SEO Headline (Max 60 characters)

Southern Cal Faculty: Lack of Statement Creates ‘Toxic Atmosphere’

December 6, 2021

More than 65 faculty members at the University of Southern California have signed an open letter to express "dismay about ongoing open expressions of anti-Semitism and Zionophobia on our campus that go unrebuked. The silence of our leadership on this matter is alienating, hurtful, and depressing. It amounts to tacit acceptance of a toxic atmosphere of hatred and hostility."

The letter noted that Yasmeen Mashayekh, a student in the Viterbi School of Engineering, posted statements on social media outlets saying:

  • "I want to kill every motherf**cking Zionist."
  • "Death to Israel and its b**tch the U.S."
  • "Israel has no history just a criminal record."

The engineering school posted on Twitter, saying, "Even though the statements at issue are legally protected, we understand they are disturbing. USC rejects and condemns hatred in all its forms."

Mashayekh has posted on Twitter, "My goal is to normalize the language of resistance regardless of what that looks like. Zionists have tried to make me look like a violent material supporter of terrorism, and unfortunately there are uneducated individuals buying into that story."

Some students support Mashayekh and are circulating a letter that says she is being harassed for her views.

A spokeswoman for USC said that the university was working on a response to the letter.

We have retired comments and introduced Letters to the Editor. Letters may be sent to [email protected].

Read the Letters to the Editor  »


Opinions on Inside Higher Ed

Inside Higher Ed’s Blog U

Back to Top