SGA Passes Measure for Transparency at NYU Tel Aviv
March 30, 2018
On Thursday afternoon, the Student Government Assembly and the Student Senators Council passed a resolution calling for NYU to be more transparent in its protection of students traveling to the Tel Aviv campus. The resolution follows a list published by the Israeli government in January banning 20 organizations from entering the country.
The list includes Jewish Voice for Peace and National Students for Justice in Palestine, both of which have chapters at NYU. The banned organizations — which represent the United States., Europe, Latin America and South Africa — all subscribe to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, which advocates for the end to Israeli settlement in Palestinian-occupied areas by using various forms of boycott on the nation.
Senator-at-Large and JVP President Rose Asaf, Governance Council of Minority and Marginalized Students Director of Advocacy Izzy Khoufaify and Senator-at-Large and Dream Team President Hüsniye Çöğür co-authored the resolution on March 1. The trio along with Nursing junior Tyla Leach presented the resolution.
“We hope that any Jewish student, whether a member of JVP or not, will feel free to express their beliefs and ideologies without fear of being isolated, silenced, excluded or ostracized,” the team behind the resolution said in a joint statement. “We hope that Palestinian students can feel like they have a voice — that they too can speak up for what they believe in and take full advantage of all of the study abroad sites that NYU has to offer.”
It lists several demands, including requests for NYU to upgrade its commitment to ensuring students equal access to global sites and transparently review non-discrimination policies for Palestinian and Middle Eastern students traveling to Israel.
“It is imperative that the university uphold its commitment to supporting their students across the global network,” the leaders behind the resolution said. “Students, regardless of their political beliefs, should be able to reap all of the benefits of the Global Network and receive a well rounded education.”
The resolution also called for NYU to formally denounce the Israeli ban on JVP and SJP.
“I think it’s a totally valid resolution because it’s about the university and it’s about students,” Tandon sophomore Karan Ganta said. “I don’t think it’s about going against any specific identity or discriminating against anyone. I think they did a really thorough job of addressing everyone’s concerns.”
The measure has drawn criticism from other groups on campus, including TorchPAC and Realize Israel. Many students claim it singles out Israel and has the potential to make campus a hostile environment for Jewish students.
“I think this resolution is a disgrace,” CAS freshman Bobby Miller said. “To use Tel Aviv as a case study for the entire NYU Global is disgusting. I would consider being in favor of this motion if it was genuinely about accessibility. This is about Israel. This is about condemning Israeli policies. That’s threatening to Jewish students on campus.”
The next step for the resolution is the University Senate, which will likely consider it at the April 26 meeting.
Bobby Miller is a fellow for CAMERA — an organization that grants fellows a stipend for conducting Israel advocacy on college campuses — and has contributed to WSN.
Email Sakshi Venkatraman at [email protected]
Correction, March 30: A previous version of this article attributed a quote solely to Izzy Khoufaify instead of to Rose Asaf, Izzy Khoufaify, Hüsniye Çöğür and Tyla Leach. The group jointly drafted the statement to WSN.