Urge Fordham U. to Stand by Its Correct Decision to Reject Antisemitic/Anti-Israel SJP Club!
In December 2020, Fordham University prevailed in a legal battle initiated by student supporters of the antisemitic, Israel-hating campus group that calls itself “Students for Justice in Palestine” (SJP). The New York Supreme Court’s Appellate Division, First Department, upheld Fordham’s decision to reject an SJP club at the University. The New York State Court of Appeals declined to review the Appellate Division’s determination. Now, SJP’s allies are trying to pressure Fordham to rescind its correct and principled rejection of SJP.
SJP’s allies have initiated an online email campaign demanding that Fordham recognize SJP as an official club.
The campaign falsely claims that “Fordham’s administrators have sided with right wing lobby groups’ punitive tactics aimed at silencing and intimidating students and academics advocating for Palestine.”
In fact, as the Appellate Division determined, Fordham’s decision to exclude SJP was an exercise of the University’s “honest discretion.” It was reasonable for Fordham to conclude that an SJP club would “work against, rather than enhance” the University’s commitment to “open dialogue and mutual learning and understanding,” the Appellate Division stated.
The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) and others filed amicus briefs with the Appellate Division in support of Fordham’s decision to reject an SJP club. The ZOA’s brief documented SJP’s long record of harassing and intimidating Jewish and pro-Israel students, and shutting down Jewish and pro-Israel events and programs with which it disagrees, in violation of students’ legal rights. The ZOA also showed that SJP’s conduct crosses the line into antisemitism, based on the working definition of antisemitism used by the U.S. government and many countries around the world, creating potential liability for colleges and universities under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act.
Let Fordham University know that you applaud and support its principled decision to reject SJP and foster a learning environment that is respectful, tolerant and welcoming for all students, including those who are Jewish and pro-Israel.
Email Fordham’s president, Joseph M. McShane, at firstname.lastname@example.org and urge him and his administration to stand by their decision to exclude SJP. A sample message is provided below.
Dear President McShane:
Thank you for your administration’s correct and principled decision to reject an SJP chapter at Fordham University. SJP has a long record of harassing and intimidating Jewish and pro-Israel students on many U.S. campuses, and shutting down Jewish and pro-Israel speakers and programs, in violation of students’ legal rights.
Fordham has shown that it values the physical and psychological safety and well-being of all its students, including those who are Jewish, pro-Israel, and/or do not support SJP’s hateful and divisive agenda. I urge you to stand by the important and much-needed precedent that Fordham has set and for other private colleges and universities to follow.