A lecturer at the University of California Berkeley has apologized for sharing images on social media that the college deemed anti-Semitic and beyond acceptable criticism of Israel.
The college condemned lecturer Hatem Bazian of the Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies department after he retweeted two images, The Jewish News of California reported last week.
Bazian is the co-founder of the advocacy group Students for Justice in Palestine.
In a statement, UC Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof referred to the University of California Regents’ Principles Against Intolerance.
“While we do not believe that all criticism of Israel’s governmental policies is inherently anti-Semitic, the social media posts in question clearly crossed the line, and we are pleased they have been deleted,” he said.
One of the doctored images showed a stereotypical ultra-Orthodox Jewish man, arms raised in celebration, along with the slogan “I can now kill, rape, smuggle organs and steal the land of Palestinians.”
Another showed North Koran leader Kim Jong-Un wearing a kippah and announcing that he had converted his entire people to Judaism.
“Donald Tlump [sic]: Now my nukes are legal and I can annex South Korea and you need to start paying me 34 billion a year in welfare,” Kim says.
The images were posted to the account of Twitter user Ron Hughes in July, but shared by Bazian only last week.
In an email to The Jewish News of California, Bazian said he was wrong to share the images, and said that in the future he will be more careful to keep his criticism focused on Israel, rather than Jews.
“The image in the tweet and the framing relative to Judaism and conversion was wrong and offensive and not something that reflects my position, be it in the past or the present,” he wrote. “In the future, I will make sure to include that retweets don’t represent an agreement or support for the ideas that are shared and only my own postings reflect my positions on issues.
“As a Palestinian, my issue is with Zionism, and not with Judaism or Jews,” noted Bazian, who was born in the West Bank town of Nablus.
Tikvah, a pro-Israel student group in Berkeley, had slammed Bazian in a Facebook post, saying the lecturer had “shown his true colors after retweeting a truly revolting, Anti-Semitic tweet.”
StandWithUs, an international Israel advocacy group, said in a statement that “Bazian is spreading hate against Jews on social media” and that he has a “long history of promoting hate.”
In 2002 The Jewish News of California reported that Bazian, at the time a graduate student, had urged the crowd at a rally to “take a look at the type of names on the building around campus — Haas, Zellerbach — and decide who controls this university.”