Some UCLA students were offered extra credit to attend a pro-Palestinian teach-in held Wednesday, according to a screenshot of an email from a grad student to her class that went viral on social media.
A different UCLA professor canceled her class and had her students attend the teach-in instead, a screenshot of the email showed.
The screenshots were posted on X and widely shared by concerned observers who expressed shock and anger.
“.@UCLA students are being offered extra credit to attend an anti-Israel, antisemitic lecture today. This is a violation of these students rights and the very principle of academic integrity. Join me in calling upon @UCLASenate to investigate,” posted Arielle Yael, who is the associate director of global programming for the Milken Institute and a UCLA alumnus, according to her X bio.
The teach-in took place five days after Israel was attacked by Hamas in a terror attack that has killed about 1,100 people, including children who were reportedly “butchered,” Israeli women who were raped, and families who were gunned down inside their homes.
One screenshot regarding the extra credit states: “Dear all, I’d like to share another extra credit opportunity happening tomorrow, Wednesday, October 11th at 5 p.m. at Kaplan 193. It is an Emergency Teach-In on the Crisis in Palestine convened by Professor Saree Makdisi from English and Comparative Literature and Professor Sherene Razack from Gender Studies, both at UCLA. There is also an option to join by Zoom. I’ve attached the poster below.”
The email does not indicate what class it was sent to, but it is signed by “Formosa.” There is a grad student by that name in the Department of Comparative Literature at UCLA.
The other email is addressed to students in an International Development Studies class and is written by Professor Jennifer Chun, according to the screenshot. In it, she states she “just realized” the teach-in is scheduled at the same time as the class.
.@UCLA students are being offered extra credit to attend an anti-Israel, antisemitic lecture today. This is a violation of these students rights and the very principle of academic integrity. Join me in calling upon @UCLASenate to investigate. pic.twitter.com/24LkHse8tp
— Arielle Yael (@ArielleYael) October 11, 2023
“As a class, we will attend the teach-in instead,” the email states. “You can also attend on zoom — see link below.”
The teach-in was co-led by Makdisi, whose UCLA bio states in part he “devotes substantial time and energy to defending the Palestinian people’s rights, and to exploring alternatives to what he calls ‘the now moribund two-state solution’ that will enable peace with justice for both Israelis and Palestinians.”
Canary Mission, a pro-Israel group that tracks antisemitism, states Makdisi “is a leader within the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement and advocates for a one-state solution, which has been exposed as a strategy to eliminate Israel as a Jewish state.”
The other teach-in leader, Razack, is focused on “racial violence” as a field of study, according to her faculty bio. Her 2022 book, “Nothing Has to Make Sense: Upholding White Supremacy through Anti-Muslim Racism,” takes a “critical race theory” approach to “demonstrates that anti-Muslim racism reveals white supremacy as a global force,” its online description states.
IMAGE: Twitter screenshot