Dr. Ángel Cabrera
George Mason University
Dear President Cabrera,
My organization, “JewHatredonCampus.org,” has published a list of the 10 Most Anti-Semitic college campuses, which includes George Mason University. Our list has been published on websites that reach more than 100 million viewers.
The specific events meriting the inclusion of George Mason on this list include:
· The presence on campus of Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA), an organization affiliated with Students for Justice in Palestine, which is dedicated to the destruction of the Jewish state. SAIA promotes BDS, “anti-normalization,” and the one-state solution (i.e., the dissolution of Israel). Its anti-Israel events are cosponsored by the Middle Eastern Studies Department and other student clubs on campus.
· SAIA staged a walkout of a pro-Israel campus event with an IDF colonel and organized a Gaza “teach-in” in the public square where members read names of Gaza casualties.
· A speaker event featuring Miko Peled. Peled has described the Israeli government as “a radical Zionist regime,” and Israel as a nation where “half of the population lives in what it thinks is a Western democracy while keeping the other half imprisoned by a ruthless defense apparatus that is becoming more violent by the day.”
A speaker event featuring anti-Israel activist, Ali Abunimah. Abuminah has accused Israel of practicing “apartheid,” “ethnic cleansing,” and “attempted genocide” against the Palestinians. In his words, “Israel’s problem is not, as its propaganda insists, 'terrorism' to be defeated by sufficient application of high explosives.” Rather, Abunimah explained, “its problem is legitimacy, or rather a profound and irreversible lack of it.… Israel simply cannot bomb its way to legitimacy.”
A speaker event featuring Prof. Steven Salaita who was fired from the University of Illinois for his anti-Semitic comments on twitter such as “Will you condemn Hamas? No. Why not? Because Hamas isn’t the one incinerating children, you disingenuous prick.”
· A panel discussion on “Operation Protective Edge: Legal and Political Implications of ICC Prosecution.” The ICC is the International Criminal Court which the Palestinian Authority has recently joined and pushed for an investigation into whether Israel has committed war crimes against the Palestinians—an outrageous claim given that Palestine has been the aggressor in every instance of military conflict and has repeatedly violated cease-fires and other agreements meant to bring about peace.
George Mason University’s “Statement of Values” holds that:
Underlying the University’s mission are basic values which must be respected if these goals are to be achieved. These indispensable community values include:
The importance of personal integrity.
The opportunity for every student and University employee to be treated with respect and dignity.
The freedom of intellectual inquiry in the pursuit of truth.
The freedom of speech and open exchange of ideas.
The acceptance and appreciation of diversity.
The freedom from discrimination on the basis of gender, religion, sexual orientation, age, disability, ethnicity, and political views.
The freedom from violence aimed at limiting freedom, interfering with, or disrupting University
Furthermore, George Mason’s “Statement on Freedom of Expression” holds that:
George Mason University believes that through active participation in an intellectually and culturally diverse learning community, students will be better prepared to deal with the issues they will face in a rapidly changing and diverse society.
In the presentation of ideas, the University encourages a balanced approach and respect for contrary points of view. Being open to the ideas and opinions of other members of the community will lead to discussion that is characterized by courtesy, mutual respect, and charity.
Congruent with these ideas is the principle that all members of the George Mason University community enjoy the right to freedom of speech and expression.
The right to free speech and expression does not include unlawful activity or activity which endangers or threatens to endanger the safety or well-being of any member of the community. Further, it does not include any activity which materially interferes with the education or well-being of other students or the mission of the institution.
It is expected that members of the community will actively participate in programs and activities of the University and will support efforts to foster the identified values of the community. All members of the community are expected to abide by local, state, federal, and international laws.
Evidently, in the eyes of the George Mason administration, Jewish students are not protected under these policies. This is the primary reason for George Mason’s inclusion in the list of the 10 Most Anti-Semitic campuses, and one we would like you to remedy.
These actions, which have been led by Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA) on your campus, violate George Mason’s anti-discrimination policy and create a hostile environment for Jewish and pro-Israel students on your campus. Why is SAIA receiving funding and other campus privileges from George Mason University, when its very purpose violates George Mason University policy?
As an organization dedicated to combating campus anti-Semitism, we offer our assistance in rectifying this disturbing situation on your campus and ensuring that Jewish students at George Mason University can live and study in an environment free from fear and harassment.
I would recommend that your first step be to conduct an immediate inquiry into whether the organization Students Against Israeli Apartheid, which is responsible for these actions, is violating your Statement of Values. If you conclude this is the case, then you should remove their campus privileges and funding. This will send a strong message that harassment and intimidation of any minority, including Jews, will not be tolerated at George Mason.
Please contact me at the address below to let me know your plan of action, or if there is any way we can assist you to ensure that George Mason once again becomes a safe and welcoming environment for Jewish students.
CC: James W. Hazel, Janet E. Bingham, George C. Newstrom, William J. Ridenour, Jeffery M. Johnson, David A. Roe, Peggy Agouris, Terri Cofer Beirne, Deborah Boehm-Davis, Robert E. Buchanan, W. Jeffrey Carlton, James J. Consagra, Dennis J. Cotter, Gene L. Frogale, Benjamin H. Graham, Dorothy S. Gray, Brian J. Hays, Kevin Hern, Todd R. House, Amir Hudda, Najaf Husain, Kay W. Lewis, James A. Meriwether, M. Yaqub Mirza, John R. Muha, II, J.D. Myers, II, Elavie Ndura, Louise C. Nelson, John T. Niehoff, Dolly C. Oberoi, Joseph J. O’Brien, Jr., John Paul Phaup, Ali A. Saadat, Donna P. Shafer, Jeffrey A. Smith, Michele P. Toth, Bruce D. Wardinski, Daniel R. Wotring