Alums for Campus Fairness (ACF), a group working to “counter anti-Semitism, including the demonization of Israel and other forms of bigotry” on college and university campuses, announced on Tuesday the launch of a six-figure advocacy initiative targeting the City University of New York Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez .
CUNY, New York’s public higher education system, controls 25 campuses across the city and is criticized by activists who say that both students and faculty are systemically anti-Semitic.
CUNY said the allegations of inactivity against Chancellor Matos Rodríguez on the anti-Semitism case were “unfair and utterly false.”
Avi D. Gordon, ACF Executive Director, said: “Following repeated anti-Semitic incidents and the utter indifference of CUNA’s leaders and alumni, students will no longer sit idle. and unwanted on CUNY campuses. This campaign is just the beginning of our efforts to hold them accountable. ”
Gordon called on Matos Rodríguez on the “right course” to protect Jewish safety on CUNA campuses. The ACF is also sending out a petition urging the CUNA administration and Matos Rodríguez to take immediate action against anti-Semitism. The ACF said it was responding to a series of “institutional setbacks” at CUNY.
Over the past year, the CUNY School of Law Student Government Association passed a resolution supporting the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The school also hosted Palestinian-American activist Nerdeen Kiswani as an opening speaker.
Matos Rodríguez has been criticized for refusing to take action against “systemic anti-Semitism” in his institution, including by a number of New York City Council members reprimanding him after failing to attend a council hearing on anti-Semitism in CUNY.
“Chancellor Matos Rodríguez has unequivocally condemned anti-Semitism and has taken decisive steps to combat it in all its forms,” said CUNY Press Secretary Joseph Tirella Zenger News.
Tirella noted the work of Matos Rodríguez of Hillel International, the extended training of campus administrators and student leaders to help them understand and recognize anti-Semitism, and efforts to share resources to report anti-Semitism on campus.
“The allegation that he is doing nothing to combat anti-Semitism is both wrong and utterly false,” Tirella said.
New York City Councilor Inna Vernikov, who was highly critical of Matos Rodríguez, said the chancellor told her at a recent meeting that CUNY is now formalizing contracts to expand student exchange programs in Israel.
Produced in cooperation with the Jewish Syndicate of News.
This story was reported to Newsweek via Zenger news.
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