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⁉ What happened at the NYC hearing on Jew-hatred at CUNY?

Yesterday, #EndJewHatred gathered on the steps of City Hall in New York City, standing in solidarity with the Jewish students and faculty at CUNY who have been impacted by systemic Jew-hatred.

We expected the CUNY Chancellor, Felix Matos Rodríguez, to appear at the hearing - both to answer for his failure to protect his minority students from bigotry and hate, and to hear the testimony of students and faculty harmed by his failure.

But Rodríguez never showed up.

Despite the fact that this hearing had been rescheduled in order to accommodate his schedule, he refused to come.

As Brooke Goldstein, Executive Director of The Lawfare Project, said at the press conference, “It’s disgusting that the CUNY Chancellor refused to show up today, when the hearing was rescheduled just to accommodate him. He should resign.”

Instead of the Chancellor, three CUNY representatives testified via Zoom. They couldn’t even be bothered to take a 10 minute subway ride to attend in person.

How can we summarize the hearing?

  • The witnesses’ testimonies were compelling and heartfelt.

  • The Council Members were on point, with questions that eviscerated the woke platitudes offered by the CUNY representatives. Inna Vernikov was passionate and focused in her search for the elusive truth, and Kalman Yeger and Eric Dinowitz asked astute questions as well.

  • The CUNY representatives were disorganized, unprepared to respond to simple questions they should have expected. At times, they shamelessly and disrespectfully name-dropped Jewish organizations, seemingly to imply that they aren’t a horrible administration because they once partnered with some Jewish organization or another in some capacity.

CUNY needs to do a better job checking its privilege.

Among the pearls of wisdom we obtained from the hearing:

  • CUNY doesn’t know how many antisemitic incidents have been reported on its campuses.

  • No CUNY campus currently has antisemitism training.

  • There’s no special committee that deals with instances of antisemitism on campus.

  • CUNY “think[s] we’re clear about where we stand on BDS. We can’t have a yes or no.”

  • Apparently, a white supremacist would be allowed to be a commencement speaker.

  • According to CUNY, if a student committed arson and burned down a school, that student might not be kicked out.

So what’s next?

CUNY has a lot to answer for, and a lot of changes need to happen to eliminate the systemic Jew-hatred there.

First step: Fire the Chancellor. Or, he can resign immediately. Refusing to even show up to a hearing on antisemitism is not leadership.     Second step: Defund Jew-hatred at CUNY. Defund CUNY. Council Member Vernikov already cut discretionary funding going to CUNY. The rest of the City Council should follow suit.

We need your help - we need you to join our future actions against Jew-hatred at CUNY. Please send this newsletter to your friends so they can learn about yesterday’s hearing.

E-mail us using the form below to learn what more YOU can do to help us #EndJewHatred.

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