(March 1, 2021 / JNS) The anti-Israel group Students for Justice in Palestine has withdrawn its impeachment complaint against a Jewish student government member at Tufts University.
Max Price, the Jewish Community Union Judiciary (TCUJ) member, was informed on Monday that the complaint filed by SJP that sought to have him removed from office for expressing Jewish identity was withdrawn and the hearing canceled.
The hearing represented a continuation of a months-long campaign of intimidation, harassment and discrimination targeting Price on the basis of his Jewish identity, according to the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under the Law (LDB), the group representing Price.
After Price attempted to point out baseless lies in SJP’s proposed “Deadly Exchange” referendum, he was harassed, targeted and marginalized; slandered in the student newspaper; interrogated as to whether he is fit to hold office; muted for an entire student government Zoom meeting that he was elected to participate in; and attacked with age-old anti-Semitic tropes about money and power.
Earlier this month, the Brandeis Center demanded that Tufts president Anthony Monaco halt the disciplinary hearing and end the harassment and discrimination that has infringed on Price’s freedom of speech, denied him due process and deprived him of equal opportunity and equal access to university programs in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Tufts University’s stated institutional policies.
Price said that while he welcomed the decision by SJP to end its months-long harassment campaign, he said it does not “absolve” the anti-Israel group of its behavior. Similarly, he expressed disappointment that the university did not intervene on his behalf.
“I am disappointed that university administrators failed to intervene and have not yet reached out to me to address my concerns. Unless Tufts introduces sweeping reforms to combat anti-Semitism, this will happen to somebody else.”
Patrick Collins, a spokesperson for Tufts University, confirmed to JNS that the complaint has been withdrawn.
“We respect the TCU Senate’s independence regarding the conduct of its business according to its policies and procedures. We take very seriously any concerns raised by students— regardless of their backgrounds and perspectives—of bias, safety, privacy and intimidation, whether by organizations affiliated or unaffiliated with Tufts.”
Alyza Lewin, president of the Brandeis Center, echoed Price’s sentiment and called on the university to take more proactive steps to combat anti-Semitism.
“SJP got caught, their harassment of Jewish students was exposed, and they backpedaled. But this goes beyond Max. Now is when the real work begins. It is time for the Tufts administration to take concrete steps to end the ongoing marginalization, harassment and discrimination of Jewish students on campus.”
Lewin added that the school’s president should issue a statement condemning anti-Semitism.
“President Monaco should issue a statement condemning anti-Semitism in all its forms and publicly acknowledge that, for many Tufts students, Zionism is integral to their identity as Jews,” she said. “The university should officially adopt and utilize the IHRA Working Definition of Anti-Semitism and its contemporary examples when investigating and responding to incidents of harassment and discrimination to determine whether such conduct is motivated by anti-Semitic animus or bias; revise its non-discrimination policy to include a prohibition on discrimination based on shared ancestry and ethnic characteristics, including anti-Semitism; and conduct training for the entire University community concerning the many manifestations of anti-Semitism.”
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