A pro-Israel education group has filed an amicus brief in support of Fordham University for denying recognition to a campus chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP).
The New York City university made its decision in 2016 based on SJP’s specific targeting of a single group — i.e. Jews — which, it said, “conflict with and run contrary to the mission and values of the University.”
This decision was reversed in court last year after SJP took legal action.
The amicus brief filed by StandWithUS said in part, “While the substantive basis for the university’s decision should have been, and must properly remain, outside the scope of judicial review, StandWithUs must note that there was more than ample basis for Fordham reasonably to decline recognition due to the documented antisemitic nature of the conduct of the student organization involved.”
The brief also cited “the federally-imposed obligation of the university administration to act in a manner that prevents a hostile campus environment for its students.”
StandWithUs attorney Aaron Eitan Meyer said in a statement, “The issue here is not about freedom of expression.”
“A private university chose not to recognize what they perceived to be a divisive student organization, and when the court incorrectly compelled the university to do so, it was the private university’s rights that were ignored,” he asserted.
He added, “We hope the appellate court recognizes this error and reverses the lower court, thereby reinstating Fordham’s reasoned decision.”
StandWithUs CEO and co-founder Roz Rothstein commented, “Fordham University is one of the first universities — if not the first — to recognize SJP’s bigotry for what it is and stand up against hate.”
“We understand the administration’s decision to reject SJP as a university-recognized student organization,” she said. “As a private university, Fordham should have the freedom to make such choices to protect what they perceive to be the well-being of its students and integrity of its campus, and the Fordham administration should be commended for their efforts to do that.”
Read the article here.