What started as a Million Student March has turned into a nightmare for Jewish students on campus at CUNY. The New York Students for Justice in Palestine released a statement for the march saying the following :
"New York City Students for Justice in Palestine calls for solidarity with the Million Student March, a day of action on November 12, 2015 to demand tuition-free public college, cancellation of all student debt, and a $15 minimum wage for all campus workers.
In 2011, CUNY approved a 5 year plan in which tuition would be increased by $300 annually, leading to over a 30% increase overall. Recently, the Board of Trustees has expressed its desire to further hike tuition to an additional $300 per year for the next five years. It’s important to understand that while students are paying over $6,000 yearly in tuition, it is directly funding CUNY’s investments to private prisons, detention centers, and over $1.5 million to Israeli companies and companies that support the occupation. Chancellor Milliken’s luxury penthouse is billed to CUNY students with a price tag of $18,000 per month, while CUNY says it doesn’t have enough money for daycare for working class mothers, or gender resource centers.
The Zionist administration invests in Israeli companies, hosts birthright programs and study abroad programs in occupied Palestine, and reproduces settler-colonial ideology throughout CUNY through Zionist content of education which erases the reality that Palestinians live through every day. While CUNY aims to produce the next generation of professional Zionists, SJP aims to change the university and fight for all peoples liberation."
Following their statement they participated in several protests at different CUNY locations:
At College of Staten Island, SJP protesters held signs saying "Divest CUNY tuition from Israeli Apartheid" and "From New York to Palestine Education is a Right."
At Hunter College, SJP protesters screamed "Zionists out of CUNY", "Pigs" and called for an Intifada at the Million Student March.
And at Baruch College, Jewish students were greeted with chants that they are Zionists, racists and statements that CUNY supports the IDF and is a Zionist establishment.
These continued actions by SJP members has brought a feeling of discomfort and fear amongst the Jewish population at CUNY. It has worked against any harmony and mutual respect that once was on campus between the two groups.
Jewish students and others shouldn't be treated like they are the enemy just because they may support Israel. The SJP has hijacked the tuition issue on campus and tried to attach it to the Palestinian issue in an effort to move more people towards their cause. One issue has nothing to do with the other. For the SJP to attack CUNY and blame our tuition problems on Zionism is a pure fabrication of facts.
We ask that you stand with us and sign this petition requesting that CUNY shut down its chapters of SJP. The SJP is infringing on the rights of other students with its antisemitic statements and this behavior should not be tolerated. There should be a zero tolerance policy towards SJP's behavior at all CUNY's campuses.