FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 14, 2018
Contact: Avi D. Gordon, Executive Director Alums for Campus Fairness
917-512-4585, [email protected]
ALUMS FOR CAMPUS FAIRNESS PRESENTS NYU PRESIDENT LETTER REQUESTING ACTION REGARDING CAMPUS ANTI-SEMITISM
(New York, NY – May 14, 2018) – On May 14, 2018, Alums for Campus Fairness (ACF)-New York University Chapter sent a letter to NYU President Andrew Hamilton signed by over 500 expressing concern at the university’s failure to investigate the actions of student groups for creating an unwelcome campus environment for people who support Israel.
On April 9, 2018, 51 student groups signed a statement created by Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) pledging to boycott pro-Israel student organizations TorchPAC and Realize Israel by refusing to co-sponsor events with them and to boycott Israeli academia. On April 27, members of these groups disrupted Realize Israel’s “Rave in the Park” event honoring Israel’s 70th birthday leading to arrests.
Alums for Campus Fairness’ letter – signed by alumni, students, faculty members, donors and parents – notes that this action directly goes against the institution’s assertion of the importance of academic freedom. ACF thanked President Hamilton for personally declaring his opposition to the BDS campaign, but he has yet to take action to ensure that NYU students will not be bullied and blacklisted by their peers.
ACF cited the letter sent by StandWithUs (SWU) and the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under The Law (LDBC) to President Hamilton on April 24, 2018 expressing possible violations of NYU’s rules and policies and the legal implications of NYU’s failure to act, including possible violations under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (see SWU/LDBC letter).
Alums for Campus Fairness-NYU Chapter asks President Hamilton to do the following:
1. Issue a formal statement denouncing the student boycott and the disruption of Realize Israel’s event;
2. State unequivocally that Jewish and pro-Israel students, for whom Zionism and the right of Jewish self-determination are core values, are welcome at NYU;
3. Investigate SJP and JVP and sanction their leadership for violating NYU’s Rules and Policies, and Code of Ethical Conduct;
4. Commit to a program which provides for free and fair discourse around the topic of Israel/Palestine; an opportunity for dialogue that befits a world-class institution such as NYU. We recognize the challenge ahead and thank you in advance for your leadership and action.
Susan Julien-Levitt, ACF co-Founder and Chapter Leader of ACF-NYU stated, “I am very proud of the many signatories and supporters who recognize that It is unacceptable for NYU to tolerate students who shun, marginalize and harass other students. It is our hope, as a united voice in support of a fair and safe campus environment, that NYU acts expeditiously to restore civil behavior amongst students.”
Executive Director Avi D. Gordon explained, “ACF is comprised of people who believe that their alma maters should foster environments that are inclusive and tolerant. They are committed to utilizing their alumni affiliation to help bring positive change for students on the ground. At NYU, this type of modern-day anti-Semitism is unacceptable and the alumni would like to convey their deep concern to the administration.”
Alums for Campus Fairness (ACF) is a non-profit organization that brings together alumni to oppose the new anti-Semitism that is infecting far too many university and college campuses, while also promoting an open and fair dialogue on campus regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict. ACF works in partnership with StandWithUs.
ACF mobilizes alumni to press their alma maters to provide: (i) a safe and welcoming environment for students and faculty who feel a connection to Israel; and (ii) a comprehensive education, rather than activist propaganda, with respect to Israel.