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University president in California on leave after agreeing to campus protesters’ demands

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Mike Lee, University president takes leave

A public university in California has placed its president on leave for “insubordination” after he agreed to student demands for an academic boycott of Israel.

Mike Lee was suspended from Sonoma State University following an announcement on Tuesday that the liberal arts college north of San Francisco had agreed with Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) to become the first US university to refuse to work with Israeli academic institutions.

“None of us should be on the sidelines when human beings are subject to mass killing and destruction,” Lee said in a message to students announcing the move.

But following a swift backlash from pro-Israel groups and the wider California state university system, Lee apologised for agreeing to the boycott, saying that it “marginalised” other students and caused harm.


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