Dr. Hatem Bazian Under Attack

URGENT: HELP GET DR. HATEM BAZIAN’S PETITION TO 5K SIGNATURES!

We need your urgent help defending Palestinian American professor and AMP Chairman Dr. Hatem Bazian against a vicious campaign by pro-Israel groups who are once again calling on university administrators to fire him from his position at the University of California, Berkeley.

Please read the petition below and click the “Take Action” button to sign and show your support for academic freedom and free speech when it comes to voicing support for Palestinian human rights.

Note that this petition is open to ALL supporters of justice and human rights. You do NOT have to be a student to sign it!

THEN . . . please forward the petition and share on social media to assert that Palestinians will NOT be silenced and suppressed!

We are counting on your support. Thank you!

We, the students of the University of California, Berkeley, stand in solidarity with Dr. Hatem Bazian and the UC Berkeley’s Center for Race and Gender.

We stand in defense of Dr. Hatem Bazian for his long and consistent track record of championing justice, freedom and respect for all peoples, particularly the Palestinian people. This is not the first time Dr. Bazian has been subjected to bullying, demonization, and death threats for his work shedding light on racial justice, Islamophobia, and anti-Palestinian racism by Pro-Israel Zealots, nor will it be the last time.

We, students of UC Berkeley, reject the mischaracterization, bullying and blatant racism of Tikvah: the Zionist Voice at UC Berkeley and off campus Zionist organizations in their continued attempts to suppress open discussion and honest academic analysis of the Israeli occupation of Palestine, as well as their demonization of academics and human rights activists calling for freedom and dignity for the Palestinian people. Tikvah resorts and relies on post 9/11 xenophobic, anti-Arab, and Islamophobic rhetoric to demonize those who disagree with far-right Israeli policies and the maintenance of endless occupation.

As students at UC Berkeley, we have faced repeated attempts to suppress academic freedom and our freedom of speech. Time and time again, the argument of anti-Semitism has been misused as an attempt to silence Palestinian voices and legitimate criticism of Israeli state policies. UC Berkeley has become an incredibly hostile environment for Palestinians, students, faculty and staff, where they face verbal and racial abuse for their mere existence as Palestinians on this campus. Palestinian students have been labeled as terrorists and placed on racist blacklists like Canary Mission for speaking about their lived experiences. Throughout all of this, the UC Berkeley administration has stayed silent and compliclit while members of their community have been targeted by off-campus organizations and institutions and the university failed to even acknowledge the harm and violence mediated against Palestinian students and Dr. Hatem Bazian.

We, the students of UC Berkeley, demand the administration:

1. Investigate “Tikvah: the Zionist Voice” for disrupting the presentation by the Member of Israeli Knesset Haneen Zoabi.

2. Make public the action[s] taken against Tikvah.

3. Ensure that no group who violates the inherent right to free speech and academic freedom would be tolerated at the campus.

4. Support the creation of a Palestine Studies Program that is developed in partnership with communities and led by Palestinian academics.

5. Jewish and Palestinian voices that are critical of Israel should be welcomed, celebrated on campus and represent the social justice norm

We, the students of UC Berkeley, invite our fellow students, academia and all people of conscience to stand in solidarity with truth and truth-tellers and against hate, bigotry, and bullying.

American Muslims for Palestine
6404 Seven Corners Place, Ste. N
Falls Church, VA 22044
703.534.3032 / 703.534.1904
info@ampalestine.org


American Muslims for Palestine, November 28, 2017

(WASHINGTON DC 11/28/2017) UC Berkeley Professor and American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) Chairman, Dr. Hatem Bazian, is under attack for inadvertently retweeting an offensive meme earlier this year. He has recently been targeted by zealous pro-Israel groups calling for his immediate dismissal from the university. This vicious campaign comes despite the fact that Dr. Bazian acknowledged the mistake—having not realized the full content of the image as it appeared on his phone—and immediately deleted the post once it was brought to his attention.

Dr. Bazian has since issued an apology on his social media accounts for unintentionally sharing the distasteful image, believing it contrary to the values and principles he upholds, and to his longstanding efforts to combat racism in all its forms—including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia:

A retweet was brought to my attention today and I went over my account from the past and do sincerely apologize for re-sending it, the image is offensive and does not represent my views or the anti-racist work that I do including fighting anti-Semitism in partnership with progressive Jewish groups that express solidarity with Palestine’s rights to self-determination and have a strong track record on countering Islamophobia. At the time, I saw the image of the North Korean Kim Jong Un and tweeted it without giving it much thought as I was teaching a course in Spain and France. I did not realize or read the full text in detail until it started re-appearing on my twitter feed again from a number of pro-Israel groups that target Palestinians. As a matter of policy, I don’t respond, as I focus on my work and ignore the attacks. As a Palestinian, my issue is with Zionism, a settler colonial movement and Israel’s policies directed at Palestinians under occupation and those that live as second or maybe fourth class citizens in the state and not with Judaism or Jews, as diverse communities. The image in the tweet and the framing relative to Judaism and conversion was wrong and offensive and not something that reflects my position, be it in the past or the present. I take responsibility for my words and statements and stand by my own work relative to Palestine, BDS and opposition to Zionism and settler colonialism and those who take issue on the content of my scholarship and work are welcome to disagree and offer a defense of their point of view in the open market of ideas. In the future, I will make sure to include that retweets don’t represent an agreement or support for the ideas that are shared and only my own postings reflect my positions on issues. Dr. Hatem Bazian, Berkeley, Nov. 21st, 2017

Throughout his life, Dr. Bazian has called for open discussion, fair debate, and mutual understanding. Dr. Bazian has further dedicated his life to countering racism and oppression domestically and internationally including leading the fight in defense of Affirmative Action and the Anti-Apartheid movement to name a few. This politically-motivated campaign is nothing more than a deliberate and well-funded effort to silence Palestinian and Muslim voices, and serves as no more than a distraction from the principled cause to which he has dedicated his life: speaking out against the brutality of Israel’s occupation, the denial of rights, and Zionist settler colonialism.

TAKE ACTION:

AMP calls on all people of conscience to urgently contact the UC Berkeley Chancellor’s Office in support of Dr. Hatem Bazian and to urge the university not to buckle to pro-Israel organizations’ pressure. Tell the university to stand by Dr. Bazian and to not suppress a critical Palestinian-Muslim voice and leading researcher on the subject of Islamophobia, based on an honest mistake.

CONTACT

Chancellor Carol Christ

University of California, Berkeley
200 California Hall # 1500
Berkeley, CA 94720-1500

Email: chancellor@berkeley.edu
Phone: (510) 642-7464


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