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November 22, 2015 4:43 pm

An Open Letter Deploring Hunter College’s Tolerance for Palestinian Incitement

avatar by Inna Vernikov

Email a copy of "An Open Letter Deploring Hunter College’s Tolerance for Palestinian Incitement" to a friend
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.

My name is Inna Vernikov, and I am an alumna of CUNY Baruch College and a New York City attorney. As a former CUNY student, I am appalled by the events that took place on November 12 on the campus grounds of CUNY’s Hunter College. I am writing to you today in hopes that you will join me in my plight to hold Hunter College and City University of New York accountable for these events.

On November 12, 2015, a student protest titled “Million Student March,” was held throughout campuses of the City University of New York, calling for tuition-free education and cancellation of all student debt, amongst other demands.

At around 5:30 p.m., a large crowd of protesters gathered on the campus of Hunter College for the “Million Student March.” In a video captured by Fuel For Truth’s founder Joe Richards, members of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) are heard repeatedly yelling “F–k Zionists,” “Zionists out of Cuny,” and calling for Intifada — an armed uprising of Palestinians using terrorism and violence. The video ends with SJP students yelling, “There is only one solution, Intifada Revolution.”

Hunter College cannot allow this to stand.

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The First Amendment gives us the right to speak freely, redress the government, and peacefully assemble. The First Amendment does not, however, allow for government funded institutions to create a forum for the incitement to imminent, lawless actions.

When Hunter College, a government-funded institution, allowed its students to gather under the guise of a “Million Student March” to preach Intifada and rally for “Zionists to get out of CUNY,” Hunter created a hostile and unsafe environment for its Jewish students. Moreover, by opening such a forum, Hunter engaged in aiding and abetting  terrorist agenda, and its administration must be held accountable.

Furthermore, the City University of New York has a comprehensive non-discrimination policy available to the public. That policy lists discrimination and harassment as prohibited conduct on campus. CUNY defines discrimination as “treating an individual differently or less favorably because of his or her protected characteristics — such as race, color, religion, sex, gender, national origin.” Harassment is defined as “a form of discrimination that consists of unwelcome conduct based on a protected characteristic….or creating an intimidating, hostile or abusive work or academic environment.”

Hunter administration is responsible for allowing Students For Justice In Palestine to bully and harass Jewish students on their campus.

In light of Hunter’s violations, I ask that you join me in demanding full accountability for last night’s events. I ask that Hunter and CUNY not only condemn the actions of SJP, but that it impose severe consequences on such student activities and that it publicly release a statement committing itself to monitor and prevent any future discriminatory events that bully and harass Jewish students on campus. A statement condemning antisemitic comments and simply stating that “there is no place for harassment and bigotry on campus” is not sufficient.

Please contact Hunter College Deans to express your concerns. Email: dean.of.students@hunter.cuny.edu; Telephone: 212.772. 4878

Inna Vernikov is the founding attorney at The Law Offices Of Inna Vernikov, PLLC and a pro-Israel activist.

The opinions presented by Algemeiner bloggers are solely theirs and do not represent those of The Algemeiner, its publishers or editors. If you would like to share your views with a blog post on The Algemeiner, please be in touch through our Contact page.

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  • Irina Niderman

    In light of Hunter’s violations, I ask that you join me in demanding full accountability for last night’s events. I ask that Hunter and CUNY not only condemn the actions of SJP, but that it impose severe consequences on such student activities and that it publicly release a statement committing itself to monitor and prevent any future discriminatory events that bully and harass Jewish students on campus. This statement condemning antisemitic comments and simply stating that “there is no place for harassment and bigotry on campus” is not sufficient.

  • Osvaldo Torres

    If this is true, we are right to feel disgusted at religious fanatics that use the school as a platform for the hatred and ignorance followed by religion. Since I was not present, I cannot offer an unbiased opinion. Next time use your phone and get it on audio and video so the authorities can press charges.

    • Pola

      There is a videohttps://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10153755177097755&id=270634767754
      Also, same happened at John Jay college so far…

    • JUYINCHEN

      HELLO, how are you!
      I am a student in University Neighborhood High School, for my Journalism class need, I want to email-interview you about the recently event that happened in Hunter, CUNY students blame ‘Zionist Administration’ for Their Financial Plight, many CUNY Students to Hold Protest at Hunter College…. I may ask you some questions about this case, like what is your opinion and what do you think about it. Is it okay for you to take this interview? looking forward for you answer!

    • JUYINCHEN

      HELLO, how are you!
      my name is juyin chen,I am a student in University Neighborhood High School, for my Journalism class need, I want to email-interview you about the recently event that happened in Hunter, CUNY students blame ‘Zionist Administration’ for Their Financial Plight, many CUNY Students to Hold Protest at Hunter College…. I may ask you some questions about this case, like what is your opinion and what do you think about it. Is it okay for you to take this interview? looking forward for you answer!
      my email account:juyin512@gmail.com

  • Mersedeh rofeim

    Shame on hunter college for allowing hate to become of this college. This is America not Middel east our kids come to learn and get educated to become business man and women and grow to be living free in the land of free. Not to be intimated for religion. Stop this insanity this has no business in our colleges and hate is not freedom of speech. Shame on hunter for allowing this to happen.

  • sss

    I think it’s about time everybody knew what the Jews were realy up too

    • ellen green

      If you want to know what “the Jews” are really up to, I suggest you first learn to spell. And along with spelling, you could learn to read something besides hate-filled propaganda. Lastly, you really should throw away your cell phone and refuse polio vaccines among other inventions by “the Jews.”

      • JUYINCHEN

        HELLO, how are you!
        I am a student in University Neighborhood High School, for my Journalism class need, I want to email-interview you about the recently event that happened in Hunter, CUNY students blame ‘Zionist Administration’ for Their Financial Plight, many CUNY Students to Hold Protest at Hunter College…. I may ask you some questions about this case, like what is your opinion and what do you think about it. Is it okay for you to take this interview? looking forward for you answer!

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