Israeli diplomats put pressure on the dean of a US university to remove a teacher who criticized Israel, using allegations of antisemitism, The Middle East Monitor reported.
Details of the intervention by Israeli consular officials, in what has been slammed as another example of the gross interference by a foreign state, were reported on September 28 by The Intercept.
State officials from the US and Israel are harassing my friend and colleague Kylie Broderick, who is teaching a course on the history of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict at UNC. This is a gross example of state censorship that we need to organize against. https://t.co/yFOrZZqORG
— CWalk (@CristianRWalk) September 28, 2021
Israeli consular officials arranged meetings with a dean at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to remove a graduate student, Kylie Broderick, from teaching the history department course called ‘The Conflict over Israel/Palestine’, according to The Intercept.
Details of the visit by Israeli officials are said to have been exposed by two UNC professors who had knowledge of the meeting.
The intervention by the Israeli officials followed a pressure campaign by right-wing pro-Israel websites and an advocacy group who pointed to postings Broderick had made on Twitter, in which she was critical of Israel and Zionism. Without evidence, the Israeli officials cited the postings as evidence of antisemitism, The Intercept noted.
“I think that a representative of a foreign government attempting to police an academic class is, in the first place, ridiculous, and an obvious overreaction to what is essentially an issue that started on Twitter,” The Intercept reported Broderick as saying.
“I also think it is strange that the Israeli consulate general was granted an audience. If this was a class on Hungary or Australia, would the university have permitted the attempted interference of a foreign government? The fact that this meeting happened at all is clearly a threat to academic freedom,” Broderick added, according to The Intercept.
Over the past few years, there has been a concerted campaign to conflate antisemitism with criticism of Israel using the adoption of a highly controversial definition of racism known as the International Holocaust Definition of anti-Semitism.
(The Palestine Chronicle, MEMO, Social Media)