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A professor known for opposition to Israel was mistakenly selected to chair an expired California State University (CSU) committee designed to curb anti-Semitism in California schools, a California State University spokesperson told Campus Reform on Wednesday.
CSU’s Academic Senate’s choice of Manzar Foroohar, a professor of history at CSU Polytechnic (Cal Poly), to lead the committee shocked a number of conservative Jewish groups late last month because of her alliance with several group actively working against the state of Israel.
“Her selection defeats the whole purpose of the task force,” said Roz Rothstein, CEO of the pro-Israel education group Stand With Us, in an interview with the Jewish News Service, JNS.org.
“We urge the [CSU] Academic Senate to take its responsibility seriously and replace Professor Foroohar with someone more suitable for the role,” he added.
Manzar is reportedly an active member of both the Israel Divestment Campaign and the U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel. Both groups allege that the state of Israel is illegal and regularly violates international law and human rights.
Campus Reform learned Wednesday, however, that that committee, charged with implementing the “Governor’s Task Force on Tolerance and Anti-Semitism,” was actually dissolved in 2010.
“The committee does not exist,” Mike Uhlenkamp, Director of Media Relations for CSU told Campus Reform on Wednesday.
“The committee was formed several years ago during the Schwarzenegger administration. It has not met since 2010.”
Uhlenkamp told Campus Reform that the Academic Senate, the CSU body responsible for nominating individuals to various positions, simply had not received word that the committee had been terminated back in 2010.
Tracy Butler, the Director of the Academic Senate also confirmed Ulhenkamp’s position.
“It was an honest error on our part,” she said. “You could classify it as a clerical error.”
In the past, former students of Foroohar’s have accused her of harboring anti-Israel sentiments, on a section of Cal Poly’s website that allows students to rate their professors.
“God forbid if you are Jewish or Israeli because she has it in for you. Do not take the class,” warned one anonymous student.
“[S]he is extremely one sided,” added another of the professor who is of Iranian descent. “I am a Jewish student and I felt extremely uncomfortable during her discussions about the middle-east, as she presented all of the course material in ways that seemed to attack Israel.”
“In terms of being impartial, she failed miserably,” added an additional student. “This class is just pandering to Palestinian propaganda.”
Foroohar grew up in the Islamic Republic of Iran and received her undergraduate degree from the National University of Iran in Tehran. She now teaches multiple courses on Middle Eastern history at Cal Poly.
Follow the author of this article on twitter: @oliverdarcy
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