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University of Michigan Alumni Call to Address Biased Faculty Disinformation After Antisemitic Referendum Controversy

We can no longer ignore the role played by the biased anti-Zionist faculty members who use classrooms as platforms to rewrite the history and redefine credence and policy of Jewish people and Israel.”
— Joseph H. Tipograph, Esq.

WASHINGTON, DC, UNITED STATES, December 4, 2023 / -- Joseph H. Tipograph and Richard D. Heideman of the Washington, DC law firm Heideman Nudelman & Kalik PC, which for more than twenty years has represented American Victims of Terror in litigation against State and other sponsors of terror, welcome the University of Michigan’s decision to cancel voting on a controversial anti-Israel campuswide referendum and call on the school to take measures to address the biased faculty members who have facilitated a hostile campus environment. Both Tipograph and Heideman are University of Michigan alumni.

The referendum, AR 13-025, called on the University of Michigan to “recognize the millions of people undergoing genocide in Gaza” and “loudly and clearly rewrit[e] historically colonist-centered narratives about war, genocide, terrorism, and apartheid.” It was advanced by the school’s Central Student Government some weeks after at least 738 professors, university staff members, and graduate students at the school signed a statement blaming Israel, the only Jewish state in the world, for the terrorist organization Hamas's October 7 slaughtering of innocent Israeli citizens due to what the statement signing faculty wrong-headedly referred to as Israel’s "structural apartheid."

On the final day of the three-day voting period on the referendum, University of Michigan Vice President and General Counsel Timothy G. Lynch wrote a letter to students indicating that the voting had been cancelled due to “an unauthorized email [that] was sent to the entire undergraduate student body at the request of a graduate student,” which “irreparably tainted the voting process.”

Tipograph stated:

“I welcome the school's decision to cancel AR 13-025, but things should have never gotten this far. One of the reasons I attended the University of Michigan was to participate and engage with the diverse student body that the school proudly promotes, and I cherish the diverse friendships I built because of it. I also recall in my senior year of 2002, when a campus campaign to demonize Israel started, oddly coinciding with the Second Intifada, during which thousands of innocent people were killed or injured in Israel, including Americans represented by our law firm, as a result of attacks by HAMAS and other designated Foreign Terror Organizations.

The response to October 7 seen on so many campuses echoed the same age-old antisemitic trope that I also witnessed; the Jewish people are responsible for their own suffering. Victim-blaming is a hateful act, and we can no longer ignore the role played by the biased anti-Zionist faculty members who use classrooms as platforms to rewrite the history and redefine credence and policy of Jewish people and Israel, employing inflammatory rhetoric, logical fallacy, and the silencing of viewpoints. In so doing, they have done great disservice to all of their students, including those who carry their teachings forward onto campus and into Student Government.”

Heideman stated:

“It is blatantly defamatory and an outright lie, without any basis in truth, to accuse Israel, the most democratic country in the Middle East, of apartheid and genocide. There is simply no factual basis for university professors to be promoting to its students that those offenses apply to Israel. Anyone who takes a walk through any city, any grocery store, any hospital in Israel will clearly see that that is not a scintilla of truth in the dangerous accusations leveled against Israel, which provides equal rights to all citizens regardless of religion, race or ethnicity. Simply put, Israel’s policies are neither that of apartheid nor of genocide.

It is crucially important for the entire civilized world to speak up, speak out and stand against the barbaric and heinous attack by HAMAS of October 7th, during which HAMAS terrorists committed murder, maiming, terror, beheadings, rape and kidnapping, in violation of all applicable standards of international and humanitarian law.

It should not fall to the Jewish students on campus to educate their peers, and those students who are doing so should be commended for their vision, leadership and bravery in standing up against threats of violence, intimidation and discrimination.”

In 2020, Tipograph as outside general counsel to The Israel Forever Foundation, co-authored and submitted a report to the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief documenting the pervasive and cynical use of education systems, including American colleges, as platforms for spreading antisemitic propaganda and how that has contributed to extreme acts of violence against Jewish people.

On November 28, 2023, Tipograph, who has worked closely with the University of Michigan Facts on the Ground student team attended The Israel Forever Foundation-sponsored Facts on the Ground program “Perspectives on the Israel-Hamas War.” The event featured keynote speakers Mosab Hassan Yousef, the son of a founding member of the HAMAS terrorist organization and former U.S. Congressman and Senior Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Ted Deutch, who presented the case for truth and justice about the conduct of HAMAS.

Joseph Tipograph
Heideman Nudelman & Kalik PC
+1 703-447-3804

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