The chancellors of all 10 University of California campuses signed on to a statement condemning academic boycotts of Israeli scholars and institutions of higher learning.
The Dec. 13 statement comes after the faculty of Pitzer College in Claremont, California, voted last month to ban its study-abroad program in Haifa .
“As chancellors of the University of California campuses, we write to reaffirm our long-standing opposition to an academic boycott of Israeli academic institutions and/or individual scholars,” read the statement. “Our commitment to continued engagement and partnership with Israeli, as well as Palestinian colleagues, colleges and universities is unwavering. We believe a boycott of this sort poses a direct and serious threat to the academic freedom of our students and faculty, as well as the unfettered exchange of ideas and perspectives on our campuses, including debate and discourse regarding conflicts in the Middle East.”
Last week, the AMCHA Initiative, a Santa Cruz-based nonprofit that tracks anti-Israel bias at college campuses, organized a letter signed by 101 Jewish and academic organizations that was sent to 250 American university administrators, opposing academic boycotts of Israel. The UC chancellors’ statement was issued shortly thereafter.
The 10 UC campuses include Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, Merced, Riverside, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz.