Campus Watch July 13, 2023

A roundup of incidents, good and bad, happening on college campuses.
July 13, 2023

Brandeis President Apologizes for “Orthodox” Ad

Brandeis University President Ronald Liebowitz wrote an apology to the Brandeis Orthodox Organization apologizing for an ad that ran in The New York Times Magazine describing Brandeis as being “founded by Jews. But, it’s anything but Orthodox.”

Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) reported that Liebowitz wrote in the apology letter that while they did not mean to offend anyone with the ad, “the execution of this ad missed the mark … I am especially sorry that members of Brandeis’ Orthodox Jewish community, in particular, were hurt by the ad,” he added. “You play a key role in our ongoing success: You bring energy, intelligence, and creativity to our Jewish community, to student life more broadly, and to the rigor of the academic experience that Brandeis offers.”

Brandeis Orthodox Organization President Matt Shapiro told JTA he was “really happy and grateful” for the apology.

AZ GOP Parties Say They Didn’t Give College Republicans United Permission to List Them As Sponsors for Convention Featuring White Nationalist Nick Fuentes 

The College Republicans United (CRU) are hosting white nationalist Nick Fuentes at their July 30 convention in Arizona and listed three local GOP county parties — Maricopa, Pima and Yavapai — as being sponsors. However, the county parties are claiming they never authorized their names to be used in this manner.

The Arizona Mirror reported that Fuentes “is a white nationalist Holocaust-denier who routinely makes antisemitic remarks, has said that Blacks in the South were better off under Jim Crow and has said that he ‘loves Hitler.’” Fuentes had dinner with former President Donald Trump and rapper Kanye West at Mar-a-Lago in November. Maricopa GOP issued a statement saying that “never authorized, sponsored, or promoted” the convention. The Pima GOP chairman told the Mirror that they were “misrepresented and lied to,” alleging that the CRU simply reached out to them to speak at the conference and did not mention anything about Fuentes. The Yavapai GOP has yet to issue a statement on the matter, but the Arizona Capitol Times reported that “all three groups confirmed … that they had nothing to do with the event.” The CRU claimed to the Mirror that “Fuentes was added late in the scheduling process due to last minute dropouts and program changes” and that they had received agreements from the three county parties to speak at the convention. 

The Republican Jewish Coalition Arizona chapter said in a statement that “no official Republican organization is supporting this event in any way” and called Fuentes “a vile Nazi-sympathizer who has no place in Conservative or Republican politics.”

Lawsuit Demands Two Bay Area Schools Hand Over Ethnic Studies Documents

The Deborah Project, which provides pro bono legal representation to Jewish and pro-Israel students facing discrimination on campus, is suing two Bay Area school districts, arguing that the districts need to comply with the nonprofit’s California Public Records Act requests over their ethnic studies documents.

The Jewish News of Northern California (The J) reported that the two districts being sued are the Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District and the Hayward Unified School District over their $45,000 contract with the Acosta Educational Partnership (AEP) and $35,000 contract with the Liberated Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum Consortium (LESMCC), respectively, for ethnic studies training to the districts’ teachers. The LESMCC was formed by individuals involved in drafting the original ethnic studies curriculum draft in 2019 that was scrapped due to concerns that it didn’t properly address antisemitism and promoted the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement; regarding the AEP, the Deborah Project expressed concern that the AEP employs “an activist who works with the Berkeley-based Teach Palestine project and the Liberated Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum Consortium and who helped craft the controversial first draft of the state’s Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum,” per The J. The AEP’s contract with the Mountain View-Los Altos district was severed in March after more than 400 parents signed a petition lambasting the contract.

Canadian School Board to Investigate Teacher Who Allegedly Praised Palestinian Terrorism

A Canadian school board will investigate a teacher who allegedly made social media posts lauding Palestinian terrorism.

The Algemeiner reported that HonestReporting Canada had sent a letter to the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board documenting instances in which the teacher allegedly said in a May social media post that Palestinian women teach their children “resistance” because it’s “the only way to liberate the land and get rid of enemies.” The teacher also allegedly celebrated the anniversary of Palestinian Liberation Organization leader Dalal Mughrabi’s “martyrdom” in a 2018 post; Mughrabi, according to The Algemeiner, “coordinated in 1978 the Coastal Road Massacre, which killed 38 Israelis, including thirteen children.” The teacher also allegedly said “May Allah burn” the family and the “entire people” of an Israeli Defense Force soldier who was murdered by a Palestinian in 2015.

The school board agreed to review the teacher’s social media posts in September; HonestReporting Canada accused the school board of “kicking the can down the road as it relates addressing this issue.”

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