SJP and JVP At Columbia University Admit To Breaking Rules of Their Suspension

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About a month ago, New York’s Columbia University announced that it was suspending the activities of the organizations Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) on its campus, following anti-Israel demonstrations that included “threatening rhetoric and intimidation.”

According to Gerald Rosberg, Senior Executive Vice President of the University and Chair of the Special Committee on Campus Safety, “Columbia University is suspending Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) as official student groups through the end of the fall term. This decision was made after the two groups repeatedly violated University policies related to holding campus events, culminating in an unauthorized event Thursday afternoon that proceeded despite warnings and included threatening rhetoric and intimidation.

“Suspension means the two groups will not be eligible to hold events on campus or receive University funding. Lifting the suspension will be contingent on the two groups demonstrating a commitment to compliance with University policies and engaging in consultations at a group leadership level with University officials.

“Like all student groups, SJP and JVP are required to abide by University policies and procedures. This ensures both the safety of our community and that core University activities can be conducted without disruption. During this especially charged time on our campus, we are strongly committed to giving space to student groups to participate in debate, advocacy, and protest. This relies on community members abiding by the rules and cooperating with University administrators who have a duty to ensure the safety of everyone in our community.”

At the time, SJP and JVP responded:

“You can shut our organizations down, but can’t stop our heart’s [sic] from beating for liberation, humanity, and the freedom of palestine [sic].

“Our actions will be louder than our words. For all the people who are yearning for freedom, and for the media outlets: Keep an on [sic] eye on Columbia.

“To students everywhere who are using their voices and platforms to organize, protest, and stand up for an end to the ongoing genocide in palestine [sic]: we see your strength, we are moved by your courage, and we stand in solidarity with each of you.

“To Columbia and other institutions too cowardly to stand against genocide and apartheid: history will not reflect kindly on your silencing tactics, or your bullying of students, who are standing up for[.]”

But if you thought this meant they would abide by the rules, think again.

Just weeks after Columbia University announced a temporary suspension of the campus chapters of National Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) as official student groups through the end of the fall term, both groups have continued organizing on-campus events.

According to witnesses, some of the unauthorized events by the anti-Israel groups have included holding protests featuring chants of “intifada, intifada, long live the intifada” and “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” Deans have done nothing to stop the events the school claimed were canceled, students on campus tell JI.

“It feels like [JVP and SJP] have ramped up more [since the ban],” Alon Levin, a Columbia School of Engineering graduate student, told Jewish Insider. “We’re seeing it now almost on a daily basis,” he said, adding that some of the events are held under different names associated with JVP and SJP, such as a protest he witnessed on Monday that was sponsored by Student Workers of Columbia, held on Barnard’s campus. Barnard College is affiliated with Columbia University and Barnard students are part of Columbia clubs.

“I’ve been to a few of these events so I can document what’s going on, and usually it’s not overtly under SJP or JVP but other groups that are under the banner of Columbia University student organizations that say they will pick up the slack for those groups by doing things like booking rooms,” Levin said. 

And now they have become even more emboldened, essentially admitting they hosted an unauthorized event, and in which there were genocidal chants filmed – as outed by Columbia professor Shai Davidai:

Shai went viral a few months ago for a video in which he slammed his employer for not standing against anti-Israel groups in the university overtly supporting Hamas’ attack against Israel. Let’s help him go viral again so Columbia University are made to act against SJP and JVP students.

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