August 20, 2019

NYU Pro-Israel Group on SJP Award: School is ‘Condoning Violence and Discrimination’

Screenshot from Facebook.

Realize Israel, a pro-Israel group at New York University, said in an April 5 Facebook post that the university is “condoning violence and discrimination” by giving the school’s Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapter an award.

As the Journal previously reported, NYU SJP announced on Facebook that they had been selected for a Presidential Service Award for “significant contributions to the university community in the areas of learning, leadership, and quality of student life.”

Realize Israel wrote in their post, “We are outraged that the University would award an organization that has spent the last several years making Jewish and pro-Israel students feel unwelcome and unsafe on campus.”

They pointed out that NYU SJP “defaced Israel’s flag and physically assaulted pro-Israel students for openly celebrating their identities” and put forward “two one-sided and factually inaccurate anti-Israel resolutions to the Student Government Assembly through a non-transparent, unbalanced, and undemocratic process.”

“By presenting the NYU President’s Award to SJP, not only is our university condoning violence and discrimination against members of the NYU community, but it is declaring that this type of behavior represents the ethos of our university,” Realize Israel wrote.

They added that they are going to investigate who nominated NYU SJP for the award and who decided to give them the award.

“We also believe it is high time that the administration put an end to this endless cycle of intimidation, and we plan to voice our concerns about the systemic anti-Semitism perpetuated by anti-Israel activism that is plaguing our campus,” the post concluded.

Ezra Meir Cohen, president of Realize Israel, told the Journal in a text message, “It is ridiculous that members of this organization constantly persecute other students (one of them was arrested because he physically assaulted another student at our yearly Yom Ha’atzmaut party), and that the university is rewarding them.”

In April 2018, an unidentified NYU student can be seen wrestling the microphone out of the hands a female NYU student leading the singing of “Hatikvah,” Israel’s national anthem. He started chanting “Free Palestine” before being arrested on charges of assault and stealing an Israeli flag; he was later released.

Cohen told the Journal that the student who grabbed the microphone was “one of the members of SJP” and that the student holding the microphone “got hurt in the process.”

NYU SJP was one of the organizations behind the movement to pass a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions resolution that was approved by NYU’s Student Government Assembly in December.

The university did not respond to the Journal’s requests for comment.