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NYU Pro-Israel Group Demands Administration Take Action Against Students for Justice in Palestine

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

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

#‎PalestiniansForBlackLiberation 

#FromBatonRougeToGaza

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.

Schermata 2016 07 14 alle 08.29.00

Video of the Week New Clashes Erupt Between Israeli Security Forces, Muslim Worshippers

Temple Mount temporarily closed to Jewish visitors after clashes with police




The Temple Mount was temporarily closed to Jewish visitors on Wednesday at the order of Jerusalem District Commander Yoram Halevy after Jews broke visitation rules at the holy site, police said. The Jewish visitors were expelled from the compound for bringing sacred books to the Mount and trying to pray there. After one of the individuals was cautioned, another took out a holy book, and the group was expelled. Meanwhile, renewed clashes erupted between protesters and Israeli security forces near the Lion's Gate in the Old City, where police used stun grenades against the demonstrators. A regular dynamic has developed involving clashes between Palestinians and Israel Police over the past several days near the Lion's Gate. Dozens of Palestinians are present at the site on a regular basis, urging devotion to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount and condemning Israel. During Muslim prayer times, particularly the midday and nighttime prayers, hundreds and sometimes even thousands have been gathering there.

There have been outbreaks of violence during these periods, including stone-throwing or physical confrontations with the police. In most of these incidents, the police have been using stun grenades and sponge-tipped bullets to disperse the crowds. In a number of cases, journalists in the area have also suffered violence at the hands of the police. On Tuesday, Hassan Shaalan, a reporter for the Ynet news website, was struck by a policeman even after he identified himself as a member of the press. A group of Jerusalem-based journalists released a statement of condemnation over the incident and called on the police to permit reporters to do their jobs. The Jerusalem Police responded: "This involved an incident that took place in the course of violent disturbances of the peace that occurred in Jerusalem while the police were acting to remove the demonstrators from the street after some of them refused to vacate. The forces working on the scene are under constant threat to their lives. http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.802141

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