A Jewish advocacy group filed two complaints against the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law alleging that its faculty’s adoption of a resolution to boycott Israel is discriminatory under New York City and New York State Law.

On Monday, Students and Faculty for Equality at CUNY (S.A.F.E. CUNY) sent complaints to the New York City Commission on Human Rights and the New York State Division on Human Rights.

The complaint to the city, addressed to the Commission on Human Rights’ Law Enforcement Bureau, claims the faculty boycott of Israel violates Title 8 of the New York City Administrative Code, which prevents boycotts or blacklists based on a number of personal characteristics, including national origin.

“[The faculty’s] discriminatory boycott not only targets Israeli CUNY students and faculty members but provided identifying personal information with links to names of suspected Israeli and Zionist Jews. The adopted resolution even went so far as to endorse [the] boycott and elimination of Hillel, the most popular Israeli and Jewish cultural student club within CUNY, with a universally welcome presence on over 850 colleges campuses throughout the U.S. It further endorsed the elimination of Israeli student exchange programs and faculty fellowships with any connection to Israelis. In addition, the adopted BDS policy targets all students and faculty members at CUNY having any connection with Israel or Israelis. It institutionalizes an academic boycott of Israeli universities, Israeli scholars, and any other scholars who engage in research and publication with Israeli institutions or Israeli scholars,” the complaint reads.

A similarly worded complaint sent to the state’s Division of Human Rights claims the boycott violates Executive Law Section 219, which prohibits a boycott of someone based on their creed or national origin. The S.A.F.E. CUNY complaint says state law, based on the creed provision, extends protection to all Zionist Jews either on their religious beliefs or shared heritage.

S.A.F.E. CUNY filed a complaint last week against the school with the American Bar Association’s law-school accrediting body, alleging that CUNY law school’s formal adoption of BDS policy is “discriminatory, infringes upon academic freedom, and violates multiple ABA accreditation requirements,” according to a letter released on Monday.

There have long been complaints among Jews at CUNY about a hostile environment, culminating with the CUNY law-school commencement address in May by activist Nerdeen Kiswani, whose past vitriol has included the cheering of the death of Israelis during terror attacks and repeated calls for the destruction of Israel.

Last week, the New York City Council held a heated committee hearing on anti-Semitism within the CUNY system.


Jewish News Syndicate

With geographic, political and social divides growing wider, high-quality reporting and informed analysis are more important than ever to keep people connected.

Our ability to cover the most important issues in Israel and throughout the Jewish world—without the standard media bias—depends on the support of committed readers.

If you appreciate the value of our news service and recognize how JNS stands out among the competition, please click on the link and make a one-time or monthly contribution.

We appreciate your support.