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Pro-Israel group urges UChicago to condemn group calling for boycott of 'sh--ty Zionist classes

Fox News

February 5th, 2022

Photo: EQRoy /

A pro-Israel organization is urging the University of Chicago to condemn a pro-Palestinian student group who is calling on students to boycott "sh--ty Zionist classes."

StandWithUs, an education organization that combats antisemitism and supports Israel, sent a letter to the University of Chicago administration on Friday calling on it to condemn a Students for Justice in Palestine chapter that called for students to boycott "Sh--ty Zionist Classes" in an Instagram post made in late January.

The organization states in the letter that while the Students for Justice in Palestine Instagram post "does not rise to a level of impermissible speech," they are "antithetical to a robust campus climate."

"When SJP explicitly instructs students to boycott "Zionist" classes and professors, and then lists classes about Israel and that are taught by Israeli or Jewish professors, it appears as though they are encouraging their followers to boycott University of Chicago faculty members because of their Jewish or Israeli identities," the letter states.

On Jan. 27, the University of Chicago Students for Justice in Palestine chapter published a post on Instagram, stating "Don't Take Sh--ty Zionist Classes. Support the Palestine movement for liberation by boycotting classes on Israel or those taught by Israeli fellows."

According to the group, students attending classes discussing Israel or that are taught by Israeli fellows are "participating in a propaganda campaign that creates complicity in the continuation of Israel's occupation of Palestine."

The pro-Israel group says that the letter is "dripping with antisemitic undertones," and stated that Zionism is an important part of the Jewish identity for most Jews across the world.

StandWithUs compared the post to a theoretical instance where a KKK student group called for a boycott of classes about Black communities and are taught by Black faculty, stating that it would be protected speech, but the university should still condemn it.

"However, it would also be hateful and warrant moral clarity by your administration in a statement of condemnation. This same principle—and need—apply here," the letter states.

The letter also criticizes the statement that a University of Chicago spokesperson previously provided to Fox News Digital, which said that the university has a "steadfast opposition to discrimination, including rejection of antisemitism, anti-Palestinian bias, and other forms of bias that are incompatible with our commitment to diversity and inclusion."

StandWithUs noted that the inclusion of "anti-Palestinian bias" is "simply bizarre," and said that the university has an opportunity to set an example and show that "SJP does not reflect the values of your campus."

Roz Rothstein, the chief executive officer for StandWithUs told Fox News Digital that the University of Chicago has a responsibility to condemn the Students for Justice in Palestine chapter, and the same applies if any other minority group was targeted.

"Its inability to condemn the antisemitism present here without simultaneously including in its statement other forms of discrimination not currently at issue, only serves to further marginalize the Jewish members of the school’s community. The administration has a crucial opportunity to show moral leadership and communicate to its Jewish students, staff and faculty that they are equally valued members on this campus because antisemitism and discrimination like this will not be tolerated," Rothstein said.

The University of Chicago did not respond to a request for comment from Fox News.

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