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November 13, 2015 11:30 am

‘Zionists Out of CUNY!’ ‘Long Live the Intifada!’ Chanted at CUNY Student Protest at Hunter (VIDEO)

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The Million Student March protest at Hunter College on Thursday. Photo: StandWithUs/Screenshot.

The Million Student March protest at Hunter College on Thursday. Photo: StandWithUs/Screenshot.

Vicious implicitly antisemitic slogans were chanted at a protest at Hunter College in Manhattan on Thursday afternoon after organizers on Facebook called for participants to oppose the school’s “Zionist administration.”

But despite footage of the rally circulating online, a spokesperson for Hunter initially denied the hateful nature of the demonstration.

“Zionists out of CUNY! Zionists out of CUNY,” shouted protesters, who had ostensibly gathered to fight for free tuition and other benefits.

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“Intifada! Intifada! Long live the Intifada,” they chanted, as a group of Jewish students waved Israeli flags nearby.

A Hunter College representative, who had not been made aware of the demonstration — or the blatantly antisemitic social media announcements — responded Thursday evening: “The rally just took place. There were less than 50 students and it was totally focused on tuition. There was no claim of antisemitism.”

The video below, shot by the pro-Israel organization StandWithUs, indicates otherwise.

On Friday morning, however, the Hunter administration released a statement condemning the “anti-Semitic comments” made at the rally.

The “Joint Statement of Hunter College President Jennifer Raab, USG President Chika Onyejiukwa and Hunter College Senate Chair Sandra Clarkson in response to hate speech used at Campus Rally” was posted on the college’s website. It reads:

We, the President of Hunter College, the President of Undergraduate Student Government  and Chair of the Hunter College Senate, on behalf of our campus constituencies, strongly condemn anti-Semitic comments made at a rally last night seeking to exclude members of our campus community based solely on their identity. As the Chancellor said in remarks today, CUNY is “a place of inclusion, not exclusion.”  While we are committed to the right of free speech and free expression for all within our campus community, there is no place for hate speech and other acts of bigotry, harassment, intimidation, exclusion and intolerance based on an individual’s beliefs and backgrounds.  Such behavior is unacceptable on our campus.  Hunter must be a community where all express their views and opinions, without personally attacking others based on who they are and what they believe.

The protest, part of the nation-wide Million Student March set for November 12, was advertised on Facebook by “NYC Students for Justice in Palestine” and other affiliate groups, using antisemitic slurs to attribute the financial plight of students in the City University of New York system to its “Zionist administration [that] 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 … through Zionist content of education… [aiming] to produce the next generation of professional Zionists.”

StandWithUs Northeast Region Director Shahar Azani told The Algemeiner on Friday morning that the Hunter event “is another example of the hijacking of various social causes by the anti-Israel movement. It contaminates the atmosphere on campus; poisons relationships between different groups; and keeps people further apart, thus distancing any hope for change. No student should feel marginalized or threatened while attending school. It is up to us to instill those values to the younger generation and to stand up to those who refuse to adhere to them. If we are unable to do so at our schools, one wonders what the point is of school at all.”

Responding to a query by The Algemeiner on Thursday morning, prior to the rally, CUNY vice chancellor for student affairs Frank Sanchez responded:

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.

Jewish organizations and CUNY alumni are concerned by the university’s lack of reaction to the use on the part of its students of classical antisemitic messages and modern anti-Zionist libels, both on social media and on the premises on one of its colleges.

Calling the event and the university’s response to it “an outrage,” Jeffrey S. Wiesenfeld, a graduate of the CUNY system who served as a trustee for 15 years, forwarded The Algemeiner a copy of an email he sent to CUNY Executive Vice Chancellor Jay Hershenson to complain:

I am cautioning you and strongly urging that you have [CUNY Chancellor James B.] Milliken make a statement of condemnation of this virulent anti-Semitism. The blanket, meaningless omnibus statement about “free speech” is itself abhorrent, as we would not tolerate these activities against any other ethnic or minority group.

Failure to do so will have economic consequences for several of our schools’ foundations. I have received many angry e-mails, which I would be pleased to share with you. If these “pareve” responses from CUNY central continue, we must all remember that by far and away – that Zionists pay the bills in the donor category – and they’ll take a hike.

The Anti-Defamation League issued a statement condemning “Students for Justice in Palestine’s anti-Semitic exploitation of the Million Student March in the strongest terms.”

ADL New York Regional Director Evan R. Bernstein said, “By implicitly linking to the very real financial challenges that students face, SJP has invoked a classic anti-Semitic stereotype which blames Jews for the financial woes of others. Rhetoric like this is thinly veiled anti-Semitism and fosters an environment of hostility.”

ADL noted that other anti-Israel student groups around the country have been using the march to condemn Israel and call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), citing similar messages at Temple University and the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

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.”

Professor Gerald Steinberg, president of the Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor research institute, released a statement slamming the “continued abuse of US academic platforms and student activity by anti-Israel groups and NGOs should trouble all those interested in liberal values and quality education.”

“This is yet another example of antisemitic speech aimed at American Jewish students, delivered under the guise of criticizing Israel and its supporters,” Steinberg said.

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  • Vivek Golikeri

    No. Zionism is a legitimate movement to give the Jewish people what most others take for granted — a home. The early halutzim bought the land and worked it themselves. They never killed, robbed or enslaved anyone.Initially, Jews and Arabs got along. But later, something went wrong.

    For every one so-called Palestinian rotting in the refugee camps, one Mizrachi Jew found automatic citizenship under the Law Of Return. Had Arab nations taken these refugees, their misery would have ended decades ago. The West is called racist or heartless for not wanting Syrian refugees, yet Kuwait and Saudi Arabia with all their oil wealth have not taken a single one.

    As a secular Hindu-American whose history and heritage has a long list of parallels with the Jewish experience, I understand Israel’s position.

  • Somebody warned that many donors to CUNY are Jewish, and that funds could dry up if they feel insulted. Fair enough. However, let me warn back that in that case, oil-rich Saudi and Kuwaiti donors could easily fill the gap because they see a chance to buy influence and power.

    Result? CUNY would only go deeper into the pockets of the Intifada crowd, because now they have powerful backing. Remember that after the 9-11 attacks, a Saudi bigwig offered a one billion dollar check if the US would change its position on Israel? Giuliani bluntly told him on television: “Take your money and go to hell. Your trick isn’t working.”

    That would not happen in this case. If offended Jews pull back like a tortoise’s limbs, cunning Saudis will flood in like water filling a vacuum.

  • Lisa M.

    I am disheartened as current Hunter study to see the hateful actions of my fellow peers. While this in no way reflects the views of the entire Hunter student body, I would like to apologize on behalf of them, anyway. This is not the attitude taught in the classroom, nor have I ever witnessed this kind of behavior in the three years I have been here, in the classroom, or in the hallways.

    However, I would also like to point out that I think it is embarrassing that comments on here, as well as those of Jeffrey S. Wiesenfeld in the article itself, threaten to pull their donations, because “the well of money will dry out” if something isn’t done. Something must be done, certainly, but to threaten to pull your money away from an entire institution based on the actions of a few is not only absurd, but the attitude with which you give money, then, is more about false power than about commitment to education. The quickness with which you use your upper hand of wealth to threaten is astonishing, as though that wealth gives you all the power in the world. How embarrassing.

  • Marilyn

    These students who spew hatred should be expelled. The rest of us should seriously consider not contributing to these schools that allow this to continue.

    • Vivek Golikeri

      The criterion is not spewing hate, but violating the rights of others. If you expel someone for expressing views you don’t like, the university will be successfully sued. However, if students cross the line from merely insulting various interests to threatening or interfering with those who disagree with them…aha!

      If someone burns an Israeli flag that is his own property, there is nothing you can legally do. But if he attacks another person for waving an Israeli flag which is not his property, he can be both expelled and prosecuted.

      Understand how the law works.

  • Polina

    Why can’t Hunter administration expel those students? They have enough evidence (video) to identify them and discipline them for the inappropriate conduct. If Jews or Christians were chanting “Muslims or Palestinians out of CUNY” I am sure there would have been serious disciplinary actions taken against them. Why is this being tolerated?! Just a statement that Hunter condemns this meeting? No consequences? This is not good enough. This tells us that it is all right for crimes to be committed against some groups but not the others. Clear discrimination and ignorance by the CUNY administration. Shame on Hunter!!!

    • One of America’s freedom’s is Freedom of Speech. As disgusting as this behavior is – these misguided students have a right to express themselves. Hunter College Administration should take this as a teaching opportunity to advance knowledge and show these students the truth and that is that Palestinians will not rest until Israel ceases to exist. This sentiment has been repeatedly stated and taught to each generation of Palestinians who have refused to negotiate a two state solution. The horrific book “The Elders of Zion” used by the Nazi’s to incite hatred and the slaughter of Jews is being disseminated among young Palestinians to perpetuate this racism – and this should be taught as well.To shut them down will only make them more angry. It is not the solution!

    • Aaron Burns

      Zionist does not equate to jewish. Zionism is a political philosophy that at its base relys on displacing on set of people to make way for the new set of people.

      You are off base to imply that religion has any place in this conversation!

  • Yale

    It seems to me that these “students” are equating “Zionist” with “competent” and are protesting against the idea that they should actually learn something by attending college. If CUNY is true to its obligations to its students, and to the City of New York, it will be even more “Zionistic” and remove those “students” who believe college is about joining protests against the idea that they be expected to learn something.

  • Russell Lang

    The educational institutions should not allow students to be given only the Palestinians false narrative about Israel and Palestine. They need to be given the true historical facts.

    1, The Balfour Declaration, how it came about. The extent of the land allotted to Israel at that time.
    2. The British Mandate in 1948 that was an internationally agreed and legal establishment of the country of Israel in their historical homeland. This makes the “occupation” claim totally invalid by International law.That Britain betrayed by establishing Jordan and giving most of the land the Hashemite Kingdom. (Arabs).
    3. The fact that the Arabs attacked Israel immediately and were defeated.
    4. That Israel did not drive any Arabs out of Palestine but they fled at the urging of the defeated Arabs. Under a promise that when Israel is destroyed they would be able to return and take the spoils. All attempts to destroy Israel have failed.
    5. That 600000 Jews were expelled from Arab countries, lost their homes and had to flee to Israel.
    6 That there never, ever was a Palestinian nation. Not before 1948, not before 1967. the whole concept is a fallacy to create a “victim” state. just plain lies and re-writing of history.
    7. That the “West Bank” was part of the British Mandate, was occupied illegally by Jordan until they were driven back in 1967. The real name of West Bank is “Judea and Samaria” The subtle name change is designed to hide the facts that Judea means the land of Judah. Samaria is an ancient Israeli city. So much for the allegations of Occupation.
    8. That Israel have offered peace numerous times to the so-called Palestinians which they have refused and continue to refuse. Land for peace has only led to more terrorism.
    9. That Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East where people of all religions may practice their beliefs and that all citizens (even Arab Israelis) are allowed to vote. So much for claims that Israel is an Apartheid nation.
    10. That Israel were forced to build walls to protect their civilians from suicide bombers and other attacks by Palestinian terrorists.
    11. That Hamas, do not want peace and declare openly that they want to destroy Israel and commit genocide against the Jews. This would be a crime against humanity. It is written into the Hamas Charter. So much for a two state solution.
    12. That should Arabs succeed in taking Israel out then they will create (yet) another tyrannical Islamic nation where no-one who is not a Muslim will be able to live in peace and freedom. Hamas share the same beliefs a ISIS
    13. Liberal humanitarians are being used as convenient fools to support a movement that will be only too happy to behead them if the get the chance.
    14. Finally for anyone who believes in God. It is written in the Bible – Genesis 12 v 3 That “I will bless those that bless you and curse those that curse you”. (Promised to Abraham with regard to his (Israeli) descendants). Get on the right side, the side of truth.

    I would suggest that these facts be taught or made available to students as it is the truth that may prevent at least some of them from jumping onto the anti-semite liberal bandwagon that results from students only hearing one side of this dispute. Most of what they currently hear from the Arab side is based on fabrications and fantasy.

  • elinor

    France wake up Israel is fighting your war.
    It’s the Same war just different flags
    We do not say that all Muslims terrorists
    But all terrorists are Muslims
    it’s fact you can not argue with
    As France also here in Israel extremist Muslims claim discrimination and racism, and that they dnot received their rights as immigrants.
    And with this false claims are justified murder
    Enough of this nonsense, wake up !!
    This is a religious war, they kill in the name of Islam
    Their goal is it that the world will be Islamic
    And they will not stop,Radical Islam sanctifies death
    Look at all of these cases all of them Done by the Muslim extremists 9/11 US
    7/05 London
    15/11-The Russian plane in Egypt
    13/11 paris
    Do not look for excuses for them just wake up and understand what you’re dealing with
    That it is no longer just a war in the Middle East
    Maybe now you will begin to see those glasses we here in Israel have seen until now
    God bless France and Israel

  • Mayer

    If they get what they want how will they replace all of the Jewish professors?

  • Derek Roma

    Here in Europe it is too late, Paris is lost , others will fall soon.
    Americans save yourself from Muslims

    Democracy is gone

  • David Varady

    The tepid response from Hunter and CUNY is disgusting. We’ll reconsider donating to any CUNY unit.

  • Gene Poole

    If there ever was a incident of hate speech at a US University the spread of radical Islam on our Campuses are a perfect example. Yet, leftist faculty members are to busy banning conservative speakers to notice that ISIS Cells are probably pushing their propaganda on US soil. I hope the students have ‘safe’ spaces to go to when these terrorists start their Jihad.

  • BARBARA SHABO

    Why aren’t we seeing this on mainstream media?

  • Rachel Brill

    So upsetting….why do these people think the way they do? Zionism is the affirmative action of the Jewish people…after such a horrible history the world has imposed on the Jewish people in the Diaspora.. The least the world can give us is a small sliver if our historical homeland … Why don’t these people know any history? We want to be safe and free to be Jews and gave some quiet in a small little land if our own historical homeland after thousands of years of Inquisitions and programs and holocausts. Just leave us alone already. What an unjust and horrible world your ignorance has created…all based on lies…. Why don’t they teach history at colleges anymore?

  • Think these “donors” need to cut back with the “donations” so much..
    Let others take over.. The NERVE!!!!!!

  • Hunter Alumnus

    I just revised my Will — Hunter can ask that SJP crowd of freeloaders for contributions. The well is running dry.

  • Saul

    The University remains the classical strategic objective of the anti-Semites because under the cover of academic freedom the old moral arguments can be challenged and defeated. So the Jews are once again the evil ones while the Muslims become, like the medieval Christians, the pure ones.

  • jakob wasi

    You cannot say, as you do, anti-Israeli slogans is implicitly anti-Semitic. They put the spotlight on the deleterious behavior of the Zionist government and its policies and unwillingness to solve the question of Palestine politically. Nothing is more to the point than the film ‘The Gatekeepers’ that underscores that the situation ever deteriorating in Israel cries out for a political solution. And the deleterious effects of Israel’s actions is evident and evokes protests worldwide. And, yes, in the US the citadel of Israel’s pro-consul. Without US protection and military and financial aid, the Zionist would be limited in what they could do and were GHW Bush president he would drag screaming and kicking Netenyahu to the negotiating table to sign a treaty with the Palestinians for an independent Palestine. Scream as the ‘Algemeiner’ does, happily the US Constitution protects the Hunter students and allows them to say what they say. Were this in Israel, I shudder to think of how many bodies would fall under IDF bullets.

    • GailR

      Aside from the fact that your post is full of lies, as it is Abbas who continuously refuses to come to the negotiating table, this was NOT a rally about what is going on in Israel.
      This was a rally about free tuition, so please tell me what this has to do with Israel and Zionists. And yet they called the administration a “Zionist” administration and called for them to be ousted from CUNY. And chanting “Intifada! Intifada! Long live the Intifada,” is a clear call for the killing of Jews and the destruction of Israel. Tell me what all that has to do with wanting free tuition and other benefits?
      As to your last statement “Were this in Israel, I shudder to think of how many bodies would fall under IDF bullets.” you either know nothing about or are lying again about Israel. Muslim citizens of Israel, who attend Israeli universities have plenty of demonstrations on campus against Israel (I guess the irony escapes them) without incident.

    • Larry Moskowitz

      jakob, your argument would be a sound one if the Palestinians were nothing but stupid children incapable of choosing real leaders or making adult decisions on their own. The PA has controlled West Bank for 20 years and Hamas has had Gaza for 10 and exactly what positive things have they to show? Will “becoming a state” instantly make them peaceful and resourceful? Stop treating this like a one-sided issue and stop treating the Palestinians like children. And, when you have a moment, please post some evidence that peaceful protests in Israel result in piles of bodies. Peaceful stabbing? peaceful rockets? peaceful car terror, peaceful bombs don’t count.

  • If you don’t like CUNY, THEN GET OUT! I am sure there are lots of other places that will be willing to greet you. It is very easy to blame, especially at the jews… Hispanics, Hindus blacks and asians don’t seem to be racially slurring others. But with a Muslim there is always a problem. This is a an amazing country, a free country, so if you don’t like, get out and find a ‘cheaper’ place to go!!!

  • If you don’t like CUNY, THEN GET OUT! I am sure there are lots of other places that will be willing to greet you. It is very easy to blame, especially at the jews… Hispanics, Hindus blacks don’t seem to be racially slurring others. But with a Muslim there is always a problem. This is a an amazing country, a free country, so if you don’t like, get out and find a ‘cheaper’ place to go!!!

  • Samuel J. Savitz

    The scene at CUNY is hardly an isolated event; similar demonstrations have been observed at universities throughout the USA, as well as abroad. To the chagrin of many fair-minded observers, the intolerance manifested by groups like these under the guise of civil rights is repugnant. The moment has arrived which demands that those in leadership at public universities, civic institutions and government make their voices heard that such behavior will not be tolerated and that penalties for such harassment will be imposed by measures including suspensions, withdrawal of scholarships and being fired from position held with any state financially supported institution. The privilege of free speech does not license anyone to deny expression to others with different feelings or to be harassed for holding such different positions.

  • Fred

    US Universities are going down the path of German Universities in the Hitler Period. Freedom of expression is deviating to freedom of one sided hatred. If it is no nipped in the bud , next burning of books by Jewish authors and what next just to please an intolerant small group that hijacked the rostrum. University management like the 3 wise monkeys : see nothing, hear nothing & say nothing.

  • Michael Waterman

    I wish the protestors were more honest … and just chanted “Death to the Jews” like their Iranian sponsors. That way, everyone would see for what they really stand.

    • Florres

      Arabian not Iranian, all Universities are being bought out by Arab oil money.

  • nelly rosenberg

    I could not believe what I have just read.
    I do teach there. It is a wonderful university and
    the student body is excellent.
    What is happening?

    • Russell

      What’s happening? It’s called fascism. No one is allowed to speak for Israel only against them. That is now the latest anti-semitic move of the pro-Hamas terrorist supporters. Mis-educate students, don’t let them hear the truth. You do this with a demand for free speech for the anti-semites but when someone tries to tell the truth you censure them or shout them down. Fascism will stop all free speech that does not fit into the fascist agenda.

  • Hi

    How is that anti-semite? It’s anti Zionist. Two different things. I suggest you look up the definiton of both words. Otherwise your calling almost half the Jewish pop anti-semite

    • GailR

      This was a rally about free tuition, so please tell me what this has to do with Israel and Zionists. And yet they called the administration a “Zionist” administration and called for them to be ousted from CUNY. And chanting “Intifada! Intifada! Long live the Intifada,” is a clear call for the killing of Jews and the destruction of Israel. Tell me what all that has to do with wanting free tuition and other benefits?

    • june hart

      posting without a name gives little credence to a “nobody’s” opinion

    • Florres

      Their side always lie, half the Jews live in Israel, almost all Jews support Israel.

  • Wm. J. Levy

    I wonder how many Jews were among the shouters?

    A few years ago at NYU Jewish students had EVICTION NOTICES pasted on their dorm doors.

    This is getting very dangerous only because Jews are not fighting back or being strong,

    The students at Hunter are all idiots and anyone can go to college there and open enrollment has totally destroyed the education process. Even

    Al Sharpton went to a city college and he can’t even speak.

    This is becoming more dangerous and Jews better hire tough Israelis to start going after the ring leaders.

    Think of this as Germany in the 1920’s. Do something now or die.

  • David Barry

    I wish i was there to punch out everyone of these savage Islamic terrorists! Every time an Israeli Solider kills a Palestinian Terrorist a Bell rings

  • Michael M. Eisman

    The Jewish community must wake-up and work to show the general community that the SJP organization is anti-Semitic at its core. This includes those self-hating Jews who have associated themselves with this group that works against all of the principles of American democracy.

  • Margaret Kennedy

    This is an example of the nefarious and cunning nature of students for Palestine. It is an outrage to New Yorkers and especially to the alumni of CUNY.

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