On November 8, the Pitzer College faculty voted to suspend its study abroad program with the University of Haifa in Israel. As The Claremont Independent reported, the motion called for the “suspension of the College’s exchange with Haifa University, until (a) the Israeli state ends its restrictions on entry to Israel based on ancestry and/or political speech and (b) the Israeli state adopts policies granting visas for exchanges to Palestinian universities on a fully equal basis as it does to Israeli universities.”
In addition, the faculty also attacked Israel by dissenting from the college president and trustees, who had nullified a Student Senate resolution that was similar to demands from the BDS movement, calling for a boycott of Israel until it withdraws from Judea and Samaria , pulls down the security wall that protects it against Palestinian terrorists, and promotes the suicidal (for Israel) “right to return” of Palestinians. The student vote was taken during Passover, when Jews were unavailable to vote.
The faculty stated, “[i]ndependent of agreeing or disagreeing with that resolution, we the Faculty object to the president and trustees singling out this one issue as a basis for not accepting the Senate’s longstanding autonomy in controlling its funds, in the context of Pitzer’s governance system.”
The Claremont Students for Justice in Palestine (Claremont SJP) expressed “great joy” at the actions of the faculty, adding, “it is imperative that the colleges withdraw this program from their study abroad curriculums.”
Claremont SJP stated, “[o]n November 8th, the faculty of the college decided to listen to student voices – to support the call for justice, respect and dignified life through Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions movement…The faculty motions are two important and crucial milestones in the path towards justice for Palestinians, and we hope that the Claremont student populace supports them with the utmost enthusiasm.”
As The Daily Wire reported in April 2017:
While 17 student senators were absent either observing Passover or Easter, the Pitzer College student senate passed an anti-Semitic resolution preventing the Student Activities Fund from purchasing Israeli products. This resolution was passed with 22 yes votes, 4 abstentions, and zero votes in opposition. Article III of the Pitzer College Budgetary Committee By-laws were amended to include the following clause:
Student Activities Funds shall not be used to make a payment on goods or services from any corporation or organization associated with the unethical occupation of Palestinian territories. Products include those products from corporations and organizations as delineated in the boycott list maintained by bdsmovement.net/get-involved/what-toboycott
According to The Claremont Independent, Pitzer’s senate moved forward with this resolution a week after Claremont Students for Justice in Palestine hosted its annual “Israeli Apartheid Week” and when there would be considerably less opposition to the blatantly anti-Semitic language specifically calling out Israel for supposed human rights violations. The resolution did not address countries like Lebanon and Jordan, which impose devastating apartheid laws on Palestinian-Arab refugees in their respective countries.
Pitzer College, Pomona College, Harvey Mudd College, Claremont McKenna College, and Scripps College comprise the Claremont Colleges Consortium.