Berkeley Disinvites Oakland City Council Member Who Criticized Hamas

A class at the University of California Berkeley disinvited Oakland City Council member Dan Kalb from giving a lecture on environmental issues after students objected that he had made pro-Israel statements online, including criticism of Hamas.

As Breitbart News reported in November, Kalb joined the 8-0 majority on the council in voting to endorse a ceasefire in Gaza. But he also proposed an amendment in which the council would condemn Hamas terrorism. The amendment was rejected.

The Jewish News of Northern California reported that Kalb had been disinvited from Berkeley, which has been a hotbed of anti-Israel protests and antisemitic attacks on Jewish students:

Dan Kalb, 64, has spent decades working on environmental policy in the nonprofit sector, advocating for clean energy, combating climate change and working on other conservation priorities.

But in the weeks leading up to Kalb’s Nov. 21 presentation, a group of students looked into his background and found social media posts that they said promoted “pro-Israeli propaganda.” Days prior to the event, Kurt Spreyer, the course instructor and an adjunct professor, contacted Kalb and shared a strongly worded letter that had been composed and co-signed by more than 30 students.
The letter, which was seen by J., alleged a litany of crimes committed by Israel, including environmental harms that the students said “forever chang[ed] the ecology of a once flourishing community and landscape.” The letter accused Kalb of playing an “active role in retweeting and spreading pro-Israeli propaganda, which often equates pro-Palestinian voices as ‘anti-Semitic.’”

Kalb had addressed the class before, which had nothing to do with Israel.

The letter by the student is a poorly-informed screed, accusing Israel of “environmental apartheid.”

The administration of the college condemned the actions of the students and said it is investigating to make sure such a disinvitation never happens again.

Berkeley is being sued by Jewish groups for antisemitism, partly due to a policy shared by many student groups that bars pro-Israel speakers, which excludes the vast majority of Jews. Berkeley was spared — for now — an investigation by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights, which is investigating “UCLA, UC San Diego, Stanford, San Diego State and Santa Monica College,” the Los Angeles Times reported last week.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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