Hunter College ‘Strongly Condemns Antisemitic Comments’ Made at CUNY Student Rally
Following Thursday afternoon’s demonstration at Hunter College, at which students from the City University of New York system chanted, “Zionists out of CUNY! Zionists out of CUNY,” and “Intifada, Intifada, long live the Intifada,” the Hunter administration released a statement condemning the “anti-Semitic comments” made at the rally.
The “Joint Statement of Hunter College President Jennifer Raab, Undergraduate Student Government 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 on Friday. 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 event in question, part of the country-wide Million Student March campaign to demand free tuition and other benefits, had been advertised on social media as a call to protest the “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 throughout CUNY through Zionist content of education… CUNY aims to produce the next generation of professional Zionists…”
Due to the ads, endorsed by “Students for Justice in Palestine” and other affiliated groups, members of the pro-Israel advocacy organization StandWithUs turned up at Hunter on Thursday waving Israeli flags and caught the chanting on video – a copy of which The Algemeiner published on Friday.