New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

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New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

NYU Students for Justice in Palestine Receives Service Award From President Hamilton

The activist group that has butted heads with the university in the past will receive an award from it this month.
NYU Students for Justice in Palestine Receives Service Award From President Hamilton

NYU Students for Justice in Palestine — which often conflicts with the university’s administration — was selected to receive the President’s Service Award, the group announced on Facebook on April 4.

“We are thrilled to announce that we have been selected to receive a presidential service award at NYU,” SJP wrote in a Facebook post. “Despite the pushback we have received from our institution.”

The President’s Service Award is an annual award given out to recognize students and student organizations that have positively impacted the NYU community through significant contributions to either community service and civic engagement or student leadership and campus programming. For SJP, this means raising awareness about the current conflict between Israel and Palestine and conducting activism through protests, pledges and the occasional op-ed, among other things. The group supports Palestinian independence and rights, including their right to land in the Gaza Strip and West Bank.

“By [the] giving of your time, energy and talents, you have positively impacted the culture of this institution and members of our community,” NYU said in an email to SJP.

The annual service award goes to more than 50 extra-curricular clubs and 100 individuals selected by a group of student affairs staffers from across the university and a student representative, according to university spokesperson John Beckman.

SJP’s most recent efforts have been in the context of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement which seeks for countries, institutions and individuals to stop supporting Israel and any companies that support it. SJP frequently holds events and hosts speakers on topics such as the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and countering Islamophobia. Recently, they declared a victory in December, when the Student Government Assembly voted in support of a resolution pushing for a socially responsible investment policy at NYU that referenced the BDS movement. The resolution was initially titled “The Resolution on the Human Rights of Palestinians,” and cited investments in corporations involved with Israel as examples of socially irresponsible investments. References to Israel and Palestine have since been removed from the resolution.

SJP, as well as individual members of the group, declined to comment.

NYU Realize Israel, a pro-Israel group on campus, publicly denounced the university granting SJP the award and claimed that SJP has contributed to a negative environment for some students. The group sees support of the BDS movement as anti-Semitic.

“By presenting the NYU President’s Award to SJP, not only is our university condoning violence and discrimination against members of the NYU community, but it is declaring that this type of behavior represents the ethos of our university,” the group wrote on Facebook.

Director of Recruitment for Realize Israel Jordana Meyer told WSN that the group was upset when they saw SJP would be receiving the award.

“When they announced on Facebook that they had been awarded that honor, we were immediately outraged,” Meyer said. “[SJP has] actively worked to intimidate students of certain faiths and political affiliations, and they create a hostile environment on campus for several communities.”

SJP will be presented the award at the President’s Service Awards ceremony on Wednesday, April 17 at 4 p.m. in the Kimmel Eisner and Lubin Auditorium.

Email Lachlan Hyatt at [email protected].

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  • C

    Chloe HApr 14, 2019 at 11:37 pm

    Shame on you, NYU for rewarding an antisemitic hate group!

  • W

    William DevillisApr 11, 2019 at 8:09 am

    One of the most diverse nations in the world is Israel. It is also the ONLY diverse nation in the Middle East and North Africa. It is the only nation in that region in which Jews, Christians and Muslims are all free to practice their religion 24/7. It is the only nation in that region in which Jews, Christians and Muslims are free to vote and run for any office. 20% of Israel’s citizens are Palestinian Muslim. 10% of the Legislature is Palestinian. Last year, more than 4 million people toured Israel. Only 300,000 were Jews. Israel is home to some of the world’s most holy sites for Jews, Christians and Muslims. ALL are welcome to come and visit and they do. Israel is the only nation in the Middle East and North Africa where gays and transgenders are safe. They can be jailed or killed in neighboring countries just for being gay. 200,000 show up every year in Tel Aviv for Gay Pride and 10,000s more in Jerusalem. Gays have served and risen in rank in the military for decades. No one thinks twice. Women have the same rights in Israel that they do in the US. No other country in the region can say that. Honor killing in those other countries is tolerated if not endorsed by the government (like the PA and Hamas). Israel is the only country in the world where more than 50% of its judges are women. There are more Muslim women in the Israeli Parliament than in the Legislatures of all the other countries in the Middle East combined.
    4 years ago, a Palestinian young woman was valedictorian at Israel’s top med school. A Palestinian Muslim man is the dean at Israel’s top law school. A Muslim heads the military’s medical corps.
    Why is Israel, a nation of 9 million people, one of the only nations on the planet that can match the US, a nation of 350 million people, in the tech and medical fields? Israel puts a premium on freedom and education. When it comes to aiding countries struck by natural disasters or disease or in supplying food and fresh, clean water to countries in need (many in Africa), why do Israel and the US lead the way? Freedom of ideas. The highest standard of education and living for Palestinians anywhere is in Israel. There are more Palestinian tech start ups in Israel than in any other country in the world.
    More and more countries in the Middle East have figured it out. Israel is not the enemy and never really has been. The problem is the Palestinians refusal to make peace. Both Arafat and Abbas were offered the land they wanted with a capital in East Jerusalem and tens of billions in aid but refused peace because they did not want to be assassinated like Anwar Sadat. Israel has tech, energy, food and other business agreements with many Islamic nations in the region. Despite, liberal attempts to boycott goods and ideas from Israel, Israel’s economy is soaring because of its hugely growing business dealings with these Mid East countries, with India, China, with many African nations, and of course, the US. Liberals like to think that their conscience guides their anti semitic hatred of Israel but they use Israeli products on a daily basis because it benefits them to do so. Israeli technology can be found in every digital phone, tablet and laptop.
    7-8% of Israel’s Jews are black, mostly of Ethiopian descent. Tens of thousands were rescued by the Israeli government in the mid to late 80s from Sudan and Ethiopia (Project Moses and Project Solomon) where they were being starved to death. Some black Christians have found a haven in Israel from the nearly daily attacks on black Christian churches and villages throughout Africa by Islamic terror groups. Millions have died or have been enslaved and women assaulted by these terror groups. Liberal media has refused to report these daily acts calling it Islamophobic to report it (the truth).
    Many non-Jewish friends and acquaintances have visited Israel and all have come saying that everyone needs to visit Israel and see the reality. It’s nothing like the one hears from hate groups like the student group being honored by this University. Imagine a University honoring Dylan Roof as a civil rights leader. Maybe that’s next on the NYU agenda.