University Restricts Controversial Anti-Israel Group’s Presence

( – As of Nov. 6, the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) will no longer be recognized at Brandeis University.

According to a post on the Instagram account for Brandeis SJP, the group canceled its Nov. 6 “Vigil for Palestine” after its SJP chapter was “unjustly de-charted.” The post stated that Brandeis University was “trying to silence us from speaking our truth.” The post also stated, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”

A letter was sent to Brandeis SJP that stated the group would be derecognized, would not be permitted to conduct events on campus and would not be permitted to use the Brandeis name or logo to promote itself. Funding would also no longer be available to the group. It added that the “decision [that] was not made lightly.”

The letter stated that the decision was made because the National SJP has asked its chapters to engage in behaviors supporting Hamas which has called for “the violent elimination of Israel and the Jewish people.” The letter added that the University’s Principles do not protect these behaviors. It states that students engaging in behavior that supports Hamas or “harasses or threatens violence” will be “in violation of the University’s student code of conduct.”

Brandeis spokeswoman Julie Jette stated that students can express support for Palestinians in a way that complies with University’s rights and responsibilities. She referenced a Nov. 6 op-ed in the Boston Globe by Brandeis University President Ronald Liebowitz about how antisemitism on campus should be confronted by universities in which he explained “his position on speech used to threaten or harass.” In the op-ed, Liebowitz wrote that while hate speech can’t be stopped by universities, “they can stop paying for it.”

Brandeis Hillel executive director Rabbi Seth Winberg reacted to the news by saying the decision by the school shows that there are consequences for “supporting terrorism and creating a hostile campus environment.” Winberg added that campuses should be safe for students, “Jewish and Muslim, Israeli, and Palestinian.”

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