Berkeley Law School dean responds to BDS - Maccabee Task Force

Law Students for Justice in Palestine (LSJP) at Berkeley Law School have written a BDS bylaw for other student organizations at the law school to adopt. According to LSJP Berkeley’s Instagram account – whose description reads “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” – nine student organizations voted to adopt the bylaw.

The text of the bylaw includes such stipulations as:

“In the rejection of colonialism, imperialism, and other types of oppression, [insert organization name] is dedicated to wholly boycotting, sanctioning and divesting funds from institutions, organizations, companies and any entity that participated in or is directly/indirectly complicit in the occupation of the Palestinian territories and/or supports the actions of the apartheid state of Israel.”

The bylaw also asserts that groups will not invite speakers who “have expressed and continued to hold views …in support of Zionism, the apartheid state of Israel, and the occupation of Palestine.”

It concludes by stating that members of the given organization’s board will agree to participate in a “Palestine 101” training session run by LSJP members.

Dean Chemerinsky’s response

The dean of Berkeley Law School, Erwin Chemerinsky, responded last week to a new wave of BDS activity at the school, describing it as “troubling” in an email to students.

He made it very clear that “the Law School takes no position on these issues, or for that matter on any issues.” He also pointed out that it is the “First Amendment right of students to express their views on any issues.”

Dean Chemerinsky continued, writing: “It is troubling to broadly exclude a particular viewpoint from being expressed.”

Finally, he reiterated that he deeply supports “the right of all…students to take positions on this and all issues.”

Read more: