NY senator slams anti-Israel CUNY union, supports Jewish profs who resigned in protest

Anna Kaplan says that CUNY Jewish profs were left feeling like they had a "knife in the back" after union ignored their concerns.

Dan Verbin ,

City University of New York (CUNY)
City University of New York (CUNY)
ISTOCK

New York State Senator Anna Kaplan called out the City University of New York (CUNY) faculty union for adopting a resolution condemning Israel, saying she stood with 50 professors who resigned from the body in protest.

"The blatantly anti-Semitic resolution passed by the CUNY-PSC last month has left Jewish professors at CUNY facing the difficult decision of whether or not to continue being a member of an organization that has chosen to be openly hostile to their very existence,” Kaplan said.

The June 10 resolution by the Professional Staff Congress (CUNY-PSC) accused Israel of “apartheid” and “condemns the massacre of Palestinians by the Israeli state.”

It alleged 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 also called on the Biden White House to terminate American aid to Israel.

When it passed, Kaplan released a statement describing it as a “profoundly offensive and myopic resolution of condemnation that conveniently ignores the difficult realities facing the Middle East and Israel specifically. This is anti-Semitism, plain and simple, and it needs to be called out as such unequivocally.”

“It's a further knife in the back of these professors to have their concerns downplayed by CUNY-PSC President James Davis as being part of a pre-existing ‘pressure campaign’ against the organization,” Kaplan said. “Their grievances are legitimate, and to disregard them in such a way speaks volumes about the climate of anti-Semitism that exists in this organization.”

Remarking that she stood with the professors who “have had enough,” she said that they had no choice but to disassociate themselves with the union as it had “made it impossible for them to feel welcome and supported.”

“As I stated previously, this situation is akin to the institutional marginalization of Jewish people that we saw in the 1930s – a sentiment that has been echoed by Jewish faculty who are feeling increasingly uncomfortable on campus in the wake of the controversy,” she said.

“CUNY is supposed to be an educational community for all people, from all walks of life, to uplift themselves through education. It's time for CUNY-PSC to engage the community to better understand the harm they have caused, so they can move forward in a way that repairs the damage, and restores CUNY as a beacon for all,” she added.



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