From the Fousesquawk Website. Originally published by the Amcha Initiative
Action Alert: Ask the Attorney General to explain why she permits CSUN professor to use public funds to promote anti-Jewish bigotry
In March, the Global Frontier Justice Center sent a letter to California Attorney General Kamala Harris, urging her to investigate whether CSU Northridge Prof. David Klein's University-hosted "Boycott Israel Resources" web page constituted misuse of public resources and a violation of state law. In May, the Attorney General's office responded with a disappointing letter stating that no state laws had been violated, but providing no further explanation.
Last week, after the appearance of an article in the Electronic Intifada celebrating the Attorney General's letter and encouraging other professors to use their University websites to promote the boycott of Israel, AMCHA co-founders Tammi Rossman-Benjamin and Leila Beckwith sent a letter to the Attorney General, which appears below. In their letter, Tammi and Leila challenge the Attorney General's conclusion, arguing that Klein had indeed broken state laws, and they ask her to explain her legal reasoning.
We believe California tax payers deserve to know why the state's Attorney General believes there is nothing wrong with using the website of a taxpayer-funded state university to spew hatred of Israel and Jews.
Please consider writing your own respectful letter to the Attorney General expressing your distress over her determination that Professor Klein's hateful university-hosted website is an acceptable use of public resources, and urging her to explain on what grounds she came to that conclusion.
You can send your letters to:
California Attorney General Kamala Harris - firstname.lastname@example.org
California Deputy Attorney General Stepan Haytayan - Stepan.Haytayan@doj.ca.gov
For a list of CSU and state officials that you may wish to copy on your letter, see HERE.
Letter from AMCHA Co-Founders to California Attorney General Kamala Harris and Deputy Attorney General Stepan Haytayan
Sent - June 7, 2012 3:48 PM PDT
Dear Attorney General Harris and Deputy Attorney General Haytayan:
We would like to bring to your attention an article that recently appeared in the Electronic Intifada, an online publication that promotes calls for the boycott of Israel. The article, entitled "In blow to Zionist censors, California backs professor's right to call for Israel boycott on state university website," celebrates your apparent refusal to prosecute CSU Northridge Professor David Klein for alleged misuse of state resources by posting his webpage promoting the boycott of Israel on the CSUN web server.
In the article, Klein is quoted as saying of your decision: "I hope that it is a source of encouragement to other faculty members to do similar things, to go ahead and take a public stand against apartheid in Israel and ethnic cleansing, and all the injustices there."
Please understand that there are many California taxpayers, including ourselves and the group of concerned citizens we represent, who are deeply troubled by your decision and its impact on the Jewish community, particularly on Jewish students. As you may be aware, the U.S. State Department's Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism has declared that the academic boycott of Israel, which is prominently promoted on Klein's website, is anti-Semitic. In addition, the Jewish community recognizes campaigns to boycott Israel as deliberate assaults on the Jewish state and the Jewish people, and mainstream Jewish organizations across the political spectrum have vigorously condemned these campaigns.
In our opinion, we believe that Prof. Klein's calls for the boycott of Israel on his CSUN-hosted "Boycott Israel Resource" web page are in violation of the following California statutes:
• California Education Code 89005.5, which provides that no one shall use the name of any California State University campus for political activity, including "boycott."
• California Government Code 8314, which states that it is unlawful for any state employee to use public resources for "personal or other purposes which are not authorized by law."
Indeed, since you provide no explanation in your letter, we are puzzled as to why you concluded that Klein's explicit and numerous calls for the boycott of Israel on his University-hosted website are not a violation of California law.
Therefore, in addition to our previous query requesting you to determine whether the personal attacks against us and our organization by Prof. Klein and Interim President Hellenbrand on their CSUN-hosted webpages constitute misuse of public resources, we, and many in the California Jewish community, would like to know the following: on what basis did you conclude that Prof. Klein's University-hosted "Boycott Israel Resource" page was not a violation of state law?
Thank you for your attention to this matter. We look forward to hearing from you soon.
Co-founder the AMCHA Initiative
Co-founder the AMCHA Initiative