Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Big Bullies on Campus

by Charles Lipson

This article nails it. I can say that first hand. Perry Chiaramonte writes at
They've become the bullies of the quad at college campuses around the nation, shouting down speakers, terrorizing Jewish students and intimidating those who disagree with them on the vexing issue of peace in the Middle East, according to watchdog groups.
Students for Justice in Palestine, with nearly 100 chapters on campuses around the nation, has become increasing strident in promoting its agenda, staging "die-ins," handing out mock eviction notices in dormitories, and raising funds for Hamas-aligned groups, according to Jewish watchdog groups. Individual members have been accused of assaulting students, vandalizing property and hurling anti-Semitic slurs at Jewish students, all in the name of their cause.
“In the last several years, the tactics used by the group have created an atmosphere that ultimately does not help with a dialogue about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” Oren Segal, director of the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism, told
I've witnessed the Student for Justice in Palestine (SJP) bullying and intimidating our students at the University of Chicago. That's their standard operating procedure. They also "stalk" most pro-Israel events, trying to provoke our students as they videotape them. They then claim our students behaved improperly, even when they have not done so. Their last lie was caught out because university administrators happened to be present at the event and could say, independently, that our students had behaved in an exemplary way.
They also appear to have infilitrated their fellow-travelers into Jewish organizations at the U of C to report on internal communications and share private discussions.

SJP's latest effort, following their narrow BDS victory at DePaul, has been to run candidates for the U of C student government. Those candidates were elected without their mentioning efforts to delegitimate Israel, but they are almost certain to make a Boycott-Divest movement the centerpiece of their effort at Chicago next academic year.

I have been actively involved in (1) informing the University's leadership, who had not known of this intimidation; (2) supporting our pro-Israel students; (3) working with the Jewish Federation of Chicago to keep them informed; and (4) devising strategies to counter the SJP's terrible conduct while maintaining our own integrity and commitment to free speech.

Charles Lipson teaches at the University of Chicago


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

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