A pro-Israeli group has targeted a CUNY professor it said has engaged in anti-Semitism.
The Zionist Organization of America, in a letter to state Sen. Jack Martins, ripped Sarah Schulman, who holds the title of distinguished professor of English at the College of Staten Island.
Schulman also serves as the faculty adviser to Students for Justice in Palestine, which has been accused of instigating anti-Jewish harassment and intimidation on different CUNY campuses.
The letter to Martins cites an Oct. 11, 2014, tweet by Schulman that Zionist Organization of America President Morton Klein said underscores a hatred of Jews.
“I question the idea of exceptionalisms,” Schulman tweeted. “The murder of 2,000 Gazans also reflects Jewish values.”
The letter also refers to a quote in a recent story in The Forward, in which Schulman defends a demonstrator telling a Jewish student, “I don’t hug murderers.”
“So what if a girl says that?” Schulman told The Forward.
“Palestinians are murdered in large numbers . . . That’s not anti-Semitic to say that people who killed people murdered them.”
Klein called it a “grotesquely false allegation that Israelis are intentionally ‘murdering’ innocent Palestinians.” He wrote the statement is “offensive” and “echoes the lies and talking points of Hamas.”
“In light of the current situation on CUNY campuses, combined with Schulman’s hateful rhetoric, we find it entirely inappropriate for her to be serving as a faculty adviser to (Students for Justice),” Klein wrote.
Contacted by the Daily News, Schulman denied any anti-Jewish behavior. “How can I be anti-Semitic?” she said. “I’m Jewish.
“The real story is the Zionist Organization of America is going on a campaign to silence other Jews who hold different values than they do,” she said.
A CUNY official said Klein’s letter has been referred to two outside counsels it hired to look into the charges of campus anti-Semitism.
In backing Gov. Cuomo’s push to shift $485 million in state CUNY costs onto the city, the state Senate Republicans last week raised criticisms of CUNY’s handling of the anti-Semitism allegations over the past three years.
Martins, the Nassau County Republican state senator who received the Zionist Organization of America letter, said he will seek to ensure no government funding is allowed to go to the Students for Justice in Palestine.
“The purpose of the group is to harass, intimidate and frankly assault Jews attending schools, and we can’t have the government or the university underwriting a hate group,” Martins said.
Abe Foxman, the former director of the Anti-Defamation League and a CUNY alum, called Schulman’s comments “reprehensible” and “very concerning.” But Foxman said he believes CUNY is handling the issue appropriately.
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