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Anti-BDS funding stipulation sparks legal fight at UCLA

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In October, students at the University of California, Los Angeles say they got a striking lesson in what legal groups call the “Palestine exception to free speech.” The graduate student government at the school agreed to fund an event on diversity–but on the condition that the gathering had no connection to the movement to divest from companies linked to the Israeli army.

The funding condition, disclosed to members of Students for Justice in Palestine and reported by the school newspaper, has sparked harsh criticism of the president of the Graduate Student Association (GSA), and prompted legal groups to send a letter to the university reminding them of their constitutional obligations. The uproar over the funding condition, and a subsequent “neutrality position” on Israel/Palestine, has also led to the resignation of one member of the Graduate Student Association. The GSA president, Milan Chatterjee, has denied wrongdoing and said he only wanted the GSA to be neutral on Israel/Palestine. And pro-Israel legal groups have also weighed in with their own letter, arguing that the GSA did nothing unconstitutional.

The funding stipulation is part of what activists see as an attack on the rights of pro-Palestinian students to organize.

“This is a wake up call to everybody as to what it means to be a [pro] Palestinian activist on campus,” said Yacoub Kureh, the president of UCLA’s SJP chapter.

In recent years, UCLA’s student government has been the scene of bitter spats over Israel/Palestine and the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement. The UCLA undergraduate student government passed a resolution in favor of divestment in November 2014. Top UC officials have weighed in to criticize the movement. The debate at UCLA also comes in the context of continuing administrative crackdowns on pro-Palestinian organizing. In October, George Washington University campus police instructed a student to take down a Palestinian flag outside of his window.

This latest campus fight in California began on October 15, when the Diversity Caucus of UCLA applied for $2,000 in funding from the GSA cabinet to put on an event about diversity, a hot topic on campus in light of the Black Lives Matter movement and incidents like a Kanye West-themed frat party, where students wore blackface. GSA president Chatterjee responded that his cabinet could fund the event, as long as “your organization has zero connection with ‘Divest from Israel’ or any equivalent movement/organization.” Chatterjee followed up with an e-mail repeating the same demand. The Diversity Caucus accepted the stipulation because they needed the money for the event, but a member of the caucus also shared the stipulation with SJP members, who were taken aback–particularly because the Diversity Caucus had nothing to do with Israel/Palestine.

Chatterjee told me he intended for the funding stipulation to apply to both sides of the issue–those in support of divestment and those against it. In other words, he said that the GSA’s policy is to remain neutral on Israel/Palestine, and not fund any side of the issue. When asked why his e-mail only made mention of “Divest from Israel,” he said that he clarified, in a phone conversation with the Diversity Caucus organizer shortly after he sent the e-mail, that “this applies not just to pro-BDS, but it applies to any counter-movement, anti-BDS…Unfortunately, she chose not to release that conversation to SJP or any other party. She purposefully misled or omitted that fact.”

Manpreet Dhillon, the Diversity Caucus organizer who Chatterjee spoke with, says that Chatterjee never told her the funding condition applied to both sides.

On November 18, the American Civil Liberties Union, Palestine Legal and the Center for Constitutional Rights sent a strongly-worded letter to UC Chancellor Gene Block.

The GSA funding stipulation “violates the well-established First Amendment rights of student organizations on campus, and must be rescinded immediately,” they wrote.  The legal groups say that it is “unconstitutional for the student government to discriminate in funding student groups and their projects based on viewpoint.” The university has since said it is investigating the dispute to get to the bottom of it.

Pro-Israel legal groups like the Pat Robertson-founded American Center for Law and Justice argue that it was well within the rights of the GSA to remain neutral on the issue. Chatterjee and these groups have also argued that the GSA agreed to fund the event out of a cabinet fund, instead of the regular discretionary fund, and did not want the funding to be construed as an endorsement of BDS.

Liz Jackson, a lawyer with Palestine Legal, told me that the ACLJ’s letter to the school is misleading. She said that while student governments have the right to fund or not fund certain projects, “the university is required to distribute what’s called ‘mandatory student fees’ in a viewpoint neutral manner.” (Mandatory student fees is money collected by the university for funding of student activities and groups. The Supreme Court has ruled they must be distributed without viewpoint discrimination.)

When I asked Chatterjee in an e-mail how this separate cabinet money was funded–and whether it came from mandatory student fees–he said that he was “very ill” and does not “have access to the GSA documents.” Jackson said that “the GSA has not provided any information about what ‘special’ fund the money came from. The affected students would love to know. If the money came from mandatory student fees that all UCLA students pay as part of their tuition, which it most likely did because this is how the GSA is funded, then the law is perfectly clear: the GSA cannot dictate the political views of funding recipients. If the money came from elsewhere, then Chatterjee should explain that and provide the documentation, but he has not.”

Jackson added that the dispute “is not about the misdeeds of the president of the Graduate Student Association…It’s really about the systemic issues at the UC, of repeated official denunciations of advocacy for Palestinian rights.”

This fall, top UC officials made a push to institute a speech code policy that critics say would conflate anti-Semitism and criticism of Israel. UC Regent Richard Blum, who is married to Senator Dianne Feinstein, threatened that the Senator would publicly denounce the university if they did not adopt the speech code.

Alex Kane
About Alex Kane

Alex Kane is a freelance journalist who focuses on Israel/Palestine and civil liberties. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.

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42 Responses

  1. Citizen
    Citizen
    December 10, 2015, 12:20 pm

    Imagine how many governmental & quasi governmental employee staff in USA cringe and get the shpilkes whenever they have to deal with anything involving Israel.

    • john_manyjars
      john_manyjars
      December 11, 2015, 2:06 am

      “When I asked Chatterjee in an e-mail how this separate cabinet money was funded–and whether it came from mandatory student fees–he said that he was “very ill” and does not “have access to the GSA documents.”

      Chatterjee brings the term ‘Chickenshit’ to a higher level all by himself!

  2. mls31286
    mls31286
    December 10, 2015, 1:32 pm

    You anti-Israel people are the biggest hypocrites in whole entire world. If an Israeli speaker comes in to talk, he/she is interrupted to the point that he/she can’t even give the speech. You don’t even want to hear the other side. And now you talk about fairness.

    You ask Jewish people to say their views on Israel to get on the student government.

    You support boycotting a Israel while not allowing any dissenting views. How many debates have BDSers had with Anti-BDSers? I guess the better question is how many debates have been turned down?

    But you support free speech…only if you agree with it. Pathetic.

    Let the skewering of me begin.

    • annie
      annie
      December 10, 2015, 2:37 pm

      If an Israeli speaker comes in to talk, he/she is interrupted to the point that he/she can’t even give the speech.

      some might consider those student’s interruption as students exercising their freedom of speech. whereas i am not sure if foreign government funded speakers have a right to freedom of speech on american campuses, as they are foreign funded.

      You ask Jewish people to say their views on Israel to get on the student government

      if divestment from israel is an issue that will be addressed by the student government, which indeed it is, then one might think it was pertinent to ask any person running for student government their views on israel. just like it’s fair game to ask any person running for congress their views on israel.

      and especially if a student is active or a leader in a campus zionist organization (which hillel most definitely is, as a requirement for participation) i’m not sure how or why this would not be discussed in an appointment of that student in the capacity of being a judge of the student government.

      You support boycotting a Israel while not allowing any dissenting views.

      in what capacity do students “not allow” dissenting views? do you mean hillel’s rules disallowing speakers based on group affiliation?

      the better question is how many debates have been turned down?

      try doing your own research and get back to us w/some source links. i’d be interested in examining your results. and while you’re at it what’s hillel’s history in this regard?

    • ckg
      ckg
      December 10, 2015, 7:28 pm

      mls31286: But you support free speech…only if you agree with it. Pathetic

      I think it should be apparent that we, “the biggest hypocrites in [the] whole entire world”, allow free speech for even the most absurdly vitriolic pro-Israel comments. Just follow the comment rules. Welcome to Mondoweiss.

      • annie
        annie
        December 10, 2015, 8:58 pm

        i’m of the firm belief the more discourse you allow pro israel advocates the more they hang themselves with their own words (metaphorically of course). defending zionism is a tough job bwahhhh. and they know it too.

    • diasp0ra
      diasp0ra
      December 10, 2015, 9:19 pm

      @MLS

      “How many debates have BDSers had with Anti-BDSers? I guess the better question is how many debates have been turned down? ”

      Are you kidding me? Anti-BDS is the default and dominant narrative in the mainstream. Have BDSers bribed University faculty to shut down Anti-BDS activities? Have BDSers hired students to spread propaganda online? Have BDSers pushed for state level laws?

      BDSers have to deal every single day with the position of Anti-BDSers and are forced to debate them logically, rationally and calmly or else they get accused of being “angry” or “antisemitic”.

      In the end all it takes is for a Zionist student to say that they feel threatened and that’s the end of the story.

      I don’t think you realize how hard it is to organize anything related to BDS, the amount of red tape that comes with it that no other group has to deal with. Not to mention the demonization and literal governmental surveillance that comes with it.

      I think you have it wrong. We’re not afraid of debating anyone. You’ll find that we’re pretty well informed too. So, did you have any points you wanted to raise, or are you just going to accuse people of hypocrisy without backing yourself up?

    • talknic
      talknic
      December 10, 2015, 11:34 pm

      @ mls31286 ” If an Israeli speaker comes in to talk, he/she is interrupted to the point that he/she can’t even give the speech.

      Example, including transcript or sound … thx

      “Let the skewering of me begin”

      Without substantiation you oughtn’t play with skewers

    • niass2
      niass2
      December 11, 2015, 12:32 am

      I am sitting here alone in a room. Whatever. I am Jewish. I dont know u. All I know is Israel lost me when I was, seven. That’s all. My ancestors are from Europe, as far a I know. Israel has nothing to do with my Judaism. There is only pavement there. I wanna go see the grateful dead in Lithuania………….. That’s where us Jews are from. Not Madagascar, although they have good soil there.

    • john_manyjars
      john_manyjars
      December 11, 2015, 2:07 am

      “You don’t even want to hear the other side.”

      Umm, the ‘other side’ is ALL we hear in the ‘mainstream’ US media! FOX, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, Rush, Savage, etc etc etc much??

    • Yossarian22
      Yossarian22
      December 11, 2015, 10:42 am

      If you don’t understand the difference between activists protesting or heckling an event and university administration abusing their power to silence a particular viewpoint, you have nothing to contribute.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        December 11, 2015, 3:39 pm

        I’ve done a little heckling myself, regarding it as part of the liveliness of public discussion, not as an attempt to shut someone up. And it’s quite true that carefully avoiding and discouraging discussion of a situation is intervention on the side of the status quo. If it”s an educational context and the situation is one that seems to be of exceptional interest to the students, so much the worse.

    • Sycamores
      Sycamores
      December 11, 2015, 12:34 pm

      mls,

      “You support boycotting a Israel while not allowing any dissenting views. ”

      poppycock!

      the fact is their is no one stopping the pro-Israel groups from debating against the BDS movement or any other pro-Palestinian movement. the pro-Israel side wants the GSA to remain neutral because they don’t want to debate against the BDS movement simply because they will sound like a bunch of human rights abusers. it’s as simple as that.

  3. annie
    annie
    December 10, 2015, 2:42 pm

    not allowing bds activity at a campus event is not “a..“neutrality position” on Israel/Palestine”, it is silencing one side while supporting the side that seeks to not support bds.

    • diasp0ra
      diasp0ra
      December 11, 2015, 9:16 am

      Exactly, Annie.

      Not taking a position on something is supporting the status quo. Not taking a position IS a position.

      • annie
        annie
        December 11, 2015, 10:22 am

        i’m sure israel would like nothing better than to shut down all speech surrounding israel/palestine on campuses (because the more you know the worse it looks and pro israel students can’t win those arguments – defending apartheid) and all discussion of divestment especially in student government including student senate resolutions. so GSA not funding “engaging in any discussion in regards to Israel-Palestine Politics” is precisely serving pro israel students by preventing dialogue that israel doesn’t want (because pro israel students lose in debate/discussion).

  4. oldgeezer
    oldgeezer
    December 10, 2015, 3:05 pm

    @annie

    Self evident to anyone but a zionist who whines about an infringement on the privileged position that they hold.

    @mls31286
    “How many debates have BDSers had with Anti-BDSers? I guess the better question is how many debates have been turned down? – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/12/funding-stipulation-sparks#comment-158420

    Cuts both ways I’m afraid. You haven’t shown a single case or issue of hypocrisy. The fact that you fear free speech should be your first clue that you are in the wrong. FWIW though I will say I would prefer people didn’t shout down presenters. For the most part zionists arguments and words are the best evidence against them.

  5. MaxNarr
    MaxNarr
    December 10, 2015, 10:35 pm

    Let’s be clear, any move to boycott Jews that violates a groups charter is illegal under USA law. Groups like Shurat Hadin and others will relentlessly pursue those who promote BDS in every court in the land until they are ended.

    • annie
      annie
      December 10, 2015, 11:28 pm

      there’s no move on any US campus to boycott jews. so that’s a red herring max — and you know it.

      • talknic
        talknic
        December 10, 2015, 11:38 pm

        @ MaxNarr “Let’s be clear, any move to boycott Jews … etc “

        @ Annie Robbins “there’s no move on any US campus to boycott jews. so that’s a red herring max — and you know it”

        You don’t understand Annie. Max is trying to tell us the illegal settlers are Jewish and the illegal settlements are for Jews

      • annie
        annie
        December 11, 2015, 10:15 am

        talknic, max is insinuating boycotters are not concerned with the crimes, only the ethnicity of the criminals. ‘but they’re jewish!! therefore you are targeting jews!!!’

        this is max’s circular logic:

        israel = jews
        jews = innocent victims of witch hunts
        israel = innocent victims of witch hunts

        israeli crimes = jewish crimes
        israeli criminals = jewish criminals
        boycott israeli crimes = boycott jews

        or something like that.

      • eljay
        eljay
        December 11, 2015, 10:52 am

        To hateful and immoral Zio-supremacist hypocrites like MaxNarr, Israel is:
        – Israeli until it benefits Zio-supremacists to say it’s Jewish; and
        – Jewish until it benefits Zio-supremacists to say it’s Israeli.

        And Israel / “Jewish State” must be treated just like any other state -but- it also must not be:
        – criticized for its past and on-going (war) crimes;
        – held accountable for its past and on-going (war) crimes; or
        – expected to honour its obligations under international law,
        …because that would be injustice, anti-Semitism, Jew-hatred and (for good measure) Holocaust.

        Zio-supremacists operate under the “Animal Farm” principle that “All animals are equal…but some animals are more equal than others.”

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        December 11, 2015, 12:00 pm

        “there’s no move on any US campus to boycott jews. so that’s a red herring max — and you know it.”

        You know, I’ve always had a problem with this, Annie. The Zionists are always ready, eager, to go into this ‘it’s anti-Semitic, anti-Jew’ thing .
        Those are people who are afraid of anti-semitism? Never seemed that way to me. Looks like that is the field on which they expect to beat all comers.
        They sound like Bubbeleh Rabbits. ‘Don’t throw us in the anti-Semitism’

    • niass2
      niass2
      December 11, 2015, 12:39 am

      BDS is like AA, it doesn’t need promotion, it spreads due to its intrinsic attraction, as a basic stance by any Jewish person who likes the idea of human rights. The Jews I know are all avoiding Israeli products, its just what we do now, as do all the whole foods hypocrites we know. Its easy to do, there were only several products we would buy anyways. Now we skip them and stare as they stay on sale, even the non Israeli Jewish items just seem to sit. Sweet Potato Pancakes, frozen, 75% off.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        December 11, 2015, 12:06 pm

        “Sweet Potato Pancakes, frozen, 75% off.”

        “Sweet” potato pancakes? A regular Idaho (or Washington) potato isn’t good enough? I yam what I yam, of course, but in a latke? No wonder they didn’t sell.

    • john_manyjars
      john_manyjars
      December 11, 2015, 2:08 am

      Because Israel=every single Jew, everywhere, right, Mr. Narr??

    • diasp0ra
      diasp0ra
      December 11, 2015, 9:17 am

      Max,

      Stop being Anti-Semitic and conflating Zionism with Judaism all the time.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        December 11, 2015, 11:49 am

        “Stop being Anti-Semitic and conflating Zionism with Judaism all the time.”

        No! Don’t you see? Making sure people know that Zionism is Jewish simply indemnifies Zionism against any accusation or indictment.
        Hell, it makes Zionism nearly invulnerable. I mean, really, who would dare hurt a Jew?

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      December 11, 2015, 11:47 am

      “Let’s be clear, any move to boycott Jews that violates a groups charter is illegal under USA law.”

      He’s right, you know! The first step is going before the Supreme Court and establishing that Judaism and Zionism are one and the same! And that all Jews are citizens of Israel! And then, we stand on our Jewish rights as Americans.
      After that, we mulct them all for heavy damages!

    • JLewisDickerson
      JLewisDickerson
      December 11, 2015, 7:31 pm

      This is for you, MaxNarr. It should really get your blood pumping!
      ISN’T THIS “MARCH OF THE FLAGS” QUITE THE GRAND SPECTACLE?!?!

      OTHER EXAMPLES OF FASCIST SPECTACLES:
      The role of the Brownshirtshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7MzARnOPCs
      The Blackshirtshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97nSCWU_hXQ
      Mussolini in Color – Sneak Peekhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQcmX3zq28E

      P.S. ALSO SEE:
      “Fascist Spectacle: The Aesthetics of Power in Mussolini’s Italy” (Studies on the History of Society and Culture)
      by Simonetta Falasca-Zamponi
      LINK – http://www.amazon.com/Fascist-Spectacle-Aesthetics-Mussolinis-Studies/dp/0520206231

  6. annie
    annie
    December 10, 2015, 11:22 pm

    i’ve been having a lot of fun reading the embeds and all the links in the embeds including email discussions, links in the comment sections and following all the discussions.

    this is fun, reading Milan Chatterjee eating his words and backtracking his earlier statements: http://www.scribd.com/doc/290937337/GSA-Cabinet-Clarification-on-Funding-Process-Re-Issued

    “GSA Cabinet – Clarification on Funding Process (Re-Issued)” (my bold)

    GSA does not have any policy or resolution regarding inclusion or exclusion of any political, ideological, or religious viewpoints in its event funding. Such a policy or resolution could only be passed by the GSA Forum, and no resolution to that effect has been considered or voted on by GSA Forum. We also understand that all student funding must be allocated by a content-neutral basis.

    GSA cabinet considered a conceptual resolution, that is not generally binding on GSA, that it would “abstain from taking any stances or engaging in any discussion in regards to Israel-Palestine Politics”, which received an affirmative vote of the cabinet. In order to go into effect as a guideline for GSA, it would be required to be noticed and voted on by the GSA Forum, which has not occurred. GSA regrets the confusion that occurred as it translated that sense of the cabinet in to an instruction regarding the diversity caucus funding, it was not intended to favor any side of this issue

    and this is part of SJP’s response: http://www.sjpbruins.com/news–opinion/update-on-gsa-funding-issue (my bold)

    With that said, although we do appreciate the sentence in GSA cabinet’s Nov. 23 statement that it now understands that “all student funding must be allocated by a content-neutral basis,” the remainder of that statement, combined with the several other statements released by GSA leadership over the past several days, end up only raising more questions than they answer.

    In its statement, the GSA Cabinet has now admitted that there was never a policy in existence that would allow the GSA to apply viewpoint restrictions when funding student groups. This means that the GSA President was not being truthful when claiming to student groups and to the Daily Bruin​ that such a policy existed, and it means that the GSA President acted outside of his authority when applying his own funding restrictions to student groups. These transgressions of public trust and authority add to the GSA President’s already documented refusal to provide the public with meeting minutes and policies. The public has a right to access these.

    Later in its statement, the GSA Cabinet claimed to have later passed a “conceptual resolution” about neutrality, which it never provided to the Forum for a binding vote. We cannot find any evidence of what a “conceptual resolution” is or how the GSA Cabinet is empowered to pass such a resolution in its constitution or codes. We also question how such a conceptual resolution might have been used to violate the basic First Amendment rights of the student body.

    What is most clear from these issues is that another statement will not suffice to resolve this problem.

    it’s gold. read the whole thing: http://www.sjpbruins.com/news–opinion/update-on-gsa-funding-issue

    Milan Chatterjee should resign. and his advisors in the administration should be ashamed of themselves.

  7. niass2
    niass2
    December 11, 2015, 12:26 am

    Diane Feinstein is very unpopular in many circles for numerous reasons, that have nothing to do with this article. The NPR crowd is the only group left that like her, and who are they?? If she condemned the University of California it would be good for the schools reputation. Isn’t she married to AlanGreenspan.com or something? This means anyone with a Portfolio would think her words are unclear and likely untrue. She is almost gone. I don’ think the school has much to worry about. This is in LA. Have they left the building to ask people on the street what they think of the senator? Probably not, they’ll get an earful, right there in LA. She is one of the reasons why people like Trump are popular, with her strange condemning weird stance on various thing we might agree with, but somehow with her its like Kelly Ayotte type situation or something. Something just isn’t right with Diane Feinstein. In terms of boycotting Jews, I boycotted my wife by not going to her PTO fundraising event, so I am boycotting Jews, its true.

    • annie
      annie
      December 11, 2015, 8:28 am

      I boycotted my wife by not going to her PTO fundraising event, so I am boycotting Jews, its true.

      lol

  8. JLewisDickerson
    JLewisDickerson
    December 11, 2015, 6:49 am

    RE:. “Pro-Israel legal groups like the Pat Robertson-founded American Center for Law and Justice argue that it was well within the rights of the GSA to remain neutral on the issue.” ~ Alex Kane

    MY SNARKCASM: It’s nice to see that some of the filthy lucre derived by Pat Roberton from his dealings with the likes of Liberia’s Chucky Taylor and Zaire’s Mobutu Sese Seko is being put to good use here in America! ! !

    FROM WIKIPEDIA AS OF 5/10/12 [Pat Robertson]:

    (EXCERPTS) Marion Gordon “Pat” Robertson (born March 22, 1930)[1] is a media mogul, television evangelist, ex-Baptist minister and businessman who politically aligns himself with the Christian Right in the United States. . .

    Business interests
    . . . According to a June 2, 1999, article in The Virginian-Pilot,[23] Robertson had extensive business dealings with Liberian president Charles Taylor. According to the article, Taylor gave Robertson the rights to mine for diamonds in Liberia’s mineral-rich countryside. According to two Operation Blessing pilots who reported this incident to the state of Virginia for investigation in 1994, Robertson used his Operation Blessing planes to haul diamond-mining equipment to Robertson’s mines in Liberia, despite the fact that Robertson was telling his 700 Club viewers that the planes were sending relief supplies to the victims of the genocide in Rwanda. In response to Taylor’s alleged crimes against humanity, the United States Congress passed a bill In November 2003 that offered two million dollars for his capture. Robertson accused President George W. Bush of “undermining a Christian, Baptist president to bring in Muslim rebels to take over the country.” At the time Taylor was harboring Al Qaeda operatives who were funding their operations through the illegal diamond trade.[24] On February 4, 2010, at his war crimes trial in the Hague, Taylor testified that Robertson was his main political ally in the U.S., and that he had volunteered to make Liberia’s case before U.S. administration officials in exchange for concessions to Robertson’s Freedom Gold, Ltd., to which Taylor gave a contract to mine gold in southeast Liberia.[25] . . .

    Political service and activism
    . . . In January 2009, on a broadcast of The 700 Club, Robertson stated that he is “adamantly opposed” to the division of Jerusalem between Israel and the Palestinians. He also stated that Armageddon is “not going to be fought at Megiddo” but will be the “battle of Jerusalem,” when “the forces of all nations come together and try to take Jerusalem away from the Jews. Jews are not going to give up Jerusalem — they shouldn’t — and the rest of the world is going to insist they give it up.” Robertson added that Jerusalem is a “spiritual symbol that must not be given away” because “Jesus Christ the Messiah will come down to the part of Jerusalem that the Arabs want,” and that’s “not good.”[40] . . .

    Controversies and criticisms
    . . .Robertson’s service as a minister has included the belief in the healing power of God.[43] He has cautioned believers that some Protestant denominations may harbor the spirit of the Antichrist;[44] prayed to deflect hurricanes;[45] denounced Hinduism as “demonic”[46] and Islam as “Satanic”.[47] Robertson has denounced left-wing views of feminism,[48] activism regarding homosexuality,[49] abortion[50] and liberal college professors.[51] Critics claim Robertson had business dealings in Africa with former presidents Charles Taylor[52] of Liberia and Mobutu Sese Seko[28] of Zaire who both had been internationally denounced for claims of human rights violations. Robertson was criticized worldwide for his call for Hugo Chávez’s assassination[28] and for his remarks concerning Ariel Sharon’s ill-health as an act of God.[53] Robertson made American national news in October 2003 for interviews with author Joel Mowbray about his book Dangerous Diplomacy, a book critical of the United States Department of State. Robertson’s commentary implied that if a small nuclear device were to be found at the State Department, such a thing might wake up America’s leaders to actually realize a potential threat; however, government officials expressed disdain at the thought of such a scenario.[54]
    The week of September 11, 2001, Robertson discussed the terror attacks with Jerry Falwell, who said that “the ACLU has to take a lot of blame for this” in addition to “the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays, and the lesbians [who have] helped [the terror attacks of September 11th] happen.” Robertson replied, “I totally concur.”[55] Both evangelists were seriously criticized by President George W. Bush for their commentary,[56] for which Falwell later issued an apology.[57]
    Less than two weeks after Hurricane Katrina killed 1,836 people, Robertson implied on the September 12th broadcast of The 700 Club that the storm was God’s punishment in response to America’s abortion policy. He suggested that September 11 and the disaster in New Orleans “could… be connected in some way”.[58]
    On November 9, 2009, Robertson said that Islam is “a violent political system bent on the overthrow of the governments of the world and world domination.” He went on to elaborate that “you’re dealing with not a religion, you’re dealing with a political system, and I think we should treat it as such, and treat its adherents as such as we would members of the communist party, members of some fascist group.”[59]
    Robertson’s response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake also drew controversy and condemnation.[60][61] Robertson claimed that Haiti’s founders had sworn a “pact to the Devil” in order to liberate themselves from the French slave owners and indirectly attributed the earthquake to the consequences of the Haitian people being “cursed” for doing so.[62][63] CBN later issued a statement saying that Robertson’s comments “were based on the widely-discussed 1791 slave rebellion led by Dutty Boukman at Bois Caiman, where the slaves allegedly made a famous pact with the devil in exchange for victory over the French.”[64][65] Various figures in mainline and evangelical[66] Christianity have on occasion disavowed some of Robertson’s remarks.[60][67] . . .

    SOURCE – https://web.archive.org/web/20120510192552/http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pat_Robertson

    • JLewisDickerson
      JLewisDickerson
      December 11, 2015, 7:41 am

      P.S.
      “Pat Robertson Defends Donald Trump’s Muslim Immigration Ban”
      By Brian Tashman, rightwingwatch.org, 12/9/2015

      Alluding to a bogus poll issued by an anti-Muslim group which alleged that large swathes of Muslim-Americans oppose the U.S. Constitution, televangelist Pat Robertson came to the defense of Donald Trump today over the GOP presidential candidate’s proposed ban on Muslim immigration. Trump also cited the unscientific survey to justify his call for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”

      Robertson, who yesterday said that Islam should not be considered a religion but rather a military system that is “intent on dominating and killing you,” warned that Muslim immigrants may bring Sharia law to the U.S., which would lead to the stoning of gay people, spousal abuse and the severing of the hands of criminals.

      “Donald Trump said something about keeping people who have those views out of this country and he has been excoriated all over the world,” he lamented.

      SOURCE – http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/pat-robertson-defends-donald-trumps-muslim-immigration-ban

      RWW News: Pat Robertson Defends Trump’s Muslim Immigration Ban

    • JLewisDickerson
      JLewisDickerson
      December 11, 2015, 8:08 am

      P.P.S.
      Why Your Husband Should Be Allowed to Cheat On You – Pat Robertson

      Published on May 29, 2013 by The Young Turks
      “Television preacher and one-time Republican presidential candidate Pat Robertson warned on his “700 Club” show Tuesday that he’s inclined to run a “full-scale exposé” on a web publication that he refused to identify, calling them a “nasty group” that focuses on “embarrassing conservatives” who appear on television.”*
      Pat Robertson is upset with progressive Right Wing Watch (or Media Matters) for pointing out all the horrible things he himself says on television. The nerve. Robertson is even threatening a full-scale expose! Which of his words were “twisted?” Cenk Uygur breaks it down.

      *Read more from Raw Story – http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/05/28/n

      • JLewisDickerson
        JLewisDickerson
        December 11, 2015, 8:29 am

        P.P.P.S.
        The INFAMOUS Oral Roberts SEX TAPE! 2.0

        Uploaded on Oct 21, 2007
        Here is a NEW and more HORRIFYING version of the previous worldwide YouTube release, “Oral Roberts Sex Tape!.” Enjoy this vintage Oral getting down and dirty sex-style in the House of God.

        P.P.P.P.S. DAYUM, DATS WHAT I CALL SOME HOTTER ‘N HELL SEX!
        OLD ORAL KNEW ALL THE KINKY MOVES!

      • JLewisDickerson
        JLewisDickerson
        December 11, 2015, 9:02 am

        P.P.P.S.
        Pat Robertson Explains How Gays Will Destroy America

        Published on Apr 4, 2015 by The Young Turks
        “Pat Robertson warned that the backlash to Indiana’s anti-LGBT law signaled a renewed assault on Americans’ sexual practices and “deeply held Christian beliefs.”

        The televangelist brought up during Thursday’s broadcast of the “700 Club” a pizza shop owner in the state who made national news when she told a TV reporter that she would not cater food at a same-sex wedding, reported Right Wing Watch.

        “Pizzas? I think, you know, you might as well keep your mouth shut,” Robertson said. “I’m not sure I would serve pizza for a gay wedding. Most gays, if they’re having a wedding, don’t want pizzas – they want cake. It’s the cake makers that are having the problem.”

        Read more here – http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2015/04/pat-robertson-tells-anti-lgbt-pizza-shop-owners-to-shut-up-this-is-about-cake-bakers/

  9. WTraveler
    WTraveler
    December 11, 2015, 9:30 am

    It’s truly mind boggling that those who support the Israeli occupation as so sensitive to criticism that they wish to restrict the Constitutional right to freedom of speech. Those who unconditionally support Israeli occupation policies must be running scared if their position can’t withstand the light of criticism as leveled by the BDS movement.

  10. Boo
    Boo
    December 11, 2015, 2:47 pm

    Just can’t imagine how a Chatterjee could have any problem with a group that advocated justice for Muslims. Can’t figure that out nohow.

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