Education Dept. Asked to See If UNC-Duke Grant Went Toward Anti-Israel Conference

Aaron Bandler is an investigative journalist for the Jewish Journal. Originally from the Bay Area, his past work experience includes writing for The Daily Wire, The Daily Caller and Townhall.

Aaron Bandler
Aaron Bandler is an investigative journalist for the Jewish Journal. Originally from the Bay Area, his past work experience includes writing for The Daily Wire, The Daily Caller and Townhall.

Rep. George Holding (R-Ga.) asked the Department of Education (ED), in an April 15 letter, to investigate if a $235,000 federal grant went toward an anti-Israel conference that was held at the University of North Carolina in partnership with Duke University.

On April 12, UNC Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz issued an apology after a video came to light of rapper Tamer Nafer singing at the conference “I’m in love with a Jew” at the Conflict Over Gaza: People, Politics and Possibilities conference from March 22-24 at UNC. The conference was co-sponsored by the Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies, which had received a $235,000 grant in 2018.

Holding argued in his letter to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos that “the conference had a radical anti-Israeli bias.”

“Examination of the official program reveals that several of the conference’s speakers are actively involved in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement,” Holding wrote. “Prior to the event, local religious and community organizations, academics and citizens wrote the universities expressing concerns that the conference lacked balance and appeared designed to promote a radical agenda. Apparently these concerns were ignored, with no mainstream speakers or panelists included in the three-day conference.”

Holding added, “If these reports are accurate, I have difficulty understanding why tax dollars should be spent on such an activity.”

Holding then listed a series of questions, including whether or not the ED has policies that prevents grants from going toward “organizations promoting a biased anti-Israeli agenda,” if any of the presentations promoted the BDS movement and/or glorified “acts of violence” and if any of the grant money went toward the conference.

“If the reports of extensive anti-Israeli bias are true, is that grounds to revoke the remainder the federal grant awarded to the Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies?” Holding asked.

Katie Younger, director of Global Relations at UNC Global, told the Journal in an email that $5,000 from the grant was used toward the conference.

ED Press Secretary Liz Hill told the Journal in a statement via email, “We have received the Congressman’s letter and are reviewing it.”

More in-depth coverage of the conference can be found here.

H/T: Washington Free Beacon

Did you enjoy this article?

You'll love our roundtable.

Enjoyed this article?

You'll love our roundtable.

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Jewish Journal, 1880 Century Park East, Los Angeles, CA, 90067, https://www.jewishjournal.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Editor's Picks

Latest Articles


Latest Articles

Help for Hurricane Ian Survivors Comes From Israel

A delegation from the United Hatzalah organization will provide first psychological aid to those coping with the harrowing aftermath of the devastating hurricane

Competing Narratives of Jewish History and the Holocaust: Reflections on My Recent Journey to Poland

The relationship between Poles and Jews is complex and often contentious, historically when Poland was the home to the largest Jewish community in the...

Meet the Former Class President Who Keeps Aiming Higher

When I first learned that Judith Manouchehri (née Kermani) is running for a seat on the Board of Governors of the Beverly Hills Unified...

Berkeley Law Dean, Profs Express Support for Jewish Students

Several members of the Berkeley School of Law faculty, including Dean Erwin Cherminsky, have signed a statement expressing support for Jewish students after several...

Is the Tide at Berkeley Beginning to Turn?

At long last, under pressure, Berkeley Law’s Dean is pledging to enforce Berkeley’s anti-discrimination rules against any of these nine organizations that act upon their new bylaw provisions. He must be held to it.



More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.

Copy link
Powered by Social Snap