The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges today issued a ruling that City College of San Francisco, which is already under threat to lose its accreditation this summer, is too poorly managed to join an academic boycott of Israel.
"Independent of its academic value, we know how important boycotting Israel is to San Francisco," says ACCJC Chair Sherrill Amador. "We know how many local jobs depend on condemning Israel, how many nonprofits use it to fundraise, and how many members of the Board of Supervisors view it as a priority. But City College is simply too much of a mess to join in this San Francisco tradition."
Amador noted that despite its clear passion to condemn Israel, City College has not yet completed any of its boycott planning process, that the governance structure necessary to boycott Israel is poorly defined, and that student outcomes for previous half-hearted boycotts, such as of Burma, Arizona, meat, and negative energy, were extremely poor.
"Under the circumstances it would be irresponsible of us to let them act on behalf of the Palestinian people until they get their act together," Amador says. "That means better performance evaluations, responsible financial planning, all of the recommendations we've been making over the years. Condemning injustice isn't just something you can go off and do half-cocked. At the very least, you need a strong mission statement."
The ruling extends to a series of other popular actions, such as freeing Mumia, making love not war, relaxing your mind, and occupying, all of which City College is now forbidden to do.
Local activists were outraged.
"We almost had Palestine saved," says SFSU student Jack Thomas. "We were this close. If I can't condemn Israel, how else am I going to use my degree in pottery?"
Local housing activist Russell Finn agreed. "This is just one more example of collusion between the military-industrial-accreditation complex. The Obama Administration has been in cahoots with it and the insurance-technology-forestry complex on behalf of the 1 percent. I've been exposing this for years, but so far only the internet has listened."
City Attorney Dennis Herrera says he plans to file another lawsuit on City College's behalf by the end of the month.
"San Francisco has a proud history of tilting at windmills on behalf of anyone tilting at Israel," his spokesman says. "Naturally we plan to support that."
Benjamin Wachs is a literary chameleon