Faculty Lunacy at UC Berkeley-The Latest Manifesto


by Gary Fouse

The Daily Californian, the campus paper of UC Berkeley, for years, has been full of nonsense. Today is no exception. I am cross-posting an op-ed  from something called, “Faculty for Justice in Palestine”. In this piece (in which organizations are signees, no individual names are published), we see the standard talking points supporting the Palestinian cause and condemning Israel with the tired old accusations of genocide.

I am cross-posting the article not to help spread their propaganda, rather to show the readers just how silly it is. The language used suggests to me that it was actually written by a group of students, perhaps even graduate students, while their professors/indoctrinators are busy doing research, you know.

I am cross-posting this not to help spread their propaganda but rather to show the readers what nonsense is being peddled here by “Faculty”. I have chosen several passages (in italics) with my responses.

“The purpose of this letter, and our coalition, is to break the silence that has fallen over the UC Berkeley campus since the start of Israel’s war on the Palestinian people — interrupted only by student teach-ins, actions and vigils.”

Silence??!! Ever since Israel responded to the horrific attacks of October 7 (only mentioned twice in passing above), the UC Berkeley campuses and campuses have seen and heard little else but pro-Palestinian protests. What are they talking about? The only silence has been their silence as to what Hamas did to over 1,200 innocent Israeli civilians on October 7. 

“Together we are calling for a ceasefire in Gaza and an end to this genocide. We stand in solidarity with the campaign for campus divestment from the financial structures that support the current war machine. And we seek to defend our common rights to free speech and academic freedom while resisting the criminalization of public protest against these crimes on U.S. college campuses and around the world.” 

Ceasefire? Did they call for Hamas to cease their atrocities of October 7? Did the US call for a cease-fire against Japan on December 8, 1941? What did they expect Israel to do after October 7- ask for the UN to approve a resolution condemning Hamas and demanding the release of over 200 hostages? Good luck with that.

Free speech and academic freedom? It’s all we have seen on campus after campus including UCB since Israel responded against Hamas. Criminalization? Has anybody actually been arrested on campus for screaming, “from the river to the sea”? If anyone is being arrested, it is for illegal acts committed while protesting, like blocking access to major airports in New York and Los Angeles. You can scream “from the river to the sea” all you want, and others like myself will criticize it and point out what it is calling for-which is our right. 

“Israel’s attack on Gaza constitutes a deliberate and acknowledged act of genocide — a second Nakba — committed against the Palestinian people by the Zionist state. The heavy bombardment and use of banned chemical weapons, paired with ground assaults in Gaza and the West Bank, have killed more than 15,000 Palestinian civilians as of Dec. 2.”

This talk of genocide is absurd. Over the course of the last several decades, the Palestinian population has exploded. Where is the genocide? As for the civilian deaths in Gaza, I take no pleasure in seeing civilians killed in war. I have been to Hiroshima, and it was a sobering experience. Visiting Pearl Harbor was also a sobering experience. What is not mentioned in the op-ed, is the long-documented fact that Hamas deliberately fights from behind its own civilians. They actually prefer to see their civilians killed so they can show the international press how “evil” Israel is. Hamas even sets up its fighters and rocket launchers in schools, hospitals, and mosques. Israel, on the other hand, makes great effort to limit civilian casualties, even warning them to evacuate certain buildings that are about to be hit. Did the Allies do that with Germany and Japan in World War 2? No. We were fighting for our survival, just as Israel is fighting for its survival, and attempting to force our enemies to surrender. As for the 15,000 Palestinian civilians killed (as of December 2), that number no doubt includes the Hamas fighters (terrorists), who are the true targets.

“The Israeli government has deliberately and knowingly committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in Gaza. Before Oct. 7, Gaza had been under military siege since 2007, during which it had been bombed repeatedly by Israel. This siege has now escalated radically, with Israel cutting off all water, food, power and fuel to the Gaza strip. This blockade has been followed by the systematic targeting of Palestinian civilian infrastructure, including the bombing of hospitals, ambulances, mosques, churches, schools, community centers, bakeries, orphanages, refugee camps and the Islamic University of Gaza.”  

Above is the first of two passing mentions of October 7! War crimes? Apparently, fighting back is a war crime according to the learned “faculty”. Repeated bombings by Israel? That has occurred after  Hamas has launched rockets into Israel, usually from the very schools, hospitals, refugee camps, etc that the op-ed lists.

“This genocide is being carried out with nearly the full support of the United States government, including President Joe Biden and his collaborators in Congress. The U.S. government offers diplomatic and public backing for this genocide while using U.S. tax dollars to deliver weapons, military intelligence and direct military support to Israel. UC Berkeley is also complicit in this genocide through itsextensive investments in both Israeli companies and select defense contractors who are profiting off of war: Boeing, BlackRock, Lockheed Martin, RTX (formerly known as Raytheon), Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics. The blood of Palestinian people is on the hands of the U.S. government and leaders, and especially on those in the UC system who remain silent.” 

This is typical hysterical language of the academic left. Yes, the US is Israel’s ally, and we need make no apologies for that. It is right that we should supply them with military aid. That has been our policy over decades ever since 1948. Then the language really gets hysterical with mention of investments with Israel (Can you say ‘”BDS”?). The UC system, for all its faults, does not have the blood of Palestinians on its hands. That blood is on the hands of Hamas.

“University campuses across the nation have failed to defend free speech and academic freedom by criminalizing protests against this genocide, firing academics who publicly oppose this war and banning Arab, Muslim, Palestinian and Jewish student groups who speak up and organize for peace. Leadership at UC Berkeley has created a hostile environment for free speech by uncritically signing on to an irresponsible and inaccurate statement that legitimates the Zionist resort to violence by ignoring the historical context of the ongoing Israeli colonization of Palestine. The UC Berkeley administration has furthermore failed to protect Arab, Muslim and Palestinian students who are being harassed, doxxed and attacked on campus”

Yes, they have failed to protect free speech for decades, but it is supporters of Israel, conservatives, etc who have had their free speech rights taken away. How many pro-Israel speakers/events have been disrupted by Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), etc? The disrupters are the very people who are crying foul now. Their words have not been criminalized, only when they resort to vandalism, denial of free speech rights for others, and/or assaults does anybody ever get charged-and all too rarely.  

“As faculty, students, academic workers and staff at UC Berkeley in solidarity with Palestine, we are committed to centering the Palestinian struggle for freedom and justice on campus. We will strive to expand the syllabi we use to teach to include coverage and representation of Palestinian history, arts and culture within the context of settler colonialism, anti-colonial struggles and decolonization. We will continue to organize teach-ins on a regular basis from a Palestinian viewpoint. We are committed to supporting the call for boycott, divestment and sanctions — in particular from the UC’s investments in Israeli-affiliated corporations and the military industrial complex. We will fight fear and silencing by supporting each other across campus in our different roles as faculty, students and staff.”

I cringe every time I see that phrase about “standing in solidarity with….”. It is instructive that here they admit proudly that they will use their classrooms to indoctrinate students to their point of view. They support BDS against Israel. (I wonder with what other countries they support BDS-Iran? North Korea? Sudan? Russia?) Hardly.

And here come the demands:

“We demand the campus take no action to suppress any student groups who exercise their freedom of speech and assembly to raise public awareness of an ongoing genocide;”

Such expressions have never been suppressed on campus. Much worse, when the voices of pro-Israel speakers are disrupted by people like SJP/Muslim Student Association etc, disciplinary action of any consequence is hardly ever taken. 

“We insist that the university’s leadership ensures UC Berkeley is a place where all Arab, Muslim and Palestinian students, faculty and staff can thrive;”

How about Jewish students, College Republicans, etc?

“We urge the UC Berkeley administration to expand access to sufficient, noncarceral, culturally responsive, and trauma-informed counseling and mental health support for students facing anti-Palestinian, anti-Arab, and Islamophobic racism;” 

What, are the poor snowflakes upset that people criticize them for supporting Hamas, for their disruptions, and tactics of intimidation against others? Pass the handkerchiefs.

“We demand that the academic freedom that faculty and all academic workers have in their classrooms be respected;”

Yes, the freedom of professors and their teaching assistants to indoctrinate our youth in the classroom.


And here comes the Intersectionality

“How many Americans in the 1890s opposed the war on the Sioux or Lakota? How many more might have anticipated future federal orders to return Native American remains to their ancestors, let alone the campus’ reliance upon “Land Acknowledgement” to address the history of indigenous genocide and settler colonialism? Who besides the free speech activists themselves in the early 1960s would have anticipated that a movement the administration attempted to crush with police violence would become the primary brand recognition of UC Berkeley? How many in the 1980s who saw a growing shanty town constructed on Sproul Plaza as unsightly and unscholarly would have imagined the UC’s eventual divestment from South Africa and the impending fall of Apartheid?” 

South Africa? Apartheid? The Sioux and Lakota? Police violence in the 1960s? Who would have imagined?

And finally…..

As so today, in which there is a growing global movement that stands against these ongoing atrocities in Palestine which are only an episode in the longer colonization of Palestine. Students and the youth across the globe already understand this horror to be the singular moral crisis of our time. This is why you have seen, and will continue to see, unprecedented protests in support of Palestine and Palestinians on our campus and across the world. We ask our friends and colleagues to look honestly and think carefully about what is happening in Gaza right now, not just on Oct. 7. When the history of this genocide, and the wider war it threatens to ignite, is finally written, where will you have stood?”

Here we have the second-and final reference to October 7. Yet as the writers speak of the “atrocities” in Palestine (committed allegedly by Israelis), there is no listing of the Hamas atrocities of October 7. Not one word about the 200+ plus young people attacked at a music festival and slaughtered, raped, and/or kidnapped back to Gaza. Not one word about families slaughtered in their homes. Not one word about babies beheaded and/ or placed in ovens to burn. Not one word about the 200+ hostages taken to Gaza, many of whom have died in captivity. Not one word about the 1,200+ Israelis murdered on October 7. Did the feminist signers of this letter have one word to say about all the Israeli women and girls who were tortured, raped, and murdered? Not one frickin word.

And when the final history is written, where will I have stood? With Israel-not with the murderous butchers of Hamas and its ignorant supporters on US campuses like UC Berkeley.