October 14, 2019

Report alleges bias at UCLA Center for Near Eastern Studies could violate law

A study released Sept. 17 by the pro-Israel campus watchdog AMCHA Initiative found that not only has UCLA’s Center for Near Eastern Studies (CNES) hosted an overwhelming proportion of its events that are critical and hostile toward Israel — as campus pro-Israel advocates long have argued — but that doing so violates federal law.

Now AMCHA, along with nine other organizations, most of them Jewish, are pushing Congress to reform a 2008 provision of the Higher Education Act designed to prevent the type of bias allegedly occurring at UCLA — or withhold certain grants from the university until CNES introduces more ideological balance into its program. 

The report, though, is not without its critics, including researcher Pini Herman and UCLA history professor David Myers, both of whom questioned the study’s objectivity. Asked whether the group consulted with outside research firms to advise AMCHA’s researchers or validate the findings, co-founder Tammi Benjamin said it had not.

The study