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November 12, 2015 4:32 pm

CUNY Fails to Condemn Antisemitic Rally at Hunter College

avatar by Ruthie Blum

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Hunter College in New York City. Photo: Hunter Catalog, CUNY.

Hunter College in New York City. Photo: Hunter Catalog, CUNY.

As part of a nationwide campaign on the part of left-wing students across the United States demanding tuition-free education and a host of other inalienable “rights,” a rally is being held this afternoon at Hunter College in Manhattan, The Algemeiner reported on Wednesday.

Launching into an openly antisemitic diatribe, the Facebook invitation to the “Million Student March” rally in the Big Apple – aimed at the City University of New York (CUNY) system – says: “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 liberation.”

The above epithets were endorsed by: NYC Students for Justice in PalestineStudents 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 CollegeCUNY School of Law Students for Justice in Palestine; Students for Justice in Palestine at Pace University – Pleasantville; NYU Students for Justice in Palestine; and Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine.

In response to The Algemeiner report, Jeffrey S. Wiesenfeld, a graduate of the CUNY system who served as a trustee for 15 years, said that “stakeholders in the system should know that when antisemitism goes unanswered by faculty, students and administration — in contrast to their prompt response to other hatreds — that the university is done a grave disservice in public reputation and in the good will of alumni and donors. SJP [Students for Justice in Palestine] is an anti-Jewish, bullying hate group, plain and simple. Their bigotry merits an appropriate response.”

Hunter College was unable to provide a response, appropriate or otherwise, to a query from The Algemeiner on Thursday morning about how such language could be tolerated by a respectable institution of higher learning, because its media relations department had been unaware that such a hate-fest was about to take place on its premises — as were other college administrators. Therefore, Hunter College said, a reaction to the rally would not be forthcoming until a later date.

CUNY’s response – issued by vice chancellor for student affairs Frank Sanchez, was as standardized as it was swift, however:

At the City University of New York, we cherish the freedom of students to express their views, consistent with the protections provided by the First Amendment. Student freedom in this regard is an essential attribute of a great University where the independent search for truth is held in the highest esteem. With such freedom, however, comes an abiding responsibility. This responsibility includes respect for the rights of others inside and out of CUNY and for the University’s obligation to maintain a safe environment for all members of its community. Students should also be cognizant of the efforts of a few to distract attention from important issues in higher education such as learning, access and quality by invoking discriminatory language reeking of thinly veiled bigotry, prejudice, antisemitism or other behavior inconsistent with our educational mission. We can help assure such recognition by the high premium we place on dialogue and discussion at CUNY and by the expression of our own views while respecting the rights of those with whom we may disagree. At the end of the day, CUNY will retain its status as a great institution of higher education where valuable knowledge is both transmitted and created and our sense of community is affirmed and strengthened.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of leading Jewish human rights organization the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told The Algemeiner that he considers it “a good thing that CUNY has a stated policy that includes antisemitism as being inconsistent with its educational mission.”

However, he added, “Such inflammatory rhetoric that demeans and demonizes Zionism and Zionists and that attempts to link a vile extremist anti-Israel agenda to real-time economic and social issues relating to CUNY and the city of New York demands a more explicit condemnation from CUNY and from the political leadership of the city. Our community should join with fair-minded union leaders and other people of faith to see to it that this new lexicon of anti-Israel/Jewish hate is rejected by all New Yorkers.”

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  • I’m was extremely proud to be an undergrad and M.S. of Hunter, a past Adjunct Prof at Hunter, Prof. Emeritus of CUNY and now I’m more than embarrassed by the actions of my alma mater. I won’t state the vitriol we all could repeat in response and “eyes closed” stupidity of it’s supposed tolerant administration but it’ only tolerant of what it cares to be – not equal.
    No longer will I yearky donate or have Hunter in my will. This was the last action of anti-semitism Iwill give my hard earned money for. AND I will contact the $25M library donor to seeif he will consider renegging due to Hunter’s and CUNY’s insults.

  • Yale

    CUNY needs to add a requirement for admission: Successful completion of a course in basic civics that includes what freedom is, why American freedom has resulted in prosperity, basic economics, including that there is no such thing a s a free education, how radical groups hijack movement in pursuit of power, etc.

    I suspect none of the participants in this “march” could pass the final exam of such a course.

  • HPB

    Bigotry is IGNORANCE. These punks know little, if anything, about Jewish history and/or Israel’s contribution to the world or about the “Palestinian” issue. THERE ARE NO PALESTINIANS. They listen and watch their little screens all day and buy into the hate talk with little thought. I don’t respect them and they should be expelled from their universities for inciting fear and, eventually, riots. To hell with these brownshirt thugs. NEVER AGAIN. Meir Kahane would not sit still for this.

    • JM

      You need to understand that nothing gets solved when there are responses like yours. You claim bigotry and ignorance, but your flat-out “THERE ARE NO PALESTINIANS” is semantic BS that only inflames tensions. Add to the fact you invoke lunatic hate-monger Meir Kahane puts your comment immediately in the “Dismiss” pile.

  • steven L

    Liberalism is a mind set NOT available to the “HAVE NOT”. This makes the Afro-Americans and Hispanics the main victims of Liberals. But the leaders of these communities will make sure that these people know it NOT.

  • Barbara E.

    Remember when Jewish students & faculty made the CUNY system one of the greatest ones in the country? Neither does CUNY, apparently.(Ditto NYC public school system; Jews were blamed for problems there, too, in 1960s. So they left in huge numbers; how’s that going for NYC public school kids?)

  • Hunter Alumnus

    I just scrapped Hunter from my will

  • I’m not sure how to take this, considering Palestinians are genetically proven to be more “Semitic” than most “Jews.”

    • steven L

      U need to reset. We are in 2015 and the notion of antisemitism pertains 99.9% to Jews. Etymologically U are correct. PC and CP have a mind of their own.

    • Cernan Sixtyeight

      Anti-Semitism refers to racial hatred of Jews. Even though “semites” includes Jews, the word “anti-Semitism” does not mean racially based hatred of semites. It specifically refers to anti-Jewish bigotry. Don’t confuse the two words, semites vs. anti-Semitism.

      For example, “Pal” Arab terrorists, being Arabs, are “semites”, just like the Jews are. Yet anti-Hamas or anti-Fatah or anti-Pal Authority is not racist. If anything, it’s anti-racism as these political groups are, themselves, anti-Semitic (i.e., anti-Israel, anti-Zionism, anti-Jewish or any of the synonyms or euphemisms for “anti-Semitism”) and, therefore racist. There is nothing anti-Semitic about opposing militant bigots like them simply because they are not Jews and, therefore, bigotry against Jews is not directed towards them.

      Language and the connotations vs. the denotations of specific words can be tricky.

    • Marjorie Stamm Rosenfeld

      Anti-Semitism is a termed coined by German journalist Wilhelm Marr in 1879 to mean Jew-hatred. It does not include Palestinian Arabs, although DNA analysis has shown a very close relationship between these Arabs and Jews, even Ashkenazim (Jews from Europe). The probable explanation is that many of the Palestinian Arabs were originally Jews who were forced to convert to Islam by the Ottomans. See the work by Tzvi MiSinai among Arab tribes with Jewish roots.

    • Shirley Hiller

      There was no palestinians until 1967. They then saw what Israel had achieved in the desert, and wanted it.
      There is no palestinian culture, language, background or anything else except terror. They bring up their children to hate an d murder, then collect money from Hamas.

    • Jonathan Joseph

      Stop playing semantic games. You know that anti-Semitism means anti-Jews. It is not the best term, but that is what is generally used. If you prefer to use the term “Jew-hatred,” go right ahead; it’s the same thing.

  • brenrod

    plenty of jews fund these anti semitic colleges and orgs

    • steven L

      Plenty of Jews ignore the fact that they are actively antisemitic. Many belong to the Liberals.

  • These low information anti Israel, anti Jewish ( one and the same)idiots need to be confronted and stopped in ALL universities around NY and the country. They operate out of the free speech guise, as did Hitler, and if ignored the BDS and “Palestinian ( i.e. Jordanian refugees where they are from, their true homeland) justice movements will continue to grow like the malignant cancer they are until totally confronted and dismantled !!!

  • jakob wasi

    Once again crying wolf! Only Zionists have the privilege of free speech guaranteed by the Constitution.
    Crying ‘anti-Semitism’ every time, weakens whar anti-Semitism is.
    You can be a muscular defender of the state of Israel like Dershowitz, but the past thuggery practices by him and his gang who see an anti-Semite under every rock.
    You either believe in the Constitution or you engage in demagoguery.
    Yes, Hunter students have a right to protest the very questionable behavior of Israel.

    • steven L

      Ur ignorance is remarkable. U have a lot of Hutzpah. How much high concentration THC did U get b4 writing this.

    • Diane Hewitt

      It would be helpful if you got the facts straight first. Revisionist, made-up history is not the basis for protest.

    • Marjorie Stamm Rosenfeld

      I’m guessing that commenter Joseph Wasabi probably considers the efforts by Israel to treat, free of charge in Israeli hospitals, Arabs with health challenges “questionable behavior by Israel.”

  • Sol

    Hate speech is not free speech, it carries a heavy price. I will e-mail this to Mr.Sanchez at CUNY

  • Avram kluger

    what about a condemnation from the NYU and Columbia University administration?

    • steven L

      Don’t count on it. Cowardice is fashionable these days.

  • Paul Cerar

    There is nothing new under the sun! When I was a college student in 1982, I helped to organize a student demonstration, at Ontario’s provincial legislature, to protest high tuition fees. Much to my surprise, our demo was taken over by a left-wing political party, which made us demand the nationalization of Canada’s nickel mines!

    I predict the Fascists will highjack the student rally, and claim every honest person present agreed with their fascist terrorist agenda!

    Paul Cerar
    Toronto, Canada

  • Mickey Oberman

    Why will Algemeiner not answer my frequently asked questions:
    Why are the replies hidden.
    Why can I not see them by simply clicking on a code word or symbol that will allow them to be displayed?

    Please answer these questions.
    Mickey Oberman

  • If all alumnii (& their parents, families, friends & business associates) refuse to donate to CUNY any longer, the uni authorities might wonder why their money has dried up …

  • Harvey lloyd

    As the son of Jewih children immigrants I condemn and despise these racist anywhere anytime. Fascism wears a red disguise.

  • Stella Schindler

    My tax dollars are supporting this vitriol and hate spewing from citadels of higher learning. Where is the mayor and why is he not condemning this and speaking out?

  • A. Pomerance

    Delay in responding and a vagueness which alludes only fleetingly to the existence of anti-Semitic ugliness in a laundry list of generalized improprieties betray a CUNY whose heart is not in this issue. CUNY does not deserve financial or other support from the Jewish community until there is a definitive and visible change in its attitude to Jews and anti-Semitism.

    • Hugo Stahlie

      Is that called blackmail?

  • There was study done of CUNY administrators. No spine was located in any of them.

    • Ilya Lavrenti

      You could carve men with more backbone out of bananas.

  • teddy zabb

    as a cuny graduate i too cherish the right to free speech…however it is the obligation of the faculty and the administration to determine what is or not hateful free speech…. otherwise the end result is hateful ignorance

  • peter daniels

    If “valuable knowledge” consists of blatant anti-Semitic propaganda CUNY’s vice-chancellor desperately needs sign up for bonehead english class, specifically semantics.

  • The City University of New York will not condemn the Anti-Zionist rally because it does not consider it “Micro-Aggression” against the Jewish people. However, Anti-Zionism is unadulterated Jew-hatred. And the appropriate response must be “CUNY Students/Alumni Justice for Israel.”

  • Jane S. Gabin

    BDS, SJP and all their ilk across the United States chant anti-Israeli and antisemitic diatribes at EVERY organization, community, or institution that they can. They do try, as Mr. Sanchez says, to “distract attention from important issues” by their actions and speech. (And they love to deny freedom of speech to others.)

    My question is: who funds them? where does their money come from? the kind of effort s they are expending all over with their twisted agenda is being PAID FOR! but by whom? We need to know!

  • ART

    Jews should stop all donations until the administration condemns and Acts against this Jew Hatred Jews should withhold donations from any school that does not actively fight Anti Semitism

  • Ephraim

    It just gets worse and worse. I am so glad my college years are over.

  • nelson marans

    Many of our universities have been infected by university professors and student who are not only anti-Israel but antisemitic. Unfortunately most of the university administrators look the other way, arguing freedom of speech, while incitement not only to harass Jewish students but to physically attack them is ignored. It is time that state legislatures in the case of state or city supported schools make it clear that physical attacks against Jewish students will result in curtailment of funding.

  • Accept the Arab Peace Plan of 2002 and this stuff evaporates !

    • Zucker

      Do not think one moment that a peace plan, successful or not, will make anti-semitism dissapear. When we will be all convinced that we are not liked things will be much simpler.
      This coming from a past member of many multi-cultural commitees.

    • Marjorie Stamm Rosenfeld

      Why would Israel accept a “peace plan” that threatens to obliterate Israel? And while we’re on the subject, why would Israel give any of its territory in the Land of Israel to people who have been trying for years to kill Jews and Israelis?

  • Abot Bensussen

    I’m glad that CUNY is responding to this dangerous, hateful, Muslim Brotherhood and terrorist connected. The SJP is know for being anti-Jewish, well organized, and tolerated in educational circles, (I don’t know why).

    Talk about biting the hand that feeds you. The University system is too tolerant of hate speech, subtle or NOT. Zionism is an honest and historic opinion and love for Israel, and should not entitle the zionists to be insulted, and threatened on campus.

    I hope that the college organization will continue to protect all it’s citizens, for safety and tolerance of varied points of view. Isn’t that the mission of education?

  • Ezra

    CUNY’s position, “we cherish the freedom of students to express their views, consistent with the protections provided by the First Amendment.” is pure garbage. The fact remains that the demonstration is anti Israel, anti Semitic and racist to the core. How would CUNY react if the KKK marched and demonstrated touting their clear hatred for Black Americans in front of their institutions touting their First Amendment Rights. Let’s get real!

    Jews and Jewish students are fair game and in fashion to bash, de-legitimatize and allow for a target of hatred.