CUNY Chancellor Responds to ACLJ's Anti-BDS Letter – Commits to Take Appropriate Action | American Center for Law and Justice
  Search  |  Login  |  Register

ACLJ Profile Completion

Verified

CUNY Responds to ACLJ's Anti-BDS Letter

By Carly F. Gammill1464120692002

On May 4, 2016, we at the ACLJ issued a joint letter to Chancellor James Milliken of the City University of New York (“CUNY”). The letter detailed the systemic culture of anti-Semitism on CUNY campuses and called for administrators to conduct thorough investigations of all such conduct and to implement disciplinary measures where appropriate. We highlighted the recent passage by the CUNY Doctoral Students’ Council (DSC) of a pro-BDS resolution and the ways in which implementation of such a resolution would not only violate the rights of those in the campus community but also jeopardize the legal interests of the University itself.

As we’ve written before, the primary aim of the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement is to marginalize and delegitimize Israel on the national scene by pressuring corporate and government entities to participate in economic and academic boycotts against Israeli institutions, students, and professors, pull resources and investments from those institutions, and impose sanctions against the state of Israel because of the ways in which it has chosen to defend itself from the hostile, anti-Semitic forces in the Middle East that seek the outright demise of Israel as a political state.  On America’s college campuses, this often materializes in the form of invidious discrimination and anti-Semitism.

As we previously explained, the purpose of our letter was to urge the CUNY administration to fulfill its “obligation to take action sufficient to return the CUNY campuses to a safe, non-harassing, non-discriminatory environment for students and employees.” The numerous incidents detailed in our letter made it clear that immediate action by the administration was necessary to satisfy this obligation.

On May 10, 2016, Chancellor Milliken issued a letter in response confirming the University’s commitments to the freedom of speech but acknowledging, as we pointed out in our letter, that this right has limitations, including in the context of hostile environment discrimination. Chancellor Milliken also informed us that in light of the pervasive nature of recent campus anti-Semitism, a working group of administrators, faculty, and students has been assembled and is reviewing campus activities and practices. According to Chancellor Milliken, this group will “make recommendations for appropriate campus and University action,” based on the information available, including the suggestions in our letter.

Importantly, with regard to the recent DSC BDS Resolution, Chancellor Milliken asserted that the Resolution actually has no teeth, as “the DSC has no authority to ‘implement’ its resolution, . . . and CUNY has every intention to continue its longstanding practice of exchanges with international universities including those in Israel.”

Chancellor Milliken concluded by expressly agreeing with the ACLJ “that CUNY has an obligation to respond to unlawful discrimination by its employees or students and to take action to prevent the development of a hostile environment” on campus and committing to “see that [CUNY campuses] take appropriate action” concerning any complaints regarding such an anti-Semitic environment.

We commend the swift response of Chancellor Milliken and will continue to monitor the situation on the CUNY campuses to ensure that CUNY does, in fact, fulfill its obligation to provide a non-harassing, non-discriminatory environment for Jewish members of the campus community.

Defend Israel from Anti-Israel Attacks

Israel  Signatures

LOGIN

Receive the latest news, updates, and contribution opportunities from ACLJ.

$20
$40
$60
$120
$240
Make this a monthly tax-deductible gift.

As we vigorously fight to defend Israel & the Jewish people from vicious attacks, every gift (even $5) makes an impact.

Email Address is required.
First Name is required.
Last Name is required.
Credit Card Number is required.
Verification Code is required.
Expiration Month is required.
Expiration Year is required.
Receive the latest news, updates, and contribution opportunities from ACLJ.
Encourage your friends to sign and donate by sharing this petition.
Latest in
Israel

Defunding UNRWA is the Right Move

By Jay Sekulow1536940048882

President Trump’s decision to defund the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) is, of course, the right move from a legal perspective, but lest there be any confusion, it also is the just and empathetic response towards an organization that long has done a disservice to the very population...

read more

Anti-Semitic Org Conference to be at Major University

By ACLJ.org1536848244521

The ACLJ is directly engaged in fighting anti-Semitism all over the world and inside the United Nations. Now we’re fighting for Jewish students at universities right here at home. While we recently took legal action to fight for the Free Speech rights of a Christian to preach the Gospel on a public...

read more

International Criminal Court to Charge U.S. Soldiers?

By ACLJ.org1536614830271

As the International Criminal Court (ICC ) continues to pursue actions against U.S. citizens, including veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States today moved to counter this international body which has a questionable reputation. The Trump Administration plans to sanction the...

read more

U.S. Stops Funding to Palestinian Authority

By ACLJ.org1535734313994

Earlier this year, the President promised to cut funding to the terrorist affiliated Palestinian Authority (PA) as long as they continued to reward the families of terrorists. Now the President’s Administration has gone a step further, cutting off even more funding by withholding a significant sum...

read more