A guest lecturer at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) called Zionists white supremacists, according to the Jewish Journal.The lecturer was Prof. Rabab Abdulhadi, an associate professor of Ethnic Studies and Race and Resistance Studies at San Francisco State University. She has been listed as having cultivated ties with Hamas-dominated universities by the Canary Mission website.
Shayna Lavi, a Jewish student in the class, explained to the Journal that the lecturer initially began discussing Islamophobia, but then went off on a "rant" against Israel.
Lavi said within the lecture Abdulhadi made "a claim that those who support Israel want to ethnically cleanse the Middle East and those affiliated with Israel and pro-Israel organizations are white supremacists." The lecturer also reportedly noted that Rep. Ilhan Omar is "attacked by AIPAC and all these pro-Israel organization because [Omar’s] Muslim,” and that the United States and Israel have “shared values” of “killing people, colonialism and white supremacy."
Lavi spoke up in class during the questions and answers session of the lecture and expressed that she was "personally offended" that Abulhadi "categorized pro-Israel students, Zionists and Jewish students as white supremacists." However, the lecturer dismissed the general claims and that her views are antisemitic.
Angered by the dismissal of Lavi's feelings, another student present in the class wrote an email to the Journal further clarifying the events that conspired in the lecture hall: “I am someone who is not a part of the Jewish community; regardless I wish to speak up,” wrote the student in an email. “This was hate speech, there is no other way of classifying it. Watching an educator belittle a student to tears with such blatant ignorance leaves me to question the values UCLA wishes to uphold.”
Associate Director of Media Relations for UCLA Ricardo Vasquez released a statement claiming that "several students" were concerned that the lecture "went beyond legitimate criticism of the State of Israel [and] into antisemitism. The university is committed to academic freedom as well as building an inclusive learning environment without discrimination and harassment. Senior leadership are aware of the concerns and are working together to learn more and to find a satisfying resolution. In accordance with university procedure, allegations of discrimination or harassment have been conveyed to the Discrimination Prevention Office.”The statement was also printed by the Journal.
Many organizations, after hearing the news, spoke out in condemnation of the lecture, including the ADL, the Simon Wiesenthal Center and StandWithUs.
A chief professor at the school, Judea Pearl, called on the anthropology department to issue an apology to the students in an email written to the Journal, “for slander made by one of its invited speakers who vilified the collective identity of many faculty and students at UCLA, associating Zionism and the State of Israel with ‘colonialism’ and ‘white supremacy.’" "I find it hard to believe that an accredited UCLA department could overlook the long racist history of this invited speaker," he continued. "Rabab Abdulhadi was the person who stood behind the exclusion of Zionist students from campus activities at California State University San Francisco, which has resulted in a lawsuit and an embarrassing legal settlement for her university.”