Lee Kaplan: Bias at a Community College Against IsraelRoundup: Talking About History
At the end of last year a friend contacted me who was taking a course titled “Politics of the Middle East” at Diablo Valley College, a small community college located in northern California. My friend knew I frequently write about academic matters, particularly concerning anti-Israel and anti-U.S. indoctrination on US college campuses. And he asked me to help provide some written research materials for him to use for a verbal presentation in his class. He called me later to complain.
“You’ll never believe this,” he told me. “The instructor, an imam, dismisses the class, then he spreads paper towels from the restroom on the floor and prays facing East in the classroom for fifteen minutes during school hours. Talk about a separation of church and state in the classroom,” he complained.
“But was that all? What about the course content?” I asked.
“That’s even worse. The instructor taught and insisted that Israel had stolen all its land prior to 1967. My family was actively involved in purchasing the land there during the 1920’s, 30’s and 40’s for the Jewish National Fund and when I told him that in class he insisted it was ‘All lies!’” He also said, “When I told him I had official documents I could show the class, including copies of land sales agreements and deeds to the Jewish National Agency and the Jewish National Fund, he said they were probably ‘forgeries’ and he wouldn’t allow me to show them.”
My friend also informed me that the professor had categorically stated that the Kurds in Halapja in 1988 were gassed by Iran and not Iraq. He said Saddam Hussein was framed by the Iranians for gassing people. “This guy used to work for Saddam,” he said.
My friend continued on with a litany of things taught in class that were not true: “The professor stated that the original 1922 Mandate specifically spoke about the rights of the ‘Palestinian people’ and that Israel, from 1922 on failed to respect those rights (Israel did not exist until 1948).” He continued, “When I produced a copy of the 1922 Mandate from my briefcase and asked him to point out where it said what he said, he refused to answer and changed the subject.”
“He told the class that the US supported Israel against the Palestinians to safeguard America’s oil interests and to give the US a Middle East foothold. He denied that the PLO Charter (still not amended) and Arafat wanted the complete destruction of Israel.
“I produced a copy of the Charter also from my briefcase and he changed the subject.”
My friend continued, “He consistently stated that Israel was an ‘apartheid state,’ that it mistreated its Arab citizens rendering them as second-class citizens (Arab-Israeli citizens have the same civil rights as Christian and Jewish Israelis by law). He claimed Arab-Israelis in Israel’s parliament were only ‘tokens’ despite being elected and declared anyone who believed Arab citizens of Israel enjoyed the same rights was ‘naïve and ignorant,’ even ignoring cases I pointed out where Israel’s Supreme Court frequently rules in favor of Arab-Israelis, even Palestinian Arabs in the territories, over Jews.
“The worst was when he taught Islam in class. He told us it was a religion of peace and tolerance. In fact, he handed out a sheet that had several verses from the Koran implying just that. But when I took my copy of the Koran and asked him specifically about verses 190-192 in Surah 2 The Cow (The verse says “slay all non-believers wherever they are found”) and I mentioned I’d read several other verses from other books that said the same thing, he went into a dissertation about how translators don’t translate properly and I obviously had one of those translations! He said in his opinion, as an imam, the best translation was Pickthall’s Glorious Koran, displaying one from his bag. I got that copy and found verbatim what I’d read in class also quoted by Pickthall. When I pointed this out in the next class he changed the subject saying we were not studying the Koran that evening! He also denied Arabs played an active role in the slave trade!
“We started with about 22 students, but after two sessions we were down to 14, by the sixth session down to about ten. The only students who remained seemed to be anti-Israel and anti-US activists, pleased with any anti-Jewish rhetoric. ...
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