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July 13, 2016 12:23 pm

NYU Pro-Israel Group Demands Administration Take Action Against Students for Justice in Palestine’s Statement Linking Israel to Police Shootings of Blacks

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NYU Students for Justice in Palestine. Photo: Facebook.

NYU Students for Justice in Palestine. Photo: Facebook.

A Jewish student group at New York University urged the school’s administration to take action against the NYU branch of Students for Justice in Palestine for tying Israel to the recent police shootings of two black men, Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philando Castile in Minnesota.

In a letter sent on Tuesday to NYU President Andrew Hamilton and Senior Vice President for Student Affairs Marc Wais, “Realize Israel” president Jacob Sternberg wrote:

I am emailing you as a concerned Jewish student at NYU.

A couple of days ago, the Students for Justice in Palestine at NYU, a recognized student club at NYU that receives funding from the University, released a public statement that links the death of two unarmed black men in America back to the Israel Defense Forces and the State of Israel. SJP is trying to tie together the injustice that exists in America’s justice system back to the one democracy in the Middle East and the only Jewish state, Israel.

The statement, in which they said, “The same forces behind the genocide of black people in America are behind the genocide of Palestinians” not only takes away from the struggle and discrimination that black Americans face, hindering any progressive steps in solving this major issue, but also brings about SJP’s true intentions.

As the president of Realize Israel, the largest Israel club at NYU, I am committed to educating and celebrating Israel on campus. I am also a strong believer in advocating for peace and better quality of life for both Israelis and Palestinians.

I am concerned because although SJP claims to be a club that is advocating for ‘Justice in Palestine’, the events, statements and actions they make are constantly and consistently focused on demonizing, boycotting, and spreading lies and hatred against the State of Israel.

Their recent Facebook post is just one of the dozens of actions they have made that twists facts, and spreads complete lies about the State of Israel, and as the President of the University I am respectfully asking for some type of action to be taken.

This is not the first time that a global issue, in this case institutionalized racism, was pinned on the Jewish people or Jewish State, but I hope it is the last time NYU stands for anti-semitism of this kind.

After being attacked like this by an NYU student group, I turn to you, the NYU administration to wrong this right.

If you would like to speak further about this or would like to set up a meeting between Realize Israel and a member of the NYU administration to discuss how we can be leaders in ending the rise in anti-Semitism and anti-Israel sentiment on campus, I would be more than happy to do so.

Sternberg was referring to a July 7 Facebook post in which NYU’s SJP branch wrote:

In the past 48 hours another two black men have been lynched by the police. The total number of black people lynched by cops in 2016 now totals 136. We must remember that many US police departments train with the #‎IsraeliDefenseForces. The same forces behind the genocide of black people in America are behind the genocide of Palestinians. What this means is that Palestinians must stand with our black comrades. We must struggle for their liberation. It is as important as our own. ‪#‎AltonSterling is as important as ‪#‎AliDawabsheh. Palestinian liberation and black liberation go together. We must recognize this and commit to building for it.

#‎BlackLivesMatter ‪#‎PhilandoCastile ‪#‎NoJusticeNoPeace‪#‎FromBatonRougeToGaza ‪#‎PalestiniansForBlackLiberation

As soon as the post appeared, hundreds of Facebook users commented angrily, calling SJP antisemitic and laughable.

Examples include:

“This has to be a hoax,” replied Jack Paris.

“Unbelievable stupidity of educated idiots,” responded Sally Amsterdamer.

“Who let the dogs out???” commented Michael Amar.

“Bunch of TERRORISTS LOVING NYU MORRONS!!” Dennis Nero wrote.

Two days later, on July 9, SJP posted a clarification.

Our statement regarding the murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile—and the rampant murders of Black Americans by the police—was not a suggestion that their deaths are part of an Israeli conspiracy. Israel did not literally kill either of these men: that much is obvious. What is also clear is that American police departments and the IDF train together. The IDF assists the NYPD and other American police departments in their oppression and murder of black people. These groups share a common logic that manifests in several types of oppression, white supremacist racism among them.

If we in SJP and in the Palestine solidarity movement more generally are serious about ending Israeli oppression then we must stand with black americans. We need to be in the streets with them and we need to organize against police brutality.

The Black struggle and the Palestinian struggle are not the same. Still, Palestinian liberation and Black liberation are linked. That is why Palestinians must be there for Black people, and Black People must be there for Palestinains. This sense of mutual responsibility has been present in our movements.

Those who claim our statement promoted conspiracy theories, or was a cooptation of BLM, are intentionally misconstruing it. This is not cooptation, or using the murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile to push for an opportunistic SJP agenda. It is solidarity.

We will not engage in further discussion on this matter, which aims to distract from the urgent issues at hand, as we believe the attention should remain on the victims of state brutality.

SJP is an anti-Zionist, pro-BDS organization operating on campuses in the US, Canada and New Zealand. It is responsible for or tied to university events whose aim is to accuse Israel of war crimes, ethnic cleansing and genocide.

The Algemeiner reached out to NYU President Hamilton’s office for a response to the SJP claims and Realize Israel’s letter, but no comment has been forthcoming.

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  • Joe

    “The same forces behind the genocide of black people in America are behind the genocide of Palestinians”

    The author of that statement is living in an alternate universe since it is empirically demonstrable that there is no genocide of either group under way. Facing up to reality is hard for people whose “ideas” and are not connected to reality because the change required is in them and not in the targets of their hatred.

  • Wallace Brand

    Don’t laugh. This is part of the PSY WAR that the Arabs and Russians are winning handily. Professor David M. Jacobs, The Middle East Propaganda War. “The combination of traditional [Muslim] ideas of taqiya and the hila combined with Soviet dezinformatsia have enabled the Arabs to run rings round, not only the Israelis, but the whole of the West.” according to Jacobs.

  • Lia

    I’d appeal to all parents who have children studying at NYU and all alumni to stop supporting NYU financially in any way. Didn’t Mizzou only make a move when the money dried up and the students disappeared? I doubt NYU will be moved by reasoned argument alone.

  • So I guess it’s fair to reason that SJP also stands behind the murder of white cops in Dallas.

  • Anita Pomerance

    I am an alumna of NYU School of law and I am embarrassed by NYU’s silence. I take some comfort in the fact that it is a fairly short period of time since The Algemeiner reached out to NYU President Hamilton’s office and I look forward to an appropriate answer from that office. Efforts should be made by NYU and others to publicly identify the fallacies in the SJP reasoning. It is my hope that groups which are not necessarily pro-Israel will communicate the wrongness of the SJP views and motives. I would be please if I can be of assistance in this matter.

    • racy

      Perfect for each other, miscreants, Black Liberation Army and SJP. Black Liberation Army of the 60s and 70s, read their history of anti Semitic hatred and White hatred. Today’s Black Liberation Army hates the cops and hate Jews as is their history. SJP have the perfect cohorts. IDF is not a white, Jewish army. It’s a rainbow of colors army including Muslims, Bedouins,
      Ethiopians, Hispanics, Indians, Chinese . . . .

  • Jewish Students I am afraid that you are not going to get anywhere with the Islam controlled Obama maladministration. Look for other ways to defeat this hatred until Obama is replaced by a human being, you will not have success. I feel that Trump is the right guy at this time as Clinton is the apprentice and Obama is the Master.

  • Jeffrey Zucker

    You forgot to mention that the SJP is related to the Moslem Brotherhood.

  • Sidney Schultz

    How can a demand without authority or power have any effect?

  • Rachel Robinson

    As long as they blame Israel for the shootings of American policemen why not blame them also for the killings in Florida, San Bermardino, Paris and Belgkum?

  • aall55

    SJG forgets that Blacks are Jews , Israelis , also .

  • SJP erroneously assumes that the IDF is all white. Far, far from it. There are people of color, black, brown, and everything in between, in the IDF. Hard to be a white supremacist if you’re not white. Note the ‘We will not engage further discussion” – that’s their M.O., which illustrates what they’re all about.