Pro-Palestine Student Protests At Dinner Hosted By Jewish UC Berkeley Dean


Hailey Gomez General Assignment Reporter
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A pro-Palestine student was seen interrupted by UC Berkeley law professor Catherine Fisk during a dinner hosted by her husband and fellow UC Berkeley Dean Erwin Chemerinsky, video footage shows.

Chemerinsky and Fisk reportedly hosted a celebratory dinner at their home after UC Berkeley law students graduated Tuesday, inviting several dozen students to the Oakland home, according to the Los Angeles Times. A video clip posted to X (formerly known as Twitter) shows the pro-Palestine law student Malak Afaneh, identified by the LA Times, speaking into a microphone before Fisk could be seen coming up from behind her to grab the mic. (RELATED: REPORT: Home Of Holocaust Survivors Vandalized With Nazi And Pro-Palestinian Imagery)

“Where millions of Muslims around the world fast. Not only from material sustenance -” the student stated.

“This is not your house,” Fisk replied as she attempted to grab the mic.

“Fast not only from material sustenance,” the student could be heard attempting to finish.

“We have attorneys,” someone off camera could be heard saying. “You don’t have to get aggressive.”

“I’m not being aggressive,” Fisk responded.

“Just please leave our house! You are guests at our house,” Chemerinsky jumped in.

“This is our First Amendment right,” the student stated. “It is. The National Lawyers Guild has informed us this is our First Amendment right.”

The dinner, expected to be the first of three, was hosted in the backyard of the couple’s house where it was supposed to be an opportunity to enjoy casual time with the two, the LA Times reported. However, things quickly devolved when Afaneh, who was invited to the dinner, attempted to give a speech about Palestinians dying in Gaza as well as her support behind the university moving away from corporations that are involved in the Israel-Hamas war, according to the outlet.

Chemerinsky claimed that the incident wasn’t the first to occur for him, noting, from his background in Constitutional law, that the free speech accusation does not extend to his home.

“I am appalled and deeply disturbed by what occurred at Dean Chemerinsky’s home last night,” UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ stated, according to the LA Times. “I have been in touch with him to offer my support and sympathy. While our support for free speech is unwavering, we cannot condone using a social occasion at a person’s private residence as a platform for protest.”

The call-out by Afaneh was allegedly organized by nine pro-Palestine activists who are a part of the law school’s Students for Justice in Palestine chapter, the outlet reported. While the activists left shortly after the incident, Afaneh claimed Wednesday that she felt assaulted by Fisk, stating she was considering filing charges.

“The aggression with which she ran at me when I said ‘as-salamu alaykum.’ She saw my hijab and keffiyeh, and that was a risk for her,” Afaneh told the LA Times.

Although Fisk has not made a public statement, the two have since continued the scheduled dinners for Wednesday and Thursday, the outlet reported.