The Department of Education is investigating another university over pro-Palestine events. The move comes just one month after President Trump signed an executive order that effectively allows the government to crack down on pro-Palestine campus organizing.
In November 2018, the National Students for Justice in Palestine conference was held at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). That event prompted a federal complaint from a right-wing, pro-Israel group called the Zachor Legal Institute. That organization has consistently filed legal complaints aimed at stifling the BDS movement. The Office for Civil Rights has reportedly opened the complaint and are launching an investigation.
Apparently, they are also initiating an investigation over an October 2019 complaint from the right-wing group StandWithUs. The complaint was filed in response to a guest lecture by San Francisco State University Professor Rabab Abdulhadi on the subject of Islamophobia. According to the complaint, Abdulhadi’s refusal to back Israel made a student cry. UCLA carried out their own investigation after the incident and found there was no wrongdoing.
Unbelievable: Trump's Dept. of Ed. opens not one, but two investigations into UCLA for tolerating Palestine advocacy on campus: the first concerning the 2018 National SJP conference, and the second regarding a guest lecture in May 2019 on Islamophobia. https://t.co/XrWOLeJ4dw
— Palestine Legal (@pal_legal) January 10, 2020
Last year, the Education Department investigated a pro-Palestine conference organized by the Duke-University of North Carolina Consortium for Middle East Studies after a Republican lawmaker called for action. In September the U.S. Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education Robert King published a letter detailing the department’s conclusions. The letter threatens to cut the programs federal funding unless it revises its curriculum to “benefit of U.S. national security and economic stability.”