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June 11, 2021 4:32 pm
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Student Protesters Turn CUNY Zoom Lecture Into ‘Anti-Israel Hate Fest’

avatar by Dion J. Pierre

The B. Altman & Company Building housing the City University of New York Graduate Center in New York City. Photo: Beyond My Ken/Wikimedia.

A group of activists turned an online lecture at New York’s Hunter College into a pro-Palestinian protest, Fox News reported Thursday, reading a prepared statement that charged Israel with practicing apartheid.

During a required “Practice Lab” on the history of oppression at the Silberman School of Social Work on May 20, several students changed their pictures to Palestinian flags and changed their account names to “Free Palestine: Decolonize.”

Professor Simone Gamble reportedly joined the demonstration, changing her picture as the protesters read a statement for some 20 minutes, which proclaimed that “anti-Zionism is not equivalent to antisemitism.”

Participants also posted messages in the Zoom call’s comment section, including one that read, “The Holocaust has been used as a tool. The fear of antisemitism as the fear of ‘this could happen again’ is being used preemptively to oppress and kill others.”

No professor attempted to disrupt the protest, according to Jewish students present during the lecture.

“For professors who are the experts in this anti-oppression curriculum not to stand up or do anything or say anything to intervene was quite shocking,” one student told Fox News. ” What violence could have taken place if this happened in person Because it felt like a virtual mob.”

Hunter College is part of the City University of New York, a public university.

Responding to the episode on Twitter, Anti-Defamation League New York/New Jersey Director Scott Richman said, “In a time of rising #antisemitism, as an online lecture converted into an anti-Israel hate fest epitomizes the kind of bullying that makes Jewish students feel unsafe. This doesn’t promote peace, it prompts prejudice.”

On Thursday, the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College said it “takes very seriously any allegations of antisemitism,” citing President Jennifer J. Raab’s recent statement condemning anti-Jewish hate crimes in New York and beyond.

“In a recent, end-of-year virtual class on zoom, the discussion went in an unplanned direction as students expressed strong and, at times, heated opposing viewpoints and sentiments about the recent conflict in the Middle East,” the school told Fox News. “After this exchange, the lead instructor asked for mutual respect and empathy for all points of view, and reminded students they could continue their discussion in smaller class sections. The virtual course continued to its conclusion as planned.”

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