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March 1, 2016 7:07 am

City University of New York Takes Action in Wake of Allegations of Antisemitism on Its Campuses

avatar by Andrew Pessin

An anti-Zionist rally at CUNY's Hunter College. Photo: StandWithUs/Screenshot.

An anti-Zionist rally at CUNY’s Hunter College. Photo: StandWithUs/Screenshot.

The City University of New York (CUNY) is taking two measures in response to recent allegations of antisemitic activity across its campuses, The New York Post reported Monday. A letter written by CUNY to the major Jewish and pro-Israel organization that levied the allegations, obtained by The Algemeiner, describes the measures in more detail.

According to The Post, CUNY Chancellor James Milliken has ordered an independent probe into the allegations, to be undertaken by two lawyers from the firm Zuckerman Spaeder. One of these lawyers is Paul Shechtman, a former state criminal-justice director and assistant federal prosecutor. The other is Barbara Jones, a retired federal district judge and former chief assistant to the Manhattan District Attorney.

In addition, CUNY will assemble a Campus Climate Task Force, which CUNY described in its letter to the pro-Israel advocacy group Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), obtained by The Algemeiner: “We will appoint a task force of administrators, faculty and students to review the ways CUNY colleges promote a campus climate that supports a respectful exchange of ideas, identify best practices across CUNY and learn from the experiences of other universities. The task force will make recommendations for appropriate campus and University action.”

CUNY’s letter also assured the ZOA that CUNY “has consistently and strongly condemned all forms of bigotry and discrimination, including antisemitism, and we will continue to do so. We have been deeply concerned with some recent activities on CUNY campuses and we are committed to ensuring that none of our students are subjected to conduct that would interfere with their opportunity to exercise their rights, obtain an education and participate fully in the life of the University…”

Last week, the ZOA wrote to CUNY documenting antisemitic incidents across its campuses. As reported by The Algemeiner, that letter attributed many of those incidents to Students for Justice in Palestine, a pro-BDS campus group.

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