The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) is appalled and horrified by the conduct of Nerdeen Kiswani, president of the New York City chapter of the so-called “Students for Justice in Palestine” (SJP) group, who publicly praised an Arab terrorist’s truck-ramming attack in Jerusalem on January 8, 2017, which killed four Israeli soldiers (two of whom were American citizens) and wounded 17 others. The terrorist, who lived in eastern Jerusalem, drove into a group of soldiers who were on an educational trip, and then reversed and drove back over the bodies after he hit them to ensure their deaths. In a Facebook post – which she reportedly later deleted – Kiswani chastised those who condemned this murderous terror attack, claiming “no apology [for the attack was] needed.” Instead, Kiswani publicly praised Palestinian Arabs who rejoiced over the attack and gave out sweets to celebrate it, describing their actions as “the biggest ‘F you’” to “settlers.”
Even though Kiswani removed the Facebook post, her Twitter feed reportedly still includes comments supporting the terrorist attack and violence against Israeli soldiers, whom she described as “a legitimate target.” Kiswani has a history of calling for violence against Jews and for Israel’s destruction. She reportedly “tweeted” a list of chants for activists to use at rallies, including, “There is only one solution/Intifada Revolution” and “We don’t want no two state/We want 48 – plainly a reference to 1948, the year that Israel declared its independence after which five Arab armies (Egypt, Syria, Transjordan, Lebanon and Iraq) immediately invaded Israel with the goal of destroying the Jewish State.
Kiswani’s monstrous and immoral hatred expressed against the Jewish State of Israel is emblematic of the anti-Semitism and vicious anti-Israelism that her group, SJP, has been promoting at the City University of New York (CUNY). Last February, the ZOA wrote to CUNY’s Chancellor and Board of Trustees where Kiswani’s SJP chapter operates, describing in detail the hostile environment that SJP was creating for many Jewish students on four CUNY campuses, based on the group’s hateful, divisive and anti-Semitic conduct. The ZOA’s letter triggered an independent investigation of anti-Semitism at CUNY by two outside attorneys. The months-long investigation confirmed numerous anti-Semitic incidents at CUNY, including many perpetrated by SJP.
In addition to the independent investigation triggered by the ZOA’s letter, the Chancellor committed to convening a CUNY-wide working group to assess the climate on CUNY campuses and make recommendations to ensure that CUNY is an inclusive, welcoming and respectful educational environment, free from discrimination. To date, CUNY has not publicly revealed any recommendations of the working group or even any of the group’s activities.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein urged the CUNY leadership to remain vigilant against the hatred and prejudice promoted by Nerdeen Kiswani and her group, the New York City chapter of SJP: “Nerdeen Kiswani’s postings on social media show us that strong and constructive recommendations from the Chancellor’s working group are critical, and that the steps the ZOA urged CUNY’s leadership to take last February are more necessary than ever. CUNY’s leadership must speak out publicly against the hateful, anti-Semitic and violence-inciting actions of SJP and its leaders. In addition, SJP should be investigated for violating CUNY rules and policies, and punished if the investigation reveals that rules and policies have been violated. Finally, CUNY should investigate SJP and its leaders for any ties to terrorists and terrorist activities.”