Reinstate Students Supporting Israel Chapter at Duke University!

Reinstate Students Supporting Israel Chapter at Duke University!

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Why this petition matters

Students Supporting Israel (SSI) is a national student organization with the mission to be a clear and confident pro-Israel voice on campuses, and to support students with grassroots activism.

A new SSI chapter at Duke was chartered on Wednesday, November 10th, 2021. Yet, on Monday, November 15, 2021, we unexpectedly learned that Duke’s Student Government President decided to veto the recognition of Duke’s SSl’s chapter on campus. 

The reason for the veto: the chapter responded to a critical comment on social media, made by another Duke student about the creation of the club, explained why the student's comment was inaccurate and what is SSI's mission on campus, and called her to participate in SSI's upcoming event.

The student then complained that the chapter's response was harassing her and making her feel unsafe, and the Student Government President vetoed the existence of the group altogether, in a first veto of its kind that was not used by a student government president for years.  

On Wednesday, November 17, there was a student government meeting where the veto was upheld. 

We ask that the veto will be overturned:

- Responding publicly to a public comment is not harassment, but excising freedom of speech and engaging in a debate. This incident sets a dangerous example of student groups being vetoed based on their speech.

- The student government seemed to subjectively apply an unprecedented standard based on which it denied the group's recognition. 

- The veto power that was not used for years prior to this incident, seems viewpoint discriminatory, as it was never used against any other group that may have received criticism from other students on campus.

- The social media reply seemed like an excuse to remove SSI from campus. Already in the initial questioning to establish the group, the students were challenged by senators regarding how they are planning to deal with opposing views. 

- While anti-Zionist and antisemitic comments or remarks do not get addressed at all by student government at Duke, such as the comment from a group called Students for Justice in Palestine, a correction of anti-Israel remarks get the SSI group vetoed. This is double standard and policing of speech. 

We ask that the university reserves the veto and let the Students Supporting Israel chapter be recognized as an official student club at Duke. 

Please support our effort by signing this petition!

4,430 have signed. Let’s get to 5,000!