Middle East studies in the News
Southwestern Legal Foundation Files Lawsuit against UCLA Administrators on Behalf of History Lecturer Being Discriminated Against for Perceived Pro-Israel Bias [on Orna Kenan of UCLA]
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Southwestern Legal Foundation files lawsuit against UCLA administrators on behalf of history lecturer being discriminated against for perceived pro-Israel bias
Los Angeles, CA (March 15, 2007) – Southwestern Legal Foundation (SLF), a Los Angeles-based advocacy group dedicated to defending individual rights protected by the U.S. Constitution will file a lawsuit against the Regents of the University of California and individual administrators – on behalf of UCLA lecturer Orna Kenan. SLF President, Patrick Manshardt, represents Kenan, in the matter.
The basis for the action is that Kenan's constitutional right to free speech and to be free from political discrimination in public employment have been and are currently being violated by UCLA administrators.
Orna Kenan, an Israeli-American, who was a lecturer in the History Department for six years at UCLA, was recently stripped of her duties as a lecturer because administrators viewed her as having a pro-Israeli bias.
UCLA's original process for determining Kenan's retention and tenure was tainted by the presence of biased administrators. The original process was conducted so badly, that the faculty's union demanded it be done over. But in the second process, UCLA kept the identity of the decision makers and the proceedings secret.
"Ms. Kenan was being discriminated against by administrators who are well-known Palestinian sympathizers who refuse to tolerate an opposing point of view," Manshardt said. Added Manshardt, "UCLA should be a place where academic freedom is strictly observed, not were dissent or politically correct views are squelched."
Manshardt concluded, "the Israeli-Palestinian conflict should be left in the Middle East and should not spill over to the making of personnel decisions at a public university in this country."
The lawsuit will be filed on March 16, 2007 at the Central Los Angeles County Courthouse. A Press Conference will be held at 2 pm on March 16, 2007 at the Los Angeles County Courthouse Grand Avenue entrance.
Southwestern Legal Foundation, founded recently in Los Angeles, is a legal defense organization set up to defend individual liberties guaranteed by the Constitution against government encroachment. SLF strives to strengthen the foundation of a free society and ensure that public policy is grounded within constitutional limitations and common sense.
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