UC Extension student Susanna Klein alleged that Near Eastern Studies graduate student instructor, Abbas Kadhim, said "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion," a document Nazis used as propaganda against the Jews, was written by Jews and was not a forgery, as many historians believe.
"The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" is a set of minutes printed in 1897 purportedly from a meeting of Jewish leaders intending to take over the world.
"By making such a statement, Mr. Kadhim spreads potentially dangerous anti-Semitic propaganda," Klein wrote in a letter to Ralph Hexter, executive dean of the College of Letters and Science.
Other students in Kadhim's Arabic language class disputed Klein's allegations, saying he was simply presenting a viewpoint held by many Iraqis.
"I was explaining the conventional wisdom of Iraqis in a social context," Kadhim said.
After the discussion about the document, Klein stormed out of the classroom, warning there would be repercussions for Kadhim, said Brid Beeler, a student in the class.
Klein immediately filed a complaint to the university on the same day, calling for an investigation into the matter and Kadhim's dismissal.
"I am disgusted that UC Berkeley is giving forum to an ignorant, anti-Semitic and prejudiced individual such as Mr. Khadhim (sic) to voice his views," Klein wrote.
Several other students in the class also submitted a complaint, about Klein, however, claiming she was disruptive and that she also accused classmates of being anti-Semitic on several occasions.
Klein is affiliated with DAFKA, a pro-Israel group on campus. In April, Klein was cited on suspicion of battery by UC police during a pro-Palestine rally.
Police said she dressed up as a suicide bomber and spat on a student during the rally, in which she said she felt threatened when she was physically restrained from walking through Sproul Plaza.
She appeared to be "extremely belligerent," wrote one student in the complaint to the chair of the Near Eastern Studies Department.
But peers described Klein as a brilliant student. She maintained an "A" in the course, and if she stays enrolled, she is on her way to a 100 percent in the class, Kadhim said.
The university has just begun to investigate the matter, Hexter said.
Hexter's division in the College of Letters and Science, Arts and Humanities, gets on average two or three complaints per year of the same nature as Klein's.
"Misunderstandings are often the root of these student concerns," Hexter said. "It's rare that the faculty or chairs can't resolve these matters."
The recently approved revisions to the university's Academic Freedom policy allowing more leniency for professors to express their personal and political views in class may apply in this issue, Hexter said.
But Hexter said the university needs to investigate the charges further before it can determine how the policy applies.
Klein could not be reached for comment.