A faculty group at City University of New York (CUNY) is denouncing an anti-Israel resolution passed recently by the university’s law school student government.
On December 2, the Law Student Government Association (LSGA) passed a resolution that accused Israel of committing war crimes that it claimed the law school was “complicit” in by its collaborations with Israeli academics and institutions. It urged the school to “cut all ties with organizations that repress Palestinian organizing,” and singled out by name campus student groups that support Israel.
The CUNY Alliance for Inclusion (CAFI), which is composed of CUNY faculty “enthusiastically endorsing civil dialog and exchange of ideas and vehemently opposed to demonization,” said in a statement that the “LSGA resolution attacks Israel with the mendacious, ahistoric chant of ‘apartheid, genocide, war crimes.’ It launches a wholesale offensive maligning and attacking Jewish student groups and programs as well as faculty research and collaborations with a host of universities and corporations, attempting to shame such groups by name.”
Noting that “its 24 supporting organizations seek to exclude Jewish students who support Israel from a host of groups including those advocating for work against climate change, and those fighting for women’s rights,” it slammed the resolution for claiming “the right to separate good from bad Jews and to quash Jewish self-expression” and for “trash[ing] academic freedom by seeking to bar opinions contrary to its own from CUNY and its groups.”
CAFI charged that the LSGA resolution “reeks of historic redemptive anti-Judaism that demonizes Jews and Jewish institutions as satanic, with slanders that are precise inversions of the truth.”
As evidence, the group pointed out that the resolution accused Israel “whose people have experienced genocide in the recent past” with “genocide against the Palestinian people, a population that has expanded manyfold since Israel’s founding, all while some Palestinian leaders actually call for the genocide of Jews.”
CAFI said that “a frenzy of anti-Semitic vilification of Israel under the cover of ‘anti-Zionism’ is sweeping American education and is metastasizing into attacks on Jewish life in the United States.” They called for “responsible CUNY administrators and officials in NYC and beyond” to speak out against campus anti-Semitism by taking a stand against “historic hatreds and limitations upon speech and association.”
“We therefore call on CUNY Chancellor Felix V. Matos Rodriguez and CUNY Law School Dean Eduardo R.C. Capulong to publicly reaffirm the principle of academic freedom and unequivocally assert CUNY’s rejection of BDS and all acts and declarations targeting Jewish students and faculty and their organizations and programs,” CAFI said.
“We call on the chancellor and leaders at CUNY to meet with representatives of CAFI and other faculty who are concerned about threats to academic life and civility at CUNY so that we can work together for diversity, equity and inclusion at CUNY. The time has come for the defamation of Jewish life and historical aspiration to end.”