New York University’s (NYU) Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapter announced in an April 4 Facebook post that they are receiving an award from the university later in the month for their “exemplary contributions to the NYU community.”
The post features a screenshot from an apparent email to NYU SJP stating, “The President’s Service Awards recognize outstanding NYU students who have made significant contributions to the university community in the areas of learning, leadership, and quality of student life.” The email added that NYU SJP has “positively impacted the culture of this institution and the members of our community.”
“We are thrilled to announce that we have been selected to receive a presidential service award at NYU,” NYU SJP wrote in their Facebook post. “Despite the pushback we have received from our institution, we agree that we have made ‘significant contributions to the university community in the areas of learning, leadership, and quality of student life.’ Anyway, New York University, divest from Israeli apartheid.”
Roz Rothstein, co-founder and CEO of StandWithUs, said in a statement to the Journal, “It was less than a year ago that SJP members harassed and assaulted Jewish students at NYU simply for showing pride in Israel and their identity. The last thing SJP deserves is an award, and if it is true that they received one we urge the NYU administration to rescind it immediately.”
The university did not respond to the Journal’s requests for comment. The ceremony for the awards is scheduled to take place on April 17.
NYU SJP was among the groups that spearheaded support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) resolution that passed the student senate in December. In 2018, two students were arrested and subsequently released at an NYU SJP counterprotest to Realize Israel’s rave celebrating Israel. Realize Israel is pro-Israel student group on NYU’s campus.