Anger over US university deal with anti-Israel protesters

Jewish leaders demand Rutgers University rescind


Protesters at Rutgers University

Jewish community leaders in New Jersey are demanding Rutgers University rescind the agreement they made with anti-Israel protestors last week saying the deal endangers Jewish students.

More than 6,000 Jewish students attend Rutgers as undergraduates. Since the Hamas terror attacks on October 7, they have complained of antisemitism and alienation. Things came to a head last week when Palestinian “disrupters,” set up an illegal encampment on school grounds.

While the encampment was taken down without the violence seen elsewhere, it happened only after university administrators agreed to a series of demands from the Palestinian supporters. Among the agreements was Rutgers decision to acknowledge the “genocide” facing Palestinians, amnesty for all who participated in the encampments and an agreement to bring in Palestinian students.

Dov Ben-Shimon, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest, expressed the views of many in the community in calling out the Rutgers administration for its “shameful capitulation” to the “lawbreaking encampment.”

“We have been calling out the rising tide of Jew-hate on campus, how Jewish students and faculty feel increasingly unsafe on Rutgers’ campuses, and have been ignored again and again,” he said. “The disgraceful surrender to pro-Hamas demands is a sign of moral failure, and those responsible should revoke it or resign.”

As part of the Jewish community’s campaign to get Rutgers officials to change course, they are calling on the New Jersey State Legislature to investigate Rutgers for failing to keep Jewish students safe.

Additionally, members of the Jewish community and other pro-Israel supporters are being urged to sign onto a letter imploring the Rutgers administration – led by President Jonathan Holloway and Chancellor Francine Conway – to rescind the deal or resign.

The letter says, in part, that while it is important to address student grievances “this decision is tantamount to institutionally sanctioned antisemitism. It is shameful. It is wrong. And it is a message of surrender and capitulation to bullies. … By allowing the encampment disruptors to dictate university policies and practices without considering the broader implications, Rutgers University has created an environment that fosters discrimination against the Jewish community.”

Rutgers University has been approached for comment. 

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