(April 30, 2019 / JNS) New York University president Andrew Hamilton did not support the university giving an award to its Students for Justice in Palestine chapter.
Hamilton, who was not present at the award ceremony on April 17, was quoted in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece last week, saying that the President’s Service Award was decided by “volunteer staffers and a student representative.”
The prize is “given to students or student organizations that have had an extraordinary and positive impact on the University community, including achievements within schools and departments, the University at large, local neighborhoods, and NYU’s presence in the world,” according to NYU’s website.
SJP is one of the primary student organizations that engages in anti-Israel activity on North American college campuses and is the leading force behind the BDS movement.
The group has frequently intimidated and harassed Jewish and pro-Israel students on campuses, including physically assaulting Jewish students, aggressively disrupting pro-Israel events and possibly vandalizing communal property, according to the watchdog group Canary Mission.
Last December, the SJP affiliate at NYU was instrumental in passing a resolution calling for divestment in companies that do business with the Israeli military.
Hamilton has said that the boycott Israel initiative is “contrary to our core principles of academic freedom, antithetical to the free exchange of ideas, and at odds with the university’s position.”