Going Forward: Jewish Students at CUNY - The Jewish Voice
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Thursday, November 30, 2023

Going Forward: Jewish Students at CUNY

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After the debacle at the CUNY Law school graduation in which Fatima Mohammed delivered a hate filled commencement address in which she lambasted Israel and uttered egregious propaganda targeting Zionists, it now appears that CUNY professors are accusing the school’s leadership of  attempting to restrict freedom of expression for chastising Mohammed’s address, which also smacked of anti-Semitism.

The law school grad accused Israel of “indiscriminate” murder, encouraging “lynch mobs” and lauded resistance to “Zionism around the world.” “Israel continues to indiscriminately rain bullets and bombs on worshipers, murdering the old, the young, attacking even funerals and graveyards… our silence is no longer acceptable,” she said.

She also urged her fellow graduates to “fight against capitalism, racism, imperialism, and Zionism around the world.”

The Post reported that CUNY chairman Bill Thompson and Chancellor Felix Matos belatedly issued a statement backed by all the trustees saying Mohammed’s remarks “fall into the category of hate speech.” However, CUNY law school administrators including Dean Sudha Setty were seen applauding it at the time and did not challenge or criticize it.

“Free speech is precious, but often messy, and is vital to the foundation of higher education. Hate speech, however, should not be confused with free speech and has no place on our campuses or in our city, our state or our nation,” the CUNY board statement said, as was reported by the NY Post.

“The remarks by a student-selected speaker at the CUNY Law School graduation, unfortunately, fall into the category of hate speech as they were a public expression of hate toward people and communities based on their religion, race or political affiliation. The Board of Trustees of the City University of New York condemns such hate speech.”

The Professional Staff Congress (PSC) which represents the faculty at the CUNY Law School said the board’s “mischaracterization” could have a “chilling effect” on campus academic freedom.

After digesting all this, one can only come to the very tragic conclusion that hate speech targeting Israel and especially Jews will not only continue unabated but will expand in the most pernicious kind of way.

Yes, folks, the cognitive war against the Jew is in full swing. Not to be fooled or misinformed, this war didn’t commence with Mohammed’s speech at the CUNY Law School graduation.  Malevolent speech directed at Israel and the Jews had been simmering under the surface for decades but since the introduction of the dangerous woke, progressive, Marxist movement, it has gained steam and has the proverbial wind beneath its wings.

Alas, this problem is not going away any time soon. Educating people about the realities in Israel as Jews live in fear of yet another terror attack by Islamists will not help either. The “occupation” narrative is deeply embedded in the minds, hearts and souls of the Jew haters and nothing will change their perspective. Getting the world’s sympathy and bemoaning the alleged suffering of the Palestinian people, they believe, will ultimately award them the victory that they are looking for and that of course is the ultimate destruction of Israel.

And what does the future look like for Jewish students at CUNY and other colleges and universities across the USA? Sorry to say, but if you thing what happened at CUNY was bad, you ain’t seen nothing yet.  If Jewish students are being harassed, bullied, threatened and intimidated on campus for expressing their Jewish identity in a variety of ways including their support for the one and only Jewish state, then this kind of fascist behavior will only flourish and quite soon, it will be virtually impossible for a proud Jew to attend any and all public universities.

Is there a hard and fast solution to this nightmarish situation? Hardly. The only recommendation that we would make to Jewish students seeking a higher education and a professional career, is for them to create their own colleges and their own institutions of higher learning as well as their own vocational schools.

While this idea may be quite shocking to the liberal Jew who holds by the belief that assimilating into the culture and shedding any vestige of Judaism is the way to achieve true acceptance in American society, will also be shocked to learn that things have changed a great deal since their antecedents came to these shores at the end of the 19th century.

The Torah tells us that we are a people that dwells alone. There is a reason for that and the quicker we absorb that and embrace it, the better our chance for survival will be in the diaspora.

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