A decision to ban a pro-Palestinian group at a New York university is being applauded as a common-sense measure – not a political statement, as some opponents characterize it.
Fordham University took a bold step in refusing to recognize the pro-Palestinian group Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), drawing the ire of civil and constitutional rights groups that argue the move is politically motivated. However, Tammi Rossman Benjamin of the pro-Israel group AMCHA Initiative, says it was prudent to do.
"The university is worried that in the expression of their free speech – [that] of the Students for Justice in Palestine's free speech – that they're going to really harm other students on campus," she tells OneNewsNow.
Rossman says other schools – such Northeastern, Loyola, and even UC Berkeley – have suspended or temporarily banned SJP chapters because of their intimidating activities.
"Students for Justice in Palestine is an organization that, across the country, has a reputation for trying to attack Israel, trying to attack anyone who supports Israel on campus including Jewish students," she explains.
Rossman isn't alone in applauding Fordham for its stand against the tactics of the campus SJP chapter. The international campus director for a pro-Israel media monitor called it both "reasonable and commendable that Fordham is not permitting SJP to spread its hatred there." And the president of the Louis D. Brandeis Center said the student group has "increasingly been pushing the envelope when it comes to violations of campus policy."
In denying recognition, University Dean Keith Eldrege said SJP's goals of boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel run counter to Fordham's "mission and values," according to Heat Street.
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