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Jewish Students at Cornell Respond to Anti-Israel Defacement of Flyers on Campus

March 1, 2013 1:31 pm 6 comments

An aerial shot of Cornell University. Photo: Wikipedia

Jewish students have voiced their disappointment to Cornell’s student newspaper regarding the anonymous distribution of anti-Israel posters in a Cornell University Rec Center last week.

More than 20 posters that showed a defaced promotion for a Cornell Hillel event that brought Israeli soldiers to speak on campus were left  scattered in a university rec center last week . The posters, which were marked up with red ink, denounced the “exclusively Jewish” soldiers — asserting that they engaged in “war-crime[s],” not “combat,” and served in “massacres,” not “missions.”

The Cornell Daily Sun reported that on Sunday Students for Justice in Palestine, an organization that describes itself as being dedicated to “raising awareness of the Palestinian experience,” took credit for making the posters. SJP claimed it produced the posters to “condemn the nature of Hillel’s event.”

The event “normalize[d] an illegal military occupation and illegal wars of aggression that have cause[d] immense suffering and death in Gaza, the West Bank and Lebanon,” the organization wrote in a statement to The Sun.

Jordana Gilman, president of Cornell Hillel, told the student newspaper that she was disappointed that the flyers were left anonymously, leaving no way for students to respond or conduct a dialogue with those holding opposite viewpoints. Ultimately, what was more frustrating than the content of the posters was the way in which they were distributed, Gilman told the paper.

“If what we want — which is what I think we want — is for the two governments to talk to each other, then we need to model that,” she said, adding that Muslim and Jewish community members did just that — convene — at a Shabbat dinner Friday.

Eli Shaubi, co-president of the Cornell Israel Public Affairs Committee, said the posters showed a “lack of acceptance of any Israeli suffering by the other side at Cornell.”

“I am personally disappointed that some people feel the need to demonize Israel and delegitimize the political expressions of such a large portion of the student body,” he told The Sun.

Shaubi said CIPAC acknowledges the suffering of both Palestinians and Israelis, but said that it does not seek to “delegitimize the Palestinian cause.” The posters, however, showed blatant intolerance for the pro-Israel movement, he said.

“Supporting the Palestinian people and accepting national Jewish self-determination are not mutually exclusive, and many members of CIPAC and the pro-Israel community at large have learned how to be both pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian,” Shaubi said. “I expect the same respect from supporters of the Palestinian cause, whether we agree politically or not.”

In promotion of its views, SJP said it is organizing an Israel Apartheid Week to raise awareness of what it called the “racist, colonial nature of the Israeli occupation.”

Gilman was nonplussed, calling into question the need for such a negative and divisive event.

“I want to emphasize that not every Jew is a poster child of being pro-Israel, and I understand that not every Muslim is a poster child of being anti-Israel or pro-Palestinian. I really want us to view each other as individuals, and the only way to do that is if we sit down and talk,” Gilman said.


  • Howard Schwartz

    Absolutely disgusting to see this going on at Cornell an major American University. If they don’t like Jews and Hillel let them go back to Arabia

  • It should be noted that these posters were pinned up across the university, not just in the rec center, and in prominent academic buildings used every day by students. It should also be noted that students affiliated neither with Cornell Hillel nor CIPAC spontaneously created responses to the posters without being prompted by either group. The poster was offensive on a wider scale which does not end at established Jewish groups on campus.

  • lawrence gilbert

    It is disappointing to once again hear about pro-Palestinian students resorting to destruction of materials they don’t like. Reminiscent of the post-Arab Spring occurrences in which individuals suffer if they voice their opinions in a civilized way. I am doubly upset that such actions occur at my almo mater and hope that the university administration condemns such actions.

  • Why don’t Muslim students like being hung from lampposts?

  • These are people who revere Muhammad: a sociopath who decapitated 900 unarmed Jews at Quarayza. What do you expect?

  • Lawrence Kulak

    Once again a clear example of how the Arabs and their supporters deride freedom of speech. Instead of just running a counter event they have to try to stifle the free speech rights of the Pro-Israel supporters. The left joins in this revealing its totalitarian intent. the upshot is that only the Pro – Israel supporters are acting as Americans while the Arabs and their left wing supporters are not. It is time to begin siphening out all the left wing professors who seek to undermine the Constitution and make it look fashionable to deny others their free speech rights. How about we start with Brooklyn College (Who wants to be the next Senator McCarthy?)

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