KTTH OPINION

Rantz: UW ‘inclusion’ staff sends shockingly anti-Semitic email to students

Oct 31, 2023, 6:00 PM

UW anti-semitic...

Graphic created by The Jason Rantz Show. (Photo courtesy of University of Washington)

(Photo courtesy of University of Washington)

An office within the Admissions Department at the University of Washington (UW) College of Education sent out a shockingly anti-Semitic email to students in violation of University policy. It sided with Hamas terrorist attacks, calling it a “fight for freedom” and backed the extremist student group that celebrated the slaughter of over two hundred Jewish festival goers.

The Office of Student Diversity and Inclusion (OSDI) emailed students on October 25 to call out Israel, accusing Jews of genocide and apartheid. It was not sanctioned by the College of Education and UW officials have taken action against the staff involved.

“We cannot be silent nor take a neutral stance on genocide,” the email stated. “We firmly support the cause of Palestinians and their fight for freedom from the unlawful and oppressive settler colonial apartheid state. Palestine has been grappling with prolonged settler colonialism by Israel, land appropriation, military control, and ethnic displacement for more than 75 years. It’s not merely a ‘conflict,’ but rather an ongoing fight in which Israel plays the key role of oppressors and colonizers, while Palestine stands as the oppressed and colonized.”

The email was authored by office staff Andrea Estolano, Chaltu Hussein, Sahra Ibrahim, Sophia Randall, Christian Love and Matthew Goode.

More from Jason Rantz: UW prof Megan Ybarra praised terrorist attack as ‘justice’

Blatant anti-Semitism

While the letter spends three words denouncing anti-Semitism, it downplays the war crimes against Israel to cast the only Jewish state as the oppressor. It says it “stands in solidarity with the Student United for Palestinian Equality and Resistance (SUPER),” the group that posted flyers to promote an anti-Israel rally that included a symbol of paragliders, a reference to the Hamas terrorists who slaughtered Jews at the musical festival on October 7.

The staff signatories do not seem to realize that justifying Hamas terrorist attacks and blaming Jews for the war — while calling exclusively on sanctions against Israel — is textbook anti-Semitism.

“We stand in solidarity with the cause of a Free Palestine and firmly believe that showing support for ‘Free Palestine’ should not be wrongly associated with anti-Semitism,” they said. “Free Palestine signifies the aspiration to liberate Palestinians from Israeli occupation, to end their confinement in what is often described as the world’s largest open-air prison, to abolish apartheid conditions, and to give the land back to Palestine.”

It’s unclear if the staff understands what “apartheid” actually is. Palestinians represent roughly 20% of Israel’s population and have the exact same rights as Jewish Israelis. Many have served as judges, as mayors, and in the Knesset. In Gaza, Jews do not have the right to exist.

And despite what the staff contends, erasing the state of Israel is, in fact, anti-Semitic. There has never been a Palestinian state, and Jews have both an ancestral connection and legal right to the land.

More from Jason Rantz: UW Seattle activist declares ‘we don’t want Israel to exist’

UW staff offer far-left resources, anti-Semitic definitions

The email ends with links to better understand their terrifying positions and suggestions on how to get more involved in the defense of Hamas. It endorses the Boycott Divest Sanction movement.

The links include websites listing upcoming anti-Israel rallies. One connects to a prewritten statement to send to members of Congress authored by the George Soros-backed, virulently anti-Israel Adalah Justice Project, which rejects the legitimacy of the Jewish state. The email also includes a link to a “Stop Genocide in Gaza” toolkit.

The email also includes a glossary of terms to better frame the demonization of Israel. It defines Zionism, a catch-all term used by anti-Semites so they do not get caught calling out “the Jews,” almost comically. The definition is, “A colonial movement founded in the 1880s, with the goal of creating and maintaining an Israeli majority in Palestinian land, and is the root cause of oppression and violence today.” As the Anti-Defamation League notes, “Zionism is the movement for the self-determination and statehood for the Jewish people in their ancestral homeland, the land of Israel.”

The email also defines occupation as “a state’s temporary and illegitimate control of land.”

More from Jason Rantz: School ‘racial justice specialist’ co-founded anti-Israel group

Scared to be on campus

One Jewish College of Education student, speaking exclusively to The Jason Rantz Show on KTTH, didn’t hold back how they felt. They asked me to withhold their name and gender for fear of being targeted on campus.

“I’m shocked and hurt. I think that it’s absurd that an office of ‘diversity and inclusion’ turns against students in such a blunt manner,” the student explained. “I am truly afraid and scared going to campus knowing that this is what students and faculty think, and seeing the latest rallies calling for ‘Israel not to exist.'”

Last week, an activist explained to the crowd at an anti-Semitic event that, “We don’t want Israel to exist. We don’t want these Zionist counter-protesters to exist.” Later, at the same event, UW professor Megan Ybarra asked, “Why does our timeline for justice start on October 7?”

“At this hard time for my people, where I was hoping to rely on my community to help and shelter me, I got just the opposite where a UW office is inciting against me,” the student said.

UW administration says staff violated policy

Many other students who received the email were shocked and disgusted, too. It’s unclear if the email exclusively reached College of Education students or if it was more widely distributed.

UW spokesperson Victor Balta said the staff “took it upon themselves to write and distribute an email message on Oct. 25 which does not reflect the values of the College of Education.”

“Very shortly after seeing the email, the Dean and other College of Education staff reported it to UW leadership and the internal auditor, who determined it to be a violation of University policy and potentially the Ethics in Public Service Act regarding the use of University resources,” Balta told The Jason Rantz Show on KTTH.

Will there be punishment?

Balta notes the office is primarily student-run. Still, they had access to the listserv, pushing their own partisan, anti-Semitic viewpoints on the student body, some of whom are Jewish.

“The College of Education has received understandable concerns from students, faculty and staff and is engaging in conversations to assure them that this message was not condoned by the College and that the situation is being addressed,” Balta said.

Staffers Estolano, Hussein, and Ibrahim are all Graduate Student Assistants, while Randall is a newly hired intern. Love is the Associate Director for Graduate Academic and Student Services, and Goode is the Graduate Admission and Outreach Advisor.

It’s unclear if the staff will be terminated for their conduct or if the UW remains comfortable with them representing the Admissions Department at the College of Education.

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Rantz: UW ‘inclusion’ staff sends shockingly anti-Semitic email to students