Anti-Zionist Protestors Disrupt CUNY Event on Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

by Dion J. Pierre
December 9, 2022
Read the original post in The Algemeiner.

Anti-Zionist protestors disrupted a panel on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that was held on Thursday night at the City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center.

Handing out flyers accusing Israel of “occupation,” “censorship,” and “genocide,” the protestors caused so much raucous that the New York City Police Department (NYPD) arrived to escort them from the building, Academic Engagement Network (AEN) Executive Director and panelist for the event, titled “A Conversation on the Language of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict,” Miriam Elman told The Algemeiner on Friday.

Other panelists at the event included, Donna Robinson Divine, Professor of Jewish Studies at Smith College and Professor Asaf Romirowsky, executive director of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East.

“They rose up en masse and came in front of the podium and started shrieking,” Elman said. “It was very loud and they screaming slogans. And the audience didn’t just sit there. They were screaming right back. Later, NYPD [New York City Police Department] came into the room and escorted them out.”

“We lost fifteen minutes of the presentation of the event,” she continued. “It’s unacceptable.”

The City University of New York (CUNY) is the subject of a new Title VI complaint with the US Department of Education alleging that it has intentionally ignored “a sustained pattern of antisemitism.”

Filed in July by the American Center for Law & Justice (ACLJ), it follows accusations of antisemitism at CUNY campuses aired during a New York City Council hearing on the issue last month, held after the CUNY School of Law faculty endorsed a boycott of Israel.

The complaint recounted a number of alleged incidents at CUNY going as far back as 2013, including Jewish faculty and students having their property vandalized, receiving threats and verbal abuse, and being held responsible for actions of the Israeli government.

It also discussed a 2021 resolution passed by the public university system’s faculty union accusing Israel of practicing apartheid, a measure that prompted the resignations of a number of Jewish members, as well as the more recent boycott effort endorsed at the law school.

Several episodes described in the ACLJ brief were raised at the City Council hearing in June, where lawmakers lamented the absence of CUNY Chancellor Felix Matos Rodríguez and called the problem of antisemitism at CUNY “pervasive.”

CUNY has maintained that it “has consistently and strongly condemned all forms of bigotry and discrimination, including antisemitism,” and that it complies with all relevant regulations when reporting incidents.

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