SPME: University Of California Appoints BDS Proponent to Board of Regents

SPME on the Nomination of Sadia Saifuddin to Serve on the  University of California Board of Regents  
SPME is deeply concerned by the nomination of Sadia Saifuddin, as a candidate of California student regent for 2014-15 for the University of California system..  Ms. Saifuddin has been part of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement that co-sponsored an Israeli divestment resolution this past spring calling for the divestment of $14 million in University and Associated Students funds from Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard, and Cement Roadstone Holdings, contending that they profit from Israel’s from what she defines as the occupation of the West Bank. The resolution passed the student senate by a vote of 11-9.Following the vote, Saifuddin was quoted in the campus newspaper saying, “I don’t want one cent of my money to go toward fueling the occupation of my brothers and sisters.”Appointing Sadia Saifuddin to the Board of Regents would be an offense to the “Principles of Community” for UC Berkeley, which are supposed to be core values in the UC system, and which call on UC students to “respect the differences as well as the commonalities that bring us together and call for civility and respect in our personal interactions.”
Further, she has been behind the ferocious attacks on former SPME board member Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, a lecturer at UC Santa Cruz and co-founder of the AMCHA Initiative, a grass-roots advocacy coalition dedicated to protecting Jewish students from anti-Semitism on UC campuses. Rossman-Benjamin, who has pointed to instances of anti-Semitism on her own campus and others, both by faculty, student groups, and invited speakers, has now been vilified for bringing attention to the very prejudices that are now being leveled against her—both by Saifuddin and others..SPME is very concerned that the nomination of Ms. Saifuddin is both misguided and indicative of a serious lapse of sensitivity of those who nominated her, given her history as a virulent anti-Israel activist and her affiliation with the BDS movement, both of which activities have come to define a new form of anti-Semitism.


About SPME Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME) is not-for-profit [501 (C) (3)], grass-roots community of scholars who have united to promote honest, fact-based, and civil discourse, especially in regard to Middle East issues. We believe that ethnic, national, and religious hatreds, including anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism, have no place in our institutions, disciplines, and communities. We employ academic means to address these issues.The peace we seek in the Middle East is consistent both with Israel’s right to exist as a sovereign Jewish state within safe and secure borders, and with the rights and legitimate aspirations of her neighbors.

Our mission is to inform, motivate, and encourage faculty to use their academic skills and disciplines on campus, in classrooms, and in academic publications to develop effective responses to the ideological distortions, including anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist slanders, which poison debate and work against peace. SPME welcomes scholars from all disciplines, faiths groups and nationalities who share our desire for peace and our commitment to academic integrity and honest debate.



For more information, contact Asaf Romirowsky at Aromirowsky@spme.org

One Response

  1. Now for the good news: Janet Napolitano is the new prez at UC. She’ll fix it.

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