World Jewish Congress to Jewish CUNY profs: 'We have your backs'

After 50 CUNY profs resign in protest of staff union's anti-Israel resolution, World Jewish Congress speaks out in their defense.

Dan Verbin ,

Ronald Lauder
Ronald Lauder
Flash 90

The World Jewish Congress is throwing its support behind 50 City University of New York (CUNY) professors who resigned from the school’s academic staff union after it adopted a resolution condemning Israel.

“We have your backs,” World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder said.

“The World Jewish Congress is in full solidarity with these brave professors and the university leadership that has the courage and integrity to stand with them,” he added.

The June 10 resolution by the Professional Staff Congress union accused Israel of “apartheid” and “condemns the massacre of Palestinians by the Israeli state.”

It also stated that Israel was “established as a settler colonial state in 1948” and that the union should “consider support” of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) movement.

The resolution called on the Biden White House to terminate American aid to Israel.

Lauder praised the professors for “speaking with one voice against the troubling rise of institutionalized anti-Semitism in American academia.”

Remarking that the increasing discrimination felt by Jews is being encouraged by both the far left and the far right, he said that the rise in Jew hate is simultaneously popularizing formerly “fringe movements” such as BDS.

“This shameful development is only the most recent sign that reflexive anti-Israel positions and anti-Semitism generally are surging,” said Lauder.

Pointing to a recent poll that found 70 percent of American Jews fear anti-Semitism and worry about their safety, Lauder stressed that “this is all part of the same conversation.”

“Hate is hate, and the position taken by CUNY’s professional union is hateful and must be condemned. Sadly, the union’s stance is symptomatic of a far wider problem in our society,” he said. “We applaud the 50 professors standing in the breach and want them to know that we have their backs.”

The appeal to faculty to resign from the union was launched by Yedidyah Langsam, chair of Brooklyn’s College’s Computer and Information Science Department, who said in a letter to James Davis, president of the union, that the resolution made “many Jewish faculty and students uncomfortable with being associated with Brooklyn College and CUNY to the point of fearing for our safety.”



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