UCLA Welcomes Black Lives Matter Co-Founder for Keynote Address After Calling for “End” of Israel

Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors was due to deliver a virtual keynote address for UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs as scheduled on Friday despite reviewing her past critical remarks regarding Israel, the dean confirmed from school.

Cullors called for the end of the State of Israel while attending a 2015 panel at Harvard Law School. His words have resurfaced in recent days following intense clashes between the IDF and Hamas militants in Gaza.

“Palestine is the South Africa of our generation,” Cullors said at the event. “If we do not mobilize boldly and courageously to put an end to the imperialist project called Israel, we are doomed.”

Several prominent Jewish groups have questioned UCLA’s decision to host Cullors as a keynote speaker amid a recent wave of anti-Semitic attacks. UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs Dean Gary Segura defended the decision in a statement to the Jewish newspaper.


“Respect for a diversity of opinions on matters of public interest is a key tenet of the educational philosophy of UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, and it is important to remember that an invitation to speak does not represent an invitation to speak. approval of all past or future statements by a given speaker, ”Segura said in a statement. “We do not tolerate racism, sexism, anti-Semitism or any form of bias.”

“Patrisse Cullors’ pre-recorded opening message is a message of unity, tolerance and forgiveness,” added Segura. “She suggests that a spirit of cooperation can help heal old wounds and come up with new solutions. I am confident our graduate students will appreciate her perspective and find inspiration in her call to look to the future without judgment in search of a happier and more equitable society. “

Prominent critics of the UCLA decision included Judea Pearl, professor of computer science at UCLA and founder of the Daniel Pearl Foundation. Daniel Pearl, a Wall Street Journal reporter, was kidnapped and killed in 2002 while investigating militant groups in Pakistan.

Judea Pearl has asked UCLA to demand a retraction from Cullors before allowing him to give the opening speech.

“To the thousands of Jewish students and faculty at UCLA, the Cullors represent a fanatical sect of the BLM movement that criminalizes the core of our collective existence and calls for its destruction,” Pearl said in a statement. “Inviting her as the keynote speaker without retracting or explicitly addressing this fanatical part of her ideology is to mainstream that bigotry and, by implication, to exclude Jewish students and professors from equal membership in the Bruins tent of” l ‘equity, diversity and inclusion’.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean and director of the global social action program at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, also criticized the decision.


“UCLA has a moral obligation to ask its speaker if it is still seeking to destroy the Jewish state, but lacks the courage to do so. UCLA graduates know what she has said publicly in the past: to support the destruction of Israel, ”says Cooper.

Cullors recently stepped down as executive director of the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation. She announced her exit amid scrutiny of her finances after the New York Post reported she had bought four homes for $ 3.2 million.

Cullors called the claims that she made money from donations to Black Lives Matter “categorically false.”

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