New York University will give an award on Wednesday to its Students for Justice in Palestine chapter, despite the group’s affiliation with the BDS movement and its anti-Israel activity.
NYU SJP will receive the President’s Service Award from the school’s administration, which 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 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.
“We are thrilled to announce that we have been selected to receive a presidential service award at NYU,” posted NYU SJP on their Facebook page last week. “Despite the pushback we have received from our institution, we agree that we have made ‘significant contributions to the university community in the areas of learning, leadership, and quality of student life.’ Anyway, New York University, divest from Israeli apartheid. Xoxo.”
“By [the] giving of your time, energy and talents, you have positively impacted the culture of this institution and members of our community,” NYU told SJP in an email, reported Washington Square News, the student newspaper.
The award is being given despite NYU president Andrew Hamilton previously condemning the anti-Israel BDS movement, which SJP supports.
The NYU pro-Israel group Realize Israel criticized the decision by NYU, saying on Facebook that SJP “spent the last several years making Jewish and pro-Israel students feel unwelcome and unsafe on campus.”
In response to the decision, Judea Pearl, father of slain Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, asked NYU to rescind his Distinguished Alumnus Award over the school’s decision to award SJP.
Last year, the Zachor Legal Institute submitted a letter to the Department of Justice urging the U.S. government to open an investigation into the ties between Palestinian terror groups and several U.S.-based BDS groups, including SJP.