(A7) Brooklyn Republican Councilwoman Inna Vernikov slammed CUNY for asking a former CAIR employee to investigate allegations of antisemitism involving a Jewish professor.
“@CUNY assigning a former @CAIRNational rep to investigate allegations of Antisemitism is like asking a sexual abuser to investigate the sexual harassment/rape allegations of a victim of such abuse,” Vernikov said on Twitter.
“Would @CUNY hire David Duke to investigate claims of racism? #endjewhatred,” the Jewish politician added.
Vernikov’s tweet was referring to a report in the Daily Caller that revealed CUNY had assigned its chief diversity officer Saly Abd Alla to oversee the antisemitism allegation brought forward by CUNY Kingsborough Community College professor Jeffrey Lax.
Alla is a former employee of Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which supports the BDS movement, and as the Daily Caller noted, is listed by the US Department of Justice as an unindicted co-conspirator in the sending of millions of dollars to Hamas.
SAFE CUNY – a student and faculty organization dedicated to fighting antisemitism at CUNY – also expressed outrage at Alla’s appointment to the investigation.
“CUNY has informed one of our co-founders that his internal complaint alleging discrimination against him for being a Zionist Jew will be investigated by former Director of Civil Rights for CAIR MN,” SAFE CUNY tweeted. “We are beyond disturbed on many levels.”
In November 2021, Lax was vindicated by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) who ruled that he and other observant Jewish colleagues were excluded from faculty meetings due to being an “observant and or Zionist Jew.”
The board ruling sided with Lax’s 2019 civil rights case against CUNY and its affiliated college, Kingsborough Community College, where he works at a business professor. Lax had alleged that the Progressive Faculty Caucus had purposefully held meetings on Shabbat so that observant Jewish faculty would be unable to attend.
In June 2021, Lax and other faculty announced they were resigning from the CUNY faculty union over a one-sided anti-Israel resolution containing an accusation of “apartheid” and calling for a boycott of Israeli institutions.