Saturday, November 12, 2011

CSU to reinstate study abroad program to Israel?

Not if David Klein can help it.
He's been passing around this open letter to CSU Chancellor instead. David hates Israel so much, he devotes part of his CSU Northridge Website to Israel bashing. From David's website, hosted on the CSU server: "Israel is the most racist state in the world at this time". Yes, David's website includes the gratutious dead baby photos, along with BDS resources. Nice. Really nice
He teaches math, incidentally

MY comments are BOLD

An Open Letter to CSU Chancellor Charles Reed Regarding the CSU-Israel Study Abroad Program

Dear Chancellor Reed;

The CSU system has recently taken steps to reinstate the Israel Study Abroad Program. It was suspended in 2002 because of costs and because of the U.S. State Department travel warning on travel to Israel.

The second intifada led to thousands of casualties from acts of Palestinian terror. In 2002 alone, 2,348 Israelis were wounded in terror attacks, with 220 dead from suicide bombings alone. These numbers have greatly decreased, due in part to the security barrier, which according to some reports, has reduced casualties by 90%

We strongly urge you not to reinstate the CSU Israel Study Abroad Program.

The signers of this letter, CSU faculty, staff, students, and administrators, represent a wide range of views and political perspectives, but each one of us shares that conclusion along with some or all of the following concerns:

As of Nov 12, all SIX of them

1) The original reasons, from 2002, for suspending the program remain valid, and may, in some respects, be even more compelling. The CSU is facing unprecedented funding cuts, and programs serving greater numbers of students than this program may be more deserving of the limited available funds. The State Department travel warning also remains in effect

If funding is really the issue, why are you only targeting study abroad to Israel?

2) Additional dangers to U.S. citizens, not described in the State Department travel warning, deserve consideration. There have been multiple instances of U.S. citizens, including students, who have been severely injured, and in some cases killed by Israeli military forces. For example, in 2010, Emily Henochowicz, a 21-year-old Jewish American art student, lost an eye when Israeli soldiers shot her in the head with a high velocity tear gas canister. She had joined protests against Israel's attack on the humanitarian aid flotilla, during which Furkan Dogan, aged 19, another U.S. citizen, was killed by Israeli troops. Other young Americans killed or injured by Israeli forces include Rachel Corrie, Brian Avery, and Tristan Anderson.

Yes, David Klein, CSU Northridge math instructor is creating a moral equivalence here- acquainting those hurt while obstructing operations in a closed military zone, with those targetted simply because they were Jews in a Jewish state. Davis Klein dares equate the death of UC Berkeley graduate Marla Bennett, murdered while eating lunch in the Hebrew University cafeteria with the death of Rachel Corrie, dead while guarding smuggling tunnels in Gaza. David Klein, math professor dares to compare the death of Daniel Wultz, age 16, murdered while eating lunch with his dad with Furkan Dogan. Turkish member of the IHH, who ambushed and assaulted Israeli soldiers in international waters

3) If the Israel Study Abroad Program is reinstated, participating CSU students could face discriminatory treatment, based on race and ethnicity. According to a U.S. State Department document:

"U.S. citizens with Arabic or Muslim names, those born in Muslim or Middle Eastern countries, those who have been involved in missionary or activist activity, those who ask that Israeli stamps not be entered into their passport, and other U.S. citizen travelers have been delayed and subjected to close scrutiny by Israeli border authorities, and on occasion they have been given a “Palestinian Authority only” stamp in their passport which prohibits entry into "Green Line" Israel. U.S. citizens have been detained and/or arrested at the airport and at other border crossings on suspicion of security-related offenses. Members of religious groups have been monitored, arrested, and deported for suspicion of intent to proselytize in Israel. In some cases, Israeli authorities have denied U.S. citizens access to U.S. consular officers, lawyers, and even family members during temporary detention."

"Palestinian-American dual citizens living in the West Bank can be detained or arrested by the IDF. In such instances, the Government of Israel may not recognize the U.S. citizenship and will instead consider the arrested person a Palestinian. In such cases the U.S. Consulate General may not be notified."

If Palestinian America students wanted to study in Israel, and had no ties to terror or plans on proselytizing, this would not be an issue

4) During its October 2011 meeting, the Academic and Fiscal Affairs Committee of the CSU Statewide Academic Senate made a recommendation as follows:

"The AFAC recommends in light of the developments of the past 10 years, and in order to provide a more inclusive perspective on the Israeli/Palestinian issue that priority and effort be given to exploring new partnerships such as: Birzeit University, Arab American University in Jenin."

Reinstating a CSU Study Abroad Program in conjunction with Israeli universities without similar programs in cooperation with Palestinian universities would be one-sided.

The same man who just wrote "The CSU is facing unprecedented funding cuts, and programs serving greater numbers of students than this program may be more deserving of the limited available funds." is now proposing new programs.

5) To restart the CSU International program in Israel at this time would not reflect well on the CSU's commitment to the universal right to education. Israel has consistently violated its obligation under Article 50 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which requires the Occupying Power to facilitate the proper functioning of educational institutions in occupied territories. Israel remains the Occupying Power because it retains effective control in all these areas, and exercises this control by making education difficult or impossible for Palestinians in a variety of ways: blockading, besieging and bombing schools and universities; suspending delivery of books and educational supplies; restricting or barring the movement of students, teachers and researchers to their institutions of learning, as well as to travel abroad for educational purposes. Because of these actions, Israel has deprived hundreds of thousands of Palestinians of their right to education.

Mr. Klein forgets that Arab students at Israeli colleges on average are about 12 percent of the student population. And he ignores that in Israel's years as "occupying power"

"... during the two decades preceding the intifada of the late 1980's, the number of schoolchildren in the territories grew by 102 percent, and the number of classes by 99 percent, though the population itself had grown by only 28 percent. Even more dramatic was the progress in higher education. At the time of the Israeli occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, not a single university existed in these territories. By the early 1990's, there were seven such institutions, boasting some 16,500 students. Illiteracy rates dropped to 14 percent of adults over age 15, compared with 69 percent in Morocco, 61 percent in Egypt, 45 percent in Tunisia, and 44 percent in Syria."

6) Recognized leaders and prominent intellectuals have compared Israel's treatment of Palestinians to Apartheid in South Africa. Among these are Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, Jimmy Carter, Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, and Mairead Maguire [4]. John Dugard, a South African professor of international law, has served as Judge ad hoc on the International Court of Justice and as a Special Rapporteur for both the former United Nations Commission on Human Rights and the International Law Commission.

Logical fallacy, Mt. Klein.
Appeal to Authority

Description of Appeal to Authority
An Appeal to Authority is a fallacy with the following form:

Person A is (claimed to be) an authority on subject S.
Person A makes claim C about subject S.
Therefore, C is true.

Affiliations of the signatories are included for identification purposes only.

CSU Faculty, Staff, and Administrator Endorsements

David Klein
Department of Mathematics
CSU Northridge

Ian Barnard
Department of English/Queer Studies Program
CSU Northridge

Harry Hellenbrand, Provost
CSU Northridge

Edie Pistolesi
Department of Art
CSU Northridge

Jerry Rosen
Department of Mathematics
CSU Northridge

Vida Samiian, Dean
College of Arts and Humanities
CSU Fresno


  1. Edie Pistolesi and David Klein are an item, apparently, united by their hate of all things Jewish. No, Zionist. No, settler. Yeah. That's right. All things settler.

  2. I'm no fan of Dr. Klein either (I knew him when I was a student at CSUN and actually worked with him on pro-Palestinian projects) but your entire letter calling to reinstate the Israel study abroad program does absolutely nothing to convince anyone. How is Palestinian "terror" a reason to send students to Israel to study abroad? It makes no sense!

  3. Τζούλια Ρίμπερ Πιτ

    The purpose of this wasn't to present a case for Israel study aboard, but rather to show the logical fallacies in Klein's letter.
    However, you have suggested an excellent idea for a subsequent post, and for that I thank you.