Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Rutgers University suspends SJP chapter

Rutgers University has just suspended its chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine. 

From the JTA article:

A dean’s letter to the group stated that it had violated several university policies, including those forbidding “disruptive or disorderly conduct,” failure to comply with university directives, improper behavior by campus guests, and “inappropriate use of space.” It referenced student complaints that members of SJP had disrupted “classes, a program, meals, and students studying.”

The letter also noted “allegations of vandalism” at the business school that corresponded with the group’s programming; a recent Instagram post from the group stated that SJP was “occupying the business school.” Neither the letter nor a university spokesperson elaborated further on the particulars of the incidents that led to the group’s suspension, but a Nov. 30 open letter from local Jewish federation CEO Dov Ben-Shimon said that Rutgers SJP and other student groups “have called Hamas’ massacre of Jews in Israel ‘justified'” and added, “Their actions against Jewish students on campus have moved far beyond microaggressions.”...
Michelle Jefferson, associate dean of students and director of student conduct at Rutgers’ New Brunswick campus, wrote in her letter to SJP that “there is a reasonable basis to conclude that the continued activities by the student organization pose a substantial and immediate threat to the safety and well-being of others, or the suspension of organizational activities is needed to maintain preservation of the University.”

On October 12, the Rutgers SJP chapter issued a statement decrying the participation of the President of Rutgers in a vigil organized by Hillel to mourn the Israelis and citizens of other countries murdered by the Hamas terrorists, using these words: "His statement endorses Rutgers Hillel’s vigil mourning Israeli settler deaths." This is, of course, a lie and a smear. Those killed by Hamas were Israelis and citizens of other countries living within the borders of sovereign Israel, not in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, or the Golan Heights. SJP makes clear with this statement that they consider all of Israel to be "occupied" and therefore illegitimate. 

I'm glad that Rutgers suspended SJP, and hope that this becomes a permanent ban.

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