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November 11, 2015 12:04 pm

Blaming ‘Zionist Administration’ for Their Financial Plight, CUNY Students to Hold Protest at Hunter College

avatar by Ruthie Blum

The New York City Students for Justice in Palestine Facebook page, inviting students to the protest at Hunter College. Photo: Facebook.

The New York City Students for Justice in Palestine Facebook page, inviting students to the protest at Hunter College. Photo: Facebook.

Student groups planning a protest on Thursday at Manhattan’s Hunter College are using classical antisemitic tropes for advertising.

The rally is part of a nationwide campaign called “Million Student March,” demanding tuition-free education and the cancellation of student debt.

The New York activists all attend schools within the City University of New York (CUNY) system – the largest urban university system in the US.

The Facebook ad for the event reads:

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On November 12th, students all across CUNY will rally to demand a freeze on tuition and new contracts! We must fight for funding for our university, and for CUNY to be accessible to working class communities in NYC as the public university system. The Zionist administration invests in Israeli companies, companies that support the Israeli occupation, hosts birthright programs and study abroad programs in occupied Palestine, and reproduces settler-colonial ideology throughout CUNY through Zionist content of education. While CUNY aims to produce the next generation of professional Zionists, SJP [NYC Students for Justice in Palestine] aims to change the university to fight for all peoples [sic] liberation.

We demand:

An End to the Privatization of Education!

-Tuition-Free Education
-Cancellation of all student debt!
-15$ minimum wage for campus workers!

An End to Racial and Economic Segregation in Education!

-Racialized college-acceptance practices
-Work Program requirements for students on public assistance
-Rapid gentrification and privatization of public school property.

Transparency in Administration!

-Gender Resource Centers and perpretrators of sexual assault expelled
-Demand CUNY divests from Israel, companies that maintain the Zionist occupation, private prisons, and prison labor.

-Pay Parity for Adjunct Professors
-A fair contract for CUNY Professors

NYC Students for Justice in Palestine
Students for Justice in Palestine at Hunter College
Students for Justice in Palestine at Brooklyn College
Students for Justice in Palestine- St. Joseph’s College
Students for Justice in Palestine at College of Staten Island
Students for Justice in Palestine at John Jay College
CUNY School of Law Students for Justice in Palestine
Students for Justice in Palestine at Pace University – Pleasantville
NYU Students for Justice in Palestine
Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the leading Jewish human rights organization the Simon Wiesenthal Center, blasted the ad, in which students are accusing “Zionists” for their financial plight.

“This memo debunks the myth that there is any difference to bigots between the words and concepts of ‘Israeli,’ ‘Zionist’ or ‘Jew,’” Rabbi Cooper told The Algemeiner on Wednesday.

“It is long overdue that the Jewish community demand of church leaders, academics, elected officials, The New York Times and other media to publicly denounce such rhetoric and imagery for what it is: Jew-hatred. Left unchallenged, such hate will poison the attitudes of many of our neighbors towards the world’s largest Jewish community in New York and far beyond. That, in fact, is the goal of these bigots.”

In its “Statement of Autonomy,” the Million Student March asserts it “is not affiliated or aligned with any established political party, candidate or organization,” and describes the US as a “a broken political and economic system, structured to benefit the few at the expense of the many. A capitalist, neo-liberal social order fueled by exploitation and fear, systemic inequality and deceit. A society of isolated and alienated consumers through which widespread homelessness, hunger, misery and illiteracy are acceptable while truth and integrity are suspect.”

Its detailed online Million Student March Organizing Guide lists Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals among recommended reading materials. Alinsky, known as the “founder of modern community organizing,” was a mentor to President Barack Obama in his early years as a community organizer in Chicago.

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