Abolish Antisemitism at the City University of New York

Abolish Antisemitism at the City University of New York

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CUNY Students started this petition to Chairperson at University Student Senate Juvanie Piquant

On Sunday, April 11, just a few days after Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day), the CUNY University Student Senate (USS) will vote on whether to adopt a resolution supporting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Definition of Antisemitism. The IHRA International Definition of Antisemitism was established in 2016 by an assembly of experts and governments to “strengthen, advance, and promote Holocaust education, research, and remembrance.” 

The IHRA Definition of Antisemitism reflects the lived experiences of Jewish students within CUNY and those experiences are not up for debate. The adoption of the IHRA definition is the simplest way to support and protect the CUNY Jewish community. 

Certain campus groups are seeking to delegitimize this definition by spreading misinformation about the resolution. Students for Justice in Palestine has gone so far as to create a reactive resolution, which includes its own definition of antisemitism. The Jewish students at CUNY strongly condemn this resolution. These groups do not represent the Jewish community. Jews should have the right to define what is and is not antisemitic just like other communities have the right to define what constitutes bigotry against them.

Antisemitism is alive and prevalent on college campuses, across the country, and around the world. In 2019, antisemitic incidents reached a 40-year high of 2,100 incidents. One-third of those incidents occurred in New York and New Jersey. In December 2019, a shooting at the Jersey City Kosher Supermarket took the lives of four victims. That same month, a 72-year-old Jewish man was stabbed to death at a Chanukah party in Monsey and four more people were injured. Investigators found that the assailant kept journals about Hitler and Nazi culture and that he had searched for “Zionist Temples” in Elizabeth, New Jersey, Staten Island, and New York. Just last week, a Jewish family with their one-year-old daughter was attacked in lower Manhattan. And on CUNY campuses, Jewish students have reported being harassed and objectified for their Jewish and Zionist identities.

The IHRA definition has been formally adopted by over 50 Jewish organizations in the US and is the accepted definition of antisemitism for the vast majority of Jewish organizations and scholars. In addition to USGs at Baruch College, The City College of New York, and Brooklyn College, the definition has also been adopted by 27 student governments in the U.S. and 33 countries, including Canada, Bahrain, France, Germany, Italy, Morocco, the United Kingdom, and the United States, 38 universities worldwide, including Arizona State University, London School of Economics, Oxford University, Syracuse University, University of California, San Diego, University of Cambridge, and the University of Texas at Austin, and is endorsed by international bodies like the Global Imams Council, the European Union, and United Nations officials. President Barack Obama, President Joe Biden, UN Secretary-General António Guterres, and UN Human Rights Council’s Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief Ahmed Shaheed have all endorsed the IHRA Definition of Antisemitism.

Sign this petition to stand up against Anti-Semitism at CUNY and urge USS to adopt IHRA.

 

Visit our Website www.cunyihra.fyi to learn more about IHRA and Frequently Asked Questions 

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