BERKELEY, CA (Diya TV) — A UC Berkeley law student is preparing to file a discrimination complaint against the university following an altercation with a law professor at a dinner event hosted by the school’s dean.

The incident occurred during a dinner gathering organized by Dean Erwin Chemerinsky and his wife, law professor Catherine Fisk, at their home in Oakland. The event, intended to celebrate the final weeks of law school for graduating students, quickly turned contentious when Malak Afaneh, a third-year law student, attempted to address the gathering.

In a now-viral video of the incident, Afaneh, who is Palestinian American, is seen standing before her classmates wearing traditional Muslim attire. As she begins to speak, Chemerinsky approaches her, demanding she leave his home. Fisk also intervenes, attempting to take the microphone from Afaneh, resulting in a heated exchange.

Afaneh alleges that she was physically assaulted during the altercation and asserts that her freedom of speech was violated. Chemerinsky contends that the incident occurred on private property and that free speech rights do not extend to his home.

The confrontation comes amid ongoing tensions at UC Berkeley over issues related to the Israel-Hamas conflict. Afaneh’s group, Law Students for Justice in Palestine, has been vocal in advocating for the university to divest from companies supplying weapons to Israel. They accuse Chemerinsky of aligning with Zionist causes and attempting to silence pro-Palestinian activism.

Following the incident, Afaneh’s group called for Chemerinsky and Fisk to resign and demanded institutional changes, including divestment from arms manufacturers and the establishment of a Palestine Studies program.

UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ expressed dismay over the incident but affirmed the university’s commitment to free speech while emphasizing the need to respect private spaces.

Chemerinsky defended his actions, citing previous instances of antisemitic attacks against him and reiterating his support for free speech. He stated that the dinner gatherings would proceed as planned, albeit with enhanced security measures.

The incident underscores the complex intersection of free speech, activism, and private property rights within academic institutions, prompting a broader conversation about the boundaries of expression in academic and social settings.