December 11, 2019

Israeli Cornell Student Told to ‘Quit Complaining’ by Pro-Palestinian Campus Group

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

A pro-Palestinian group at Cornell University mocked an Israeli student whose home was struck by a rocket from the Gaza Strip by telling her in a Facebook comment to “quit complaining about how it ruined your brunch plans.”

The student, Shir Kidron, wrote in an April 7 op-ed for the Cornell Daily Sun that in 2009, her Gedera home was struck by a rocket, killing her dog Rosie.

The story of my home in Gedera is not unique,” Kidron wrote. “It resonates with tens of thousands of Israelis who have been under a constant threat of rockets from Gaza over the past 18 years. According to the Israeli Center for the Treatment of Psychotrauma, 40 percent of the children in the Israeli border town of Sderot suffer from PTSD. This is what happens when, at any moment, you could be given only 15 seconds to run for shelter.”

A Facebook page titled “Reject Radicals at Cornell” posted Kidron’s op-ed on April 9 and tagged Cornell Collective for Justice in Palestine (CCJP). CCJP commented on the post by stating, “Palestinians have a moral and legal right to use armed struggle to shake of the yoke of occupation. If you want the rockets to stop, end the occupation. Otherwise quit complaining about how it ruined your brunch plans in Ashdod.”

The Reject Radicals at Cornell page then highlighted CCJP’s aforementioned comment in a subsequent post:

Cornell Collective for Justice in Palestine – CCJP responded to a Cornell student who said, "I saw the [Palestinian]…

Posted by Reject Radicals at Cornell on Tuesday, April 9, 2019

CCJP responded by commenting, “I don’t know what kind of astroturf operation you all are running here, but if you tag our group in another post I’m reporting you for harassment.”

CCJP was one of the groups that signed onto Cornell Students for Justice in Palestine’s February 20 letter to Cornell President Martha Pollack calling on the university to divest from companies that conduct business with Israel, accusing Israel of engaging in “apartheid” and “ethnic cleansing.”

Rena Nasar, StandWithUs’ Tri-State campus director and managing director of campus affairs, said in a statement to the Journal, “It is inhumane to minimize the rockets Hamas shoots into Israeli civilian homes and nursery schools. There is no justification for such barbaric terrorism and Israel has a right to defend its citizens.” 

“It is shameful that CCJP would skirt the issue of the need for negotiations, and blame only Israel for the lack of peace,” Nasar said. “This is yet another example of how boycott campaigns on campus descend into outright hate speech. We urge university leaders to take a clear moral stand by condemning this rhetoric.”

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

Kidron was arguing against a divestment resolution that could come up for a vote in the Student Assembly on April 11, writing that those in favor of it are promulgating a “one-sided and violent attempt at delegitimizing me and my country.”