Mark Crispin Miller's News From Underground carried the first news I've heard of this latest Zionist-inspired propaganda attack on freedom to speak in a nation which allegedly values freedom of speech. This case is the latest example, which occurred at one of the gem-stones of the UCal system, Santa Barbara, a school with which I have a certain personal affinity. (Did you know Habermas taught there in the '70s?) Here's the outline of the case against Prof. William Robinson:
Toward the end of February 2009, Sociology and Global Studies Professor William Robinson received notice from the Academic Senate’s Charges Committee that two of his students had filed charges against him. The students alleged that course material Prof. Robinson had circulated to his class via the course listserv, criticizing Israel’s then-ongoing siege on Gaza, comprised anti-Semitism. Professor Robinson also received a letter from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to this effect. The student complaints (Complaint 1 & Complaint 2) included claims and rationales that exactly mirrored those included in the ADL letter. The course material at issue in the complaints included an editorial written by a Jewish journalist condemning Israel’s invasion of Gaza and images of the bloody consequences of the siege on Gaza juxtaposed with congruent images from Nazi concentration camps in the 1930s (a not uncommon understanding of Israel-Palestine relations, as this 2003 Haaretz article and recent ADBUSTERS piece demonstrates). Alleging that the circulation of this course material caused them to drop his class, the students in their complaints claimed the subject of the email was not relevant to the course. The course title was “Sociology of Globalization” and the course curriculum covered contemporary, global conflicts and struggles.I, frankly, do not hold out much hope for Prof. Robinson, because he violated one of the cardinal rules of the modern academy.
No, it has nothing to do at all with speech. It has to do with enrollment. His temerity in addressing a controversial subject in ways critical of the "common wisdom" caused two students to drop his class. He endangered the whole school because those students might have then dropped out of UCSB entirely. And there would have gone all that lovely money.
It is of course not anti-Semiticism to criticize Israel. It is merely an accident of history that the latest wave of colonists in Palestine is "Jewish." It is not especially in the nature of their being "jewish" that the fault lies, or where they are open to criticism. It is what they are doing and how they are doing that is at issue. The fact of the matter is that the current colonizers of Palestine are behaving in ways typical of all other previous invaders, occupiers, conquerors and oppressors, and deserve condemnation for it. The fact that the murderous thugs, racist gunsels, and ravenous settlers are Jews is absolutely irrelevant. By any name, they'd be criminals.
For telling this and assorted other truths about Israel, Prof Robinson earned the enmity of the Zion Lobby, and now stands in professional jeopardy at the bloody hands of the thuggish bullies of the ADL. There's a whole site devoted to getting justice for the Professor, operated by the Committee to Defend Academic Freedom (CDAF), where you can read all the salient details, and sign a petition to the UCSB board of regents in Prof Robinson's behalf.
But beware! It's a public list and the ADL will hunt you down.