Vida Samiian

When CSU Fresno canceled a search last year for an Edward Said professorship on procedural grounds, it didn't take long for anti-Israel profs. like Vida Samiian to conjure up an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory accusing Jewish faculty and outside groups of interfering due to "racism" against the Middle Eastern applicants. Pretty soon, Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) and the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) were registering their own complaints. Campus Watch West coast representative Cinnamon Stillwell and CW Fellow Michael Lumish cover the ugly affair at the Algemeiner:

California State University, Fresno (CSUF) is the last place that one would expect conspiracy theories about Jewish power to proliferate — because Jews make up less than one percent of Fresno's population. But leave it to the academic world to provide fertile ground for this ugly trope.

It began last year, when CSUF sought to hire someone for an endowed professorship to be named after the late Columbia University professor Edward Said. When the hiring committee failed to appoint one of the final four applicants — all of Middle Eastern heritage — and CSUF canceled the search, an acrimonious battle ensued.

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