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CAEF letter to Chancellor UC Santa Cruz and Public Affairs Office re hosting of the antisemitic ICSZ

Dear Chancellor Larive and Campus Public Affairs,

It is noteworthy, that you state online that "We (UCSC) are vigorous proponents of free inquiry and the free exchange of ideas, and believe that more speech is the best approach to countering speech we find troubling. Both by policy and in practice, the university rigorously honors the freedom to present the widest range of viewpoints irrespective of agreement on those viewpoints." But is it true that allowing all manner of viewpoints to be expressed, rather than facts, research, evidence, is appropriate at a university?

It is so common an expression that it is rarely examined ie that respecting free speech is a truism for democracy. However, the Nazis indoctrinated an entire country with their freely expressed opinions, backed by hatred, lies and bigotry and they effectively infected an entire generation with antisemitism. How is it not the same that is being propagated by the haters of Zionism? Zionism is the belief in the rights of Jews to self-determination in their ancient homeland? The new organization is not worthy of the name Institute nor of being considered "critical studies" because it is a sham for their antipathy towards Israel which they blame for every evil under the sun, not unlike the Nazis blaming Jews for every evil. It is exactly the same and now these unacademic Jew haters will even blame Nazism on the Jews by vilifying Israel.

While a statement of agreement with the fallacious, biased, disinformation of the new "Critical Studies" cohort, is no longer required, as you correctly point out on your website, speakers and participants have already agreed to this pernicious Jew hatred perspective. What is the point of hosting something so antithetical to true knowledge building, sharing, investigating, at a university? What is the point, other than to both vilify Jews and denounce Israel, and have your university noted in history as the first home of the new obscenity that denigrates the only Jewish country on the globe? Is this an important statement about free speech or free hate?

How are you educating a whole generation when you allow any part of your facility, your website, your hosting services to give sway to anti-Zionists, the latest and greatest form of Jew hatred since WWII? There is no Judaism without Zionism. Over 80% of Jews self-identity as Zionists. Zionism is found throughout the Torah, which is the Jewish Bible, and is also the Old Testament to Christians. Why are you allowing the vilification of the Jews in association with your institution? This obscenity called "Critical Studies" is creating a new low bar in antisemitism and UC Santa Cruz is at the apex of it by refusing to just say, "NO! UCSC will not tolerate, support, or align in any way with this wave of antisemitism, no matter how it is disguised."

You are making your campus hostile to Jewish students, faculty, admin, donors, and governors. Do you even care? Would you offer a site or any resources for the Institute of Critical Study of Racism, which had the sole goal of showing that Black people are responsible for racism and that the historical roots of racism in America do not actually exist? Would you support so many lies?

Why are you acting against the Jews, and the common good for American society by giving an excuse for allowing Jew hatred on your watch??

We urgently await your response.

Andria Spindel

Executive Director

Canadian Antisemitism Education Foundation


Chancellor's Office response

Thank you for your message. Though a small number of UCSC faculty and departments are engaged in the conference organized by the Institute for the Critical Study of Zionism, this conference is not endorsed by the university and is not being held on our campus.

Public universities operate under the principle of academic freedom which upholds the free speech of faculty and departments.

We know that this conference comes at a time when the Jewish community is reeling from the horrible terrorist attacks on Israel, and we are truly sorry that this conference adds to your pain.

Cynthia Larive, UCSC Chancellor Lori Kletzer, Campus Provost and EVC


Cynthia K. Larive Chancellor University of California, Santa Cruz 200 Kerr Hall | 831.459.4291


CAEF response

Dear Chancellor Larive,

While I appreciate your response and understand the concept of free speech, it is absolutely not acceptable that even a "small number of faculty and departments" are engaged in lies and hatred towards Israel and the Jewish people. Your university's name is associated with this attack on the very belief system of the Jews.

Zionism is the belief in the indigenous and historic, legal and moral, right to sovereignty in their ancient homeland.

Would you accept any event, of any size that aims to vilify Christianity or Islam? Would you accept any bogus "academic" study for a fictitious discipline whose sole aim is to discredit an entire people? Would you stand by if "some faculty and departments" held a conference denying that anti-Black racism exists? Why are you not condemning vociferously what is being called a "critical study" that is no more than a platform for antisemitism?

If your university were to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance working definition of antisemitism, and its illustrative examples, maybe you would see the obvious--this band of anti-Zionists, are trying to convince others that Israel is not legitimate. That goes a long way to supporting the terrorist regime that runs Gaza.

Antisemitism begins with words—it always does, and at the height of the worst antisemitism the world has ever seen, there were academics who lied about Jews, Judaism and the Jewish people. Now they can also lie about the Jewish state and pretend it isn't age old antisemitism.

Chancellor Lavrie, you have a moral obligation to do more than pull your logo and refuse space to this obscene and immoral program.

Do what is right—ensure that absolutely nothing about your university is associated with the fakery of Critical Studies of Zionism--- and let all your faculty, departments, students, administration, and community know that it is totally unacceptable.


Andria Spindel

Executive Director

Canadian Antisemitism Education Foundation


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