Professors, Students Discuss Tensions on Campus Between Pro-Israeli, Pro-Palestinian Supporters

Wednesday, May 10, 2017
GOLDEN GATE XPRESS -- Tensions are rising between pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian supporters on campus, as both groups speak out against the unsettling climate they feel the University administration has created. In a recent development, the David Horowitz Freedom Center distributed posters on campus on May 4 that criticized Palestinian activists and their supporters, alleging they are linked to terrorism. Following the incident, Wong sent out a campus-wide email that condemned both anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, particularly in cases where they cause students to feel unsafe or compromise the University’s learning environment. “I appreciate the email and it’s reassuring at a very small level, but I think there are many actions that need to be taken that haven’t been thus far,” said Vanessa Better, Jewish studies major and San Francisco Hillel Social Media and Promotional Intern. “Condemning anti-Semitism and Islamophobia is just common sense.” “My position is not about the Israel-Palestine debate or about going after any student group on this campus,” said Fred Astren, chair of the Department of Jewish Studies. “It’s about the nature of the public space on our campus. If we can have protests, and we can have free speech, and we can have critical learning in our classrooms, then we will get close to what the University should be.”