NYU denounces approval of BDS by student-led post


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New York University (NYU) condemned the approval of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement by the NYU Review of Law & Social Change (RLSC) on November 23 declaration.

On November 18, the RLSC, a quarterly publication run by students at the NYU School of Law, noted in a statement they express their “strong commitment” to BDS. “RLSC will not purchase products manufactured by or using services rendered by Israeli and / or international companies involved in the violation of Palestinian rights. These companies include, among others, Hewlett-Packard, Sodastream, Sabra and Pillsbury. They added that they would also boycott “events, activities, agreements or projects involving Israeli academic institutions or which promote the normalization of Israel in the global academy, would whitewash Israel’s violations of international law and Palestinian rights,” or violate BDS guidelines ”.

The RLSC statement went on to accuse NYU of being complicit in “Israeli apartheid” and called on the university to withdraw from Israeli institutions and companies that do business with Israel and to close its study program in Israel. abroad in Tel Aviv. “RLSC is proud to support the BDS movement and stand in solidarity with the Palestinians who resist their oppression. “

The university reprimanded the RLSC in its November 23 statement. “NYU and NYU School of Law Confused and Disappointed with Students [RLSC’s] call for an academic boycott of Israeli universities and academics, ”the statement read. “Academic boycotts, like the one proclaimed by the RLSC, are antithetical to the precepts of academic freedom and the free exchange of ideas. For this reason, in terms of policy, NYU rejects, as it has done for many years, calls for an academic boycott of Israel, and the University also rejects calls for the closure of its NYU Tel Aviv program, to which it remains fully engaged.

NYU Distinguished Alumnus Judea Pearl, who is also Chancellor Professor of Computer Science at UCLA, Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences and President of the Daniel Pearl Foundation, said in a statement to the Journal, “NYU’s academic status depends on now from
how quickly the university can prevent a Zionophobic group of juvenile “editors” from using the correct NYU name on their publication and promoting a morally repugnant ideology against the core values ​​of other NYU students. “

New York / New Jersey Anti-Defamation League regional director Scott Richman tweeted: “While calls from an NYU newspaper to boycott Israel and divest NYU assets are troubling , this allows NYU leaders to unequivocally declare their opposition to BDS, finding it “antithetical.” to the precepts of academic freedom and the free exchange of ideas. Thanks NYU!

StandWithUs CEO and co-founder Roz Rothstein said in a statement: “It is disappointing that the executives of a student-run publication are using their positions to espouse hatred and prejudice by endorsing the [BDS] movement against Israel. It is all the more ironic that they have chosen to publish their views in a journal ostensibly committed to promoting freedom and diversity of thought. Their endorsement of BDS marginalizes a significant portion of the NYU law school population, puts an end to opposing views, and perpetuates anti-Semitic lies. We are grateful to NYU management for categorically rejecting the BDS campaign. “

AMCHA Initiative Director Tammi Rossman-Benjamin praised NYU’s “strong and unequivocal rejection” of BDS in a statement to the Journal. “Approving an academic boycott of Israel means that the endorser will directly subvert the educational opportunities and academic freedom of students and faculty in their own US institutions,” she said. “While in this case the Sponsors were a student-run law journal, any time a college boycott tries to show its ugly head, the universities must condemn them immediately and unequivocally. NYU’s strong leadership should serve as a model for other universities, and NYU should also consider a review of existing policies to ensure faculty and graduate students cannot abuse their classrooms for political advocacy, including the promotion of academic BDS. No student should be prevented from studying in or in Israel or be subjected to unfair discrimination or harassment due to the implementation of academic BDS.

NYU alumnus Adela Cojab, whose 2019 complaint against the college’s handling of anti-Semitism resulted in a settlement the following year, said in a statement to the Journal: “It’s disheartening to see this. time and again. It seems nothing has changed since my time on campus – this is yet another effort to distinguish Israel while remaining silent on all other matters, including NYU Abu Dhabi and Shanghai, which unlike Tel Aviv are four-year diploma schools. as opposed to satellite campuses. She added that it is “somewhat heartwarming” that the university remains opposed to BDS and that their statement against RLSC is “a step in the right direction, but there is much more to be done”.

“Under the NYU settlement agreement… NYU will take action to prevent discrimination against the Jewish community,” Cojab said. “An academic boycott of NYU Tel Aviv categorically opposes the school’s commitment to ensuring a safe learning environment where Jewish students can feel fully on campus.

The RLSC did not respond to the Journal’s request for comment.


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