times.

In the meantime, Strauss was deluged with hateful emails, prompting USC to have a team review the messages for security threats.

The Academic Freedom Alliance provided legal counsel to Strauss and sent a letter to USC’s leaders on his behalf dismissing the notion that it was he who posed a threat to anyone on campus.

“The university becomes the instrument of a heckler’s veto when it punishes a member of the faculty when other members of the campus community or of the general public react vociferously enough to a professor’s lawful speech,” the alliance wrote.

About that time, USC lifted some of its measures against Strauss and allowed him to resume teaching undergraduates via Zoom. Still, the university kept in place his ban from campus.

A USC spokesperson declined to comment on the specifics of Strauss’ case. Asked about USC dropping its prohibition of Strauss teaching undergraduates, a spokesperson said in a statement, “The university is always willing to change its approach as it receives and considers more information; our north star is protecting the safety of our community.”

Strauss is being helped by fellow Jewish faculty and a network of students and alumni. Among them is Daisy Kahn, an alumna based in New York who said she became alarmed by posts online, including a slew of negative reviews on the Rate My Professors site.

“The relentless misinformation campaign has unfairly tarnished professor Strauss’ reputation but has also fueled division,” Kahn said.

Click here to read the full article in the LA TIMES

Jewish Angelenos’ new reality

Amid anguish, anger and fear over Israel-Hamas fighting, many are drawing together in community more and strengthening their resolve

Los Angeles is home to the second-largest Jewish community in America, with more than 500,000 members. And for the last few weeks, it’s been reeling.

Since the ambush by Hamas militants left more than 1,400 Israelis dead and saw the kidnapping of at least 200 others, Israel has sealed off the Gaza Strip from vital resources and launched a barrage of airstrikes.

Jewish Angelenos are largely supportive of Israel, which declared war on Hamas, the local authority in Gaza, following the deadly Oct. 7 attack.

Many also disagree with the military assault on Gaza, and are heartbroken over the mounting Palestinian death toll, which has exceeded 7,000, including nearly 3,000 children, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza.

About 1.4 million Palestinians have been displaced, and Gaza’s healthcare system is teetering on the brink of collapse as water, fuel and vital medicines are running out, according to the World Health Organization.

The world is watching as Israel mounts an all-out invasion of Gaza.

The war is creating dual tragedies across the Israel-Gaza boundary. And in L.A.’s Jewish community — whose members hail from different backgrounds, ideologies, cultures and religious sects — people are coming together in ways they hadn’t before.

Amid the anguish and anger, the confusion and conflicts, some have found a new kind of resolve and a newfound community.

Healing through music

The crowd held its breath at Sinai Temple as Nilli Salem played an extended note on the shofar, an instrument typically made from a ram’s horn and used in important Jewish rituals.

“I really believe that artists are the healers of our time,” Chloe Pourmorady said outside the Westwood synagogue, where about 100 people gathered for a night of solidarity weeks after the initial attack on Israel.

Music is “something beyond words that connects people and brings comfort,” Pourmorady said.

For many Jews in Los Angeles, there are few degrees of separation between the U.S. and Israel. The extent of death and warfare in the region, considered the Holy Land for Jews, Muslims and Christians alike, has been staggering — and has hit close to home.

Pourmorady was initially planning a musical gathering for friends, but felt compelled to invite the public so the community could dance, sing and cry together.

“Music is being used as a tool for comfort, healing and prayer during this time of great sadness and anguish,” said Cantor Marcus Feldman, who oversees the musical department at Sinai Temple and who sang at the event, which included performances in both Hebrew and English.

Emotions overtook many that night. Mikey Pauker’s voice broke before he started singing. He told the congregation that in the last few weeks, he’d been called a white supremacist for supporting Israel.

Azar Elihu, a former temple member, said the pain is universal and she grieves for both sides.

“Even I feel for the Palestinians. I cried so much for the little boy that was killed in Chicago,” she said, referring to 6-year-old Wadea Al-Fayoume, a Muslim boy who was stabbed dozens of times in a deadly attack carried out by his family’s landlord.

But after the musical performance, Elihu said, “This felt like something of a healing.”

‘What gets lost’

Nicole Guzik, a senior rabbi at Sinai Temple, said that in the weeks following the declaration of war, many in their Jewish community had drawn closer together, checking on one other. They ask: “Are you sleeping? Are you eating? Did you cry today?”

But they are also filled with outrage — and fear — as both antisemitic and anti-Muslim rhetoric abound online and in person.

While some in Israel have called for a full attack on Gaza, including a ground invasion, Sinai Temple congregants say they worry about innocent lives lost.

“I think what gets lost is that there isn’t a single Jew or Israeli who wants to see a single hair hurt on the head of any innocent civilian,” said Jason Cosgrove, who grew up in the synagogue and said he now finds himself explaining the war in Israel to his 7-year-old daughter and wondering when he will have to discuss antisemitism with her.

“I’m sparing her all of the gory details,” said Cosgrove, who finds himself taking breaks from the news when he can, but who also feels compelled to stay up to date on what’s happening. “I think you obviously can’t bury your head at a time like this.”

Amanda Kogan, who’s on the board of directors at Sinai Temple, also finds herself in the difficult position of trying to explain the war to her children. Her teenage daughter recently attended an event that involved a bus trip in Los Angeles, and the group was accompanied by an armed guard.

Kogan said she was doing her best to explain the complicated history between Israel and the Palestinians to her kids, noting that she doesn’t want to sanitize the details but that she also doesn’t want to alarm them.

“I also don’t want them to be afraid to go to school,” Kogan said. “I don’t want my daughter to be afraid to wear the Jewish star.”

“War is not fair to the innocent people. It’s terrible,” she added. “We’re trying to explain all of this as best we can in a very balanced manner. And no matter what, it’s all horrific.”

Sinai Temple boasts roughly 5,000 members and includes a private Jewish day school with about 600 students, a recreation center and a mental health center that offers counseling to the community.

Members say their support for Israel is unwavering, and have gathered supplies, including headlamps, tents, blankets and phone chargers to be sent in care packages, which also include notes from children. But grief hangs heavily over the community.

“As you walk through the halls here, it feels like a house of mourning,” said Senior Rabbi Erez Sherman.

He and Guzik, his wife, became senior rabbis after the Hamas attack as they worked to console their congregation.

Speaking out for peace

Estee Chandler was a child living in Israel during the 1973 Yom Kippur War, fought between Israel and a coalition of Arab states led by Syria and Egypt. At the time, she worried every time her parents left their house at night. She would sometimes hear air raid sirens go off and hide with the rest of her family in the unfinished basement of their apartment building.

“Even back then, we had those places to go in. Now, Israelis have safe rooms in their homes,” the 50-year-old said. But “Palestinians who are being bombed — they have nothing. They don’t have those rooms to run into. They have no way to protect their children.”

When Chandler awoke to the news that Israel had declared war with Hamas, she started reaching out to friends and family living overseas. Then, she reached out to her colleagues at Jewish Voice for Peace, whose Los Angeles chapter she founded nearly 13 years ago.

“My heart sank thinking about what we were surely going to start seeing in the hours, days and weeks to come, and unfortunately, that has all borne out,” she said.

Jewish Voice for Peace and another Jewish organization, IfNotNow, have staged protests outside the White House and the homes of other politicians, demanding a cease-fire. Hundreds have been arrested while protesting at the U.S. Capitol in Washington.

While working for former President Obama’s 2008 campaign, Chandler said she saw “the intersection between the Israeli lobby and the Democratic Party politics.”

She was upset by “a lot of horribly racist things” that were happening and tried to educate herself as much as possible about Israel.

Chandler later discovered Jewish Voice for Peace, which was supporting a movement at UC Berkeley to divest from weapons manufacturers providing arms to Israel.

The group contacted Chandler and asked whether she would be interested in starting an L.A. chapter.

The daughter of an Israeli father, Chandler has relatives and friends in Israel and some fighting in the Israel Defense Forces, Israel’s national military. She also has friends whose family members were killed in Gaza by the Israeli airstrikes.

“My concern for my family’s safety and my friends’ safety doesn’t stop at any border,” she said. “It’s not a choice that has to be made. I don’t understand how people’s hearts can bleed in the same situation for only one-half of the people who are bleeding.”

One of Chandler’s friends is L.A. resident Hedab Tarifi, a Palestinian advocate and member of the Los Angeles Council of Religious Leaders. Tarifi has lost 69 family members in the bombings in Gaza.

“I have a roller coaster of emotions,” said Tarifi, who was born in Gaza and moved to L.A. in the mid-1990s.

“I wake up in the middle of the night, and I can’t breathe. I want to cry, but I can’t cry. I’m mad, and at the same time, because I have to be their voice, I have to swallow my pain and my anger, and remind myself that they don’t have a voice while they’re being bombed and massacred,” she said. “I need to pull myself together and be their voice.”

Chandler and other Jewish Voice for Peace supporters want a cease-fire. They have been protesting in Los Angeles and recently attended a county supervisors meeting where a resolution condemning Hamas and supporting Israel was unanimously adopted after tense public comments.

She has been disheartened by media portrayals of the war as simply a battle between Israel and Hamas, noting that the events of Oct. 7 “didn’t come in a vacuum.”

“You can’t say that anything that happened there is unprovoked. You have people who have been living under siege for 75 years, people who’ve been living in a state of constant ethnic cleansing.”

While her support of Palestinian rights may seem unconventional in light of her heritage, Chandler said she wouldn’t be deterred — even if friends and family have opposing views.

“My family loves me anyway,” she said.

‘This is the never again’

When Mor Haim finally turned on the TV on Oct. 7 — breaking her usual observance of Shabbat — she watched as Hamas trucks bulldozed through a neighborhood in Sderot, an Israeli city near Gaza where she lived until the age of 7. She immediately recognized the street where her cousin lived.

“Life was sucked out of me at that second,” said Haim, 31. Luckily, none of her family was killed, but the grief has been no less soul-crushing. The brother of her cousin’s wife went on a run the morning of the ambush, and was killed. Many childhood friends were slain. A friend’s father died shielding his children.

“Even though I’m far away, I feel as if I’m physically there,” said Haim, a dual Israeli American citizen who lives in Woodland Hills.

Since that night, Haim said, she’s had panic attacks and has been unable to sleep well.

She said she tries to go about her daily life for the sake of her four young children. She’s found solace baking challah with friends and family or just sitting in silence with others who share her pain.

But the images from that day are seared in her mind, and she is afraid.

“I’m scared for my safety. I’m scared for my children’s safety,” she said. “I’m scared to talk on the phone in public, [worried that] someone will recognize my accent and say, ‘Hey, she’s Jewish.’”

“We’ve kind of been in hiding,” she said.

Haim wants people to understand why the attack on Israel — carried out on the holiday of Simchat Torah, a day meant for rejoicing — cannot be ignored.

She said no one wants innocent people to die — “not our people and not their people in Gaza.”

UC System Pushes Back Against Anti-Israel Movement

BDSposterThe BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanctions) movement has been gaining momentum at American colleges in recent years with its message that Israel’s policies toward Palestinians amount to apartheid. According to the last annual report issued by the Israel on Campus Coalition, in the 2014-15 school year, there were 1,630 anti-Israel events at 181 colleges and universities in the United States. The main group behind the BDS movement — the Students for Justice in Palestine — grew by a third in terms of campus chapters and now has a presence at 150 schools.

But the University of California may slow that momentum. At a Board of Regents meeting Tuesday in San Francisco, a proposal meant to curb harassment of Jewish students at UC’s 10 campuses was unveiled. It declares “anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism and other forms of discrimination have no place at the University of California” and that university officials must “challenge speech and action reflecting bias, stereotypes, and/or intolerance.”

This is significantly stronger language than a previous proposal unveiled last year — and quickly rejected — that was more generally worded without a specific reference to anti-Zionism. UC regents are expected to vote on the language at their meeting next Wednesday in San Francisco.

But that vote will only come after they hear sharp protests from students and faculty who see this policy as damaging their speech rights and exonerating Israeli for its treatment of Palestinians.

Professor: Criticizing Israel not equal to bigotry

UC Berkeley literature professor Judith Butler told the Los Angeles Times that the language of the policy allowed for arbitrary definitions of what is unacceptable speech:

[She] questioned who would define that term or decide what crossed the line into discriminatory speech.

And although the statement provides no sanctions, calling on university leaders to “challenge” bias, Butler wondered whether those singled out as criticizing Zionism would be denied faculty research funds, promotions or other benefits.

“To include anti-Zionism as an instance of intolerance and bigotry is actually to suppress a set of political beliefs that we actually need to hear,” she said. “It saddens me and strikes at the heart of the task of the university.”

UCLA student Eitan Peled, a member of the liberal Jewish Voice for Peace group, blasted the proposal in an interview with the Associated Press. “As a student who considers my work advocating for Palestinian human rights as an expression of my Jewish values, I am surprised to see that criticism of a modern nation-state that regularly violates international law is so centered in a report against intolerance,” he told AP. “Debate over Zionism and the abusive policies of the state of Israel absolutely should be debated vigorously, not silenced by accusations of discrimination.”

Ex-UC president: ‘Microaggression’ against Jews common

Meanwhile, former University of California President Mark Yudof is also speaking out about the BDS movement and the treatment of Jewish students at some universities. He’s joined the advisory board of the Academic Engagement Network, which seeks to “bring together faculty members and administrators to address issues related to Israel.” Its members include Lawrence Summers, the former treasury secretary and Harvard president.

In a December essay published by Inside Higher Education, Yudof depicted the BDS movement as trying to shut down discussion of issues involving Israel while linking Zionism to other issues, including police violence toward African Americans. “In age of exquisite sensitivity on some campuses to microaggression, or language that subtly offends underrepresented groups, the ironic toleration of microaggression against Jews often goes unnoted,” he wrote.

It was while Yudof was UC president that the UC system suffered perhaps its most notorious display of anti-Israeli sentiment. Eleven UC Irvine and UC Riverside students were arrested in February 2010 after they interrupted a speech at UC Irvine by Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren and refused to let him complete his remarks. The incident triggered vast reaction.

Originally published by CalWatchdog.com