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December 9, 2021 4:27 pm
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Faculty Group Slams CUNY Law Student Gov. Measure for ‘Maligning’ Jewish Groups

avatar by Dion J. Pierre

CUNY School of Law in New York City//WikiCommons

A group of City University of New York (CUNY) faculty has rebuked a recent resolution passed by the law school’s student government that called for an end to Israel exchange programs and cutting of ties with “organizations that repress Palestinian organizing.”

Passed on Dec. 2, the Law Student Government Association resolution said that CUNY Law School’s collaborations with Israeli researchers and institutions made it “complicit” in alleged war crimes committed by Israel, and condemned Hillel, Bulldogs for Israel, and other student organizations at CUNY for their support of the Jewish state.

The CUNY Alliance for Inclusion (CAFI) on Wednesday said the measure “launches a wholesale offensive maligning and attacking of Jewish student groups and programs as well as faculty research and collaborations with a host of universities and corporations, attempting to shame such groups by name.”

The group of CUNY community members first organized to protest the Professional Staff Congress CUNY faculty union’s passage of its own anti-Israel resolution in June. At least 261 faculty have since resigned from the union, according to the website of the “Resign PSC” campaign.

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The latest law school resolution, CAFI charged, “appropriates for itself the right to separate good from bad Jews and to quash Jewish self-expression it disfavors as it trashes academic freedom by seeking to bar opinions contrary to its own from CUNY and its groups.”

“A great university must champion diversity and cultivate a tradition of inclusive civil discourse and engagement on complex issues and conflicts and stand against historic hatreds and limitations upon speech and association.”

Sponsored by the CUNY Law Students for Justice in Palestine and CUNY Law Jewish Law Student Association, the Dec. 2 measure was endorsed by over 20 other student organizations, including the National Lawyers Guild chapter and the CUNY Law Review.

It was denounced by the Anti-Defamation League, which called for the administration to take “swift action.”

“Combined with the call to end all CUNY Israeli exchange programs, this BDS resolution has the effect of ostracizing and alienating a large majority of Jewish students on campus,” Scott Richman, NY/NJ Regional Director for the Anti-Defamation League, said at the time.

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