Northeastern University SJP chapter suspended as members are subjected to police interrogation

ActivismUS Politics
on 57 Comments
Federal complaints targeting Palestine solidarity activism on campus are dismissed

Students for Justice in Palestine activists at a conference at Columbia University in 2011. (Photo: Columbia SJP)

On March 7, members of Northeastern University’s Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) were informed by the school’s Center for Student Involvement that their chapter had been suspended for at least a year.

In a letter sent to the SJP chapter and provided to me by Max Geller, a second year Northeastern University School of Law student who actively campaigns with SJP, the school’s Director of the Center for Student Involvement, Jason Campbell-Foster, offered a litany of charges against the students. At the top of the list was the SJP’s February 24 distribution of notices across Northeastern campuses that mocked the sort of eviction notices slapped on Palestinian homes slated for Israeli demolition – an awareness-raising tactic increasing in popularity among SJP chapters nationwide.

“You have not shown a concerted effort to improve your practices and educate your members on how to properly operate your organization within the boundaries of university policy,” Northeastern’s Campbell-Foster wrote.

According to Campbell-Foster’s letter, all current members of Northeastern SJP’s current executive board are permanently banned from serving on any future board in the organization. Further, SJP members must undergo a strict regimen of trainings led by university administrators as a condition for reinstatement.

On the morning of February 25, two days after Northeastern SJP members distributed mock eviction notices throughout campus dormitories, all Northeastern students received an email from Robert Jose, Northeastern’s Associate Dean for Cultural and Residential Life. “We do not condone any behavior that causes members of our community to feel targeted and/or intimidated,” Jose wrote.

Jose urged students to express “how this has impacted [them]” by contacting school administrators and the Hillel House of Northeastern, an explicitly pro-Israel Jewish communal organization committed to countering SJP-related activism.

A letter that appeared almost simultaneously on Northeastern’s Hillel’s website announced, “Rather than seeking to prompt dialogue, the fake eviction notices alarmed and intimidated students in their homes, in clear violation of Northeastern policy. We are in communication with Student Affairs regarding this incident, who have been quick to respond to student concerns. The administration is working with the Northeastern University Police Department to conduct a thorough investigation.”

At 10 AM that same day, members of Northeastern SJP received phone calls and visits from campus police officers. “All of the sudden the school was accusing us of an act of criminality for simply [an] act of leafleting,” remarked Geller. “A special investigation was launched for what the university claimed was a petty handbook violation and NYPD-style tactics were used against students. It was so disproportionate to what happened and a complete misappropriation of university funds.”

Geller told me the first Northeastern SJP members to be visited by teams of university police were Muslim and Arab members. “They were freaked out and scared,” he recalled. “It’s hard enough being a brown person with an Arabic name on campus. Now imagine what it was like being treated like a criminal for handing out fliers.” (Full disclosure: Geller hosted me for a discussion of my book, Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel, at Northeastern on January 7).

Following the police investigations, the university has pursued disciplinary sanctions against two SJP members, accusing them of “endangering behavior” and threatening them with expulsion for their involvement in the mock eviction action. The only ones disciplined happen to be women of color.

According to Geller, neither student was involved in a leadership role in the organization. “It is so arbitrary and Kafkaesque what the school has done,” he said. So instead of going after the actual leadership, Geller continued, “they are targeting two women of color,” one of them with a Muslim background.

The suspension of Northeastern SJP is the culmination of a long-running crusade against the group led by powerful pro-Israel outfits based in Boston. The campaign began in the wake of David Project founder Charles Jacobs’ failed campaign to prevent the construction of the Islamic Community Center of Boston in the predominately African-American neighborhood of Roxbury. Jacobs, an outspoken anti-Muslim activist who has referred to mosques as “victory markers,” turned his attention to Northeastern, which lays just on the border of Roxbury.

Through his newly minted front group, Americans for Peace and Tolerance (AFPT), Jacobs orchestrated a campaign called “Shame on NEU.” On the group’s website, Jacobs promoted editorials baselessly accusing Northeastern SJP of “Call[ing] for the Murder of Jews” and “Cheerlead[ing] Hamas.” Together with Richard Cravatts, a communications professor at Boston University who leads the pro-Israel outfit Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, Jacobs claimed SJP was comprised of “anti-Semites, Israel haters” seeking to “justify a second Holocaust, the mass murder of Jews” and possessed with “an irrational, seething animus against the Jew of nations, Israel.”

On July 5, 2013, Northeastern University President Joseph Aoun received a breathless twelve-page letter from the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) demanding an investigation of three professors – Dennis Sullivan, Berna Turam, and M. Shahid Alam – accused by the organization of fostering a “hostile environment” for pro-Israel and Jewish students. Further, the ZOA demanded a review of course material to ensure it adhered to a strictly pro-Israel ideological line, and that the school punish “wrongdoers” for political activities both on and off campus. “Many Jewish students are feeling marginalized and even threatened on campus, afraid to express they are Jewish and pro-Israel,” ZOA President Morton Klein claimed in the letter, which was promptly reproduced and promoted on the website of Jacobs’ AFPT.

The Anti-Defamation League bolstered the ZOA and Jacobs’ crusade against Palestine solidarity at Northeastern by sending a letter of its own to Aoun demanding action against the “anti-Israel” professors.

The ZOA is a far-right organization that supports continuous, unrestricted Israeli settlement activity and the annexation of the occupied West Bank. Its national Vice Chairman, Steven Goldberg, has said that Jews who protest settlement activity are “mutants” who should have been aborted.

CC’ed on the ZOA letter to Northeastern was Robert Shillman, the multi-millionaire CEO of Cognex Corporation. A graduate of Northeastern, Shillman is identified [PDF] in the ZOA’s newsletter as “a major supporter” of the organization. Shillman has pumped his fortune into right-wing Zionist causes from the ZOA to the David Horowitz Freedom Center, which has back-channeled funding to Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer – far-right extremists identified as anti-Muslim hate group leaders by the Southern Poverty Law Center. (Geller has promoted an inflammatory 32-minute Americans for Peace and Tolerance video on her blog accusing Sullivan, a professor of international affairs and the director of the university’s Middle East Center for Peace, Culture and Development, of supporting terrorism and “shocking Jew hatred.”)

Shillman also happens to be a top contributor to Northeastern, having donating $3 million for the construction of a new classroom building in 1999 – Shillman Hall. Though Shillman is still alive, a statue of his likeness stands in the center of Northeastern’s campus, just outside the hall bearing his name.

Another wealthy pro-Israel donor who has exerted his influence over Northeastern is Seth Klarman, the hedge fund billionaire who acts as a principal financial angel for Jacobs’ political empire. Besides having backed Jacobs-founded outfits like the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting (CAMERA) and The David Project, Klarman is a major donor to the Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Boston. And it is through the Combined Philanthropies, according to a review of 990 forms filed with the Internal Revenue Service, that the Hillel of Northeastern University received the vast majority of its funding in 2009 — $27,509 in all.

Under the tenure of President Aoun, a Lebanese Christian born in Beirut, pro-Israel forces in Boston have exerted their influence against an exceptionally malleable administration. In December, Aoun condemned the American Studies Association’s decision to boycott Israeli academic institutions involved in the occupation of Palestine, declaring, “Political differences indeed heighten, not diminish, the importance of unfettered discourse among scholars.”

The campaign against Northeastern SJP escalated when Jacobs’ AFPT created a Facebook page called, “Exposing Islamic Extremism at Northeastern University.” Threats poured in through the page, both publicly and privately, according to Geller. As Northeastern University Middle East Studies MA candidate and SJP board member Ryan Branagan documented at Electronic Intifada, one commenter said of Geller, “I would seriously introduce that kid to the inside of an ambulance.” Geller said he began receiving threats targeting his family when his parents’ home address was posted online.

In June, Northeastern SJP was placed on administrative probation and warned against future “transgressions” after its members staged a brief walkout protest of a presentation on campus by Israeli soldiers. The students were forced to issue a “statement of civility” afterwards by university administrators. The Boston Globe’s Yvonne Abraham described the sanctioning of SJP as a symbol of the transformation of American universities into “overpriced country clubs with climbing walls, sushi, and a culture of enforced politeness that is downright depressing.”

With the suspension of its SJP chapter, Northeastern University has awarded Boston-area pro-Israel outfits the prize they had been seeking. According to Geller, the episode provides the clearest proof yet that Northeastern’s administration “is more interested in appeasing outside astroturfed Zionist groups than in fostering an environment where the vigorous exchange of ideas can take place.”

My calls seeking comments from Northeastern University Center for Student Involvement were not returned.

57 Responses

  1. adele
    March 12, 2014, 2:42 am

    One of the members of Northeastern Univ SJP tweeted that they are launching a resistance campaign and will need all the support they can get in order to succeed.

    Some ways we can help:

    This is NU SJP’s webpage that provides info for contacting university administration —> link to northeasternsjp.org

    There is also a petition that was just started and it has already received more than 1,000 signatures in just a few hours —> link to change.org

    Bottom line is this: the more that Northeastern University administrators try to suppress free speech and attempt to censor and punish the SJP activists, the greater and broader will be the backlash against their clearly unlawful actions.

    • Kris
      March 12, 2014, 12:00 pm

      Adele–thanks for the links.

      • adele
        March 12, 2014, 6:00 pm

        Thanks Kris, glad it proved helpful.

    • thetruthhurts
      March 13, 2014, 11:22 pm

      i want to see american college students all across the country organizing into huge mass demonstrations against israel, and none too soon, just like they did to protest the vietnam war.
      what a beautiful, chaotic site that would be. columbia played a major role in those heady vietnam days so lets get your act together again, and real fast!

  2. Krauss
    March 12, 2014, 4:12 am

    Great reporting. Unlike so many journalists who cover the surface politics – who said what, when – of the current drama, Blumenthal reveals the characters and the organizations who are deeply engaged in a long-term battle against any peace activism and opposition to Apartheid. It’s also shocking to see the ADL – even if we all know their “civil liberties” facade is just that – to join hands with far-right, neo-fascist Zionist Organization of America.

    And even more shocking is the fact that the university bends over backwards to appease these venomous racists. Concerns over donations?
    There are plenty of small-time Sheldon Adelsons out there who rarely get into the news.

    A second important fact is that the people who have planned these campaigns of intimidation and attacks for years, rarely if never get their often outrageously racist statements exposed. These people almost never get called out, which is why they can continue to operate freely and attack people without any reprimands, which again underscores why this reporting is so important

    The recent incident gets put into a much broader context. I follow the news on Israel/Palestine pretty closely, including the debate here in America, and yet I learned a ton of new things which I haven’t read anywhere else in such a systematic way.
    That speaks volumes to the quality of the reporting here.

    • Krauss
      March 12, 2014, 4:25 am

      This is somewhat related. Here is Mr. Jacobs’ group’s recent Youtube video:

      link to youtube.com

      They are attacking J Street from the right. It’s also interesting to note that a supposed centrist like Josh Block is attacking J Street.
      Even Richard Landes features in the video.

      Their name, “Americans for Peace and Tolerance”, is perhaps the most Orwellian name I’ve seen in a long, long time.

      • seafoid
        March 12, 2014, 12:06 pm

        Somewhat related- NUIG in Galway on the Euro side of the West

        The bots don’t control thought in Europe

      • MHughes976
        March 13, 2014, 2:02 pm

        They seem to be in a strong position in France. My own leader, David Cameron, is currently declaring total solidarity with Israel and its right ‘to defend itself’. I expect that the other British party leaders will embark on an American-style competition, perhaps in less demonstrative terms, to be regarded as the most committed supporters of Zionism and all its works. The road ahead is still long and steep.

      • Hostage
        March 13, 2014, 2:32 pm

        My own leader, David Cameron, is currently declaring total solidarity with Israel and its right ‘to defend itself’.

        Just for the record, he didn’t win any friends among the right wing audiance, despite all of his public groveling and ass-kissing. See British PM Cameron Claims Jewish Ancestors: The Haredi Knesset Members who walked out of David Cameron’s speech didn’t miss very much. link to jewishpress.com

        In his address to the Knesset, he went so far as to double-down on the Balfour Declaration. He claimed it was “the moment when the State of Israel went from a dream to a plan”. Some us can’t find any support for that idea in the Churchill and MacDonald White Papers. link to algemeiner.com

      • lysias
        March 13, 2014, 2:56 pm

        I once attended a reception at the UK Embassy in D.C. in honor of a Labour MP who was a big shot in education policy. This was late in the presidency of George W. Bush and while Gordon Brown was PM. I overheard the British Ambassador discussing with the guest of honor how, after the reception ended, he and the guest of honor were going to attend the AIPAC meeting which was then going on in D.C.

      • Shingo
        March 12, 2014, 4:32 pm

        You’ll notice that they love to throw around words like peace and tolerance, but avoid “justice” , “human rights” and “equality” like the plague.

      • Kathleen
        March 13, 2014, 4:07 am

        Zero about Palestinians. All about Israel No solutions.

    • Les
      March 12, 2014, 10:55 am

      I suspect the ADL does not see itself as a junior partner to anyone including AIPAC.

      • Hostage
        March 13, 2014, 12:20 am

        I suspect the ADL does not see itself as a junior partner to anyone including AIPAC.

        You are probably correct. It started out as a subsidiary organ, i.e. Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, but subsequently dropped the suffix.

      • Stephen Shenfield
        March 13, 2014, 12:42 pm

        They should also drop the prefix (“Anti-”). Then they would have the name just right.

      • Hostage
        March 13, 2014, 12:53 pm

        They should also drop the prefix (“Anti-”). Then they would have the name just right.

        That would be funny, if it weren’t all too true.

      • eljay
        March 13, 2014, 1:55 pm

        >> Stephen Shenfield: They should also drop the prefix (“Anti-”). Then they would have the name just right.
        >> Hostage: That would be funny, if it weren’t all too true.

        +1.

  3. just
    March 12, 2014, 6:07 am

    From NU’s website: “Founded in 1898, Northeastern is a global, experiential, research university built on a tradition of engagement with the world, creating a distinctive approach to education and research.”

    They better update that. PEP is what they are. Shameful in the extreme to target the SJP and its members, and what horror to read that “SJP members must undergo a strict regimen of trainings led by university administrators as a condition for reinstatement”. Police interrogations? Intimidation? Threats? Racial profiling? I can’t believe that this is happening in Boston…

    The ADL should also rename themselves. I so appreciate you bringing this to my attention.

    • Reds
      March 12, 2014, 7:46 am

      You catch this?

      link to blogs.timesofisrael.com

      The old tactic when you bring on a minority to show your not a racist and the overtly racist and discriminatory actions of Israel is pretended to be mocked as if it never happens. As if Human rights groups haven’t reported on what blumenthal has talked about but instead fallacy after fallacy is presented in what they think is humor. Of course it skips over all of Blumenthal’s point in his book to attempt to paint it as the Elders of Zion.

      • traintosiberia
        March 12, 2014, 9:19 am

        Yes .it has worked before. The book by Ginsberg- Fatal Embrace alludes to similar undercurrents of thinking in the fight for access to education for all and desegregation in housing in 60s. Blacks were used to further Jewish upward mobility.

      • The JillyBeans
        March 12, 2014, 1:50 pm

        This Chloe Valdary comes off as what I like to call “willfully ignorant.” So the AIPAC flew her out to their conference? Perhaps she should apply equal time and ask them to drop ship her into the West Bank so she can walk around unfettered.

        With zero interest nor knowledge of the Palestinian side of the issue, nor any interest on hearing the other side Valdary’s letter is extremely childish. What is worse that she doesn’t even ask for proof or want to investigate his claims. Willfully ignorant.

  4. Hostage
    March 12, 2014, 6:29 am

    The ZOA is a far-right organization that supports continuous, unrestricted Israeli settlement activity and the annexation of the occupied West Bank. Its national Vice Chairman, Steven Goldberg, has said that Jews who protest settlement activity are “mutants” who should have been aborted.

    The mock eviction notices are complaining about war crimes and crimes against humanity. The US War Crimes Act, 18 U.S. Code § 2441, specifically cites 1) Article 28 of the Hague rules of 1907 which prohibits pillage; and 2) all grave breaches of the 4th Geneva Convention, like the prohibition of excessive expropriation and destruction of property contained in Article 147.
    * 18 U.S. Code § 2441 link to law.cornell.edu
    * Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. Geneva, 12 August 1949, Penal sanctions II. Grave breaches, ARTICLE 147 link to icrc.org

    The ZOA should not be allowed to act as a tax exempt cheerleader for the 44,000+ American citizens who are living on public and private land plundered from Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. See:
    *IRS Reinstates ZOA as 501(c)(3) Tax Exempt Organization link to zoa.org
    * Activities That Are Illegal Or Contrary To Public Policy
    link to irs.gov
    * Sara Yael Hirschhorn Ph.D., “City on a hilltop: The participation of Jewish-American immigrants within the Israeli settler movement, 1967–1987″, The University of Chicago, 2012 link to gradworks.umi.com

    • Matthew Graber
      March 12, 2014, 11:17 am

      It should also be noted that the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) is a branch of the World Zionist Organization. The Jewish Federation and Hillel are also projects of the WZO; and the State of Israel is a project of the WZO. The Jewish Agency (previously the Palestine Zionist Executive) and the Jewish National Fund were the two coordinating agencies of the WZO which established the State of Israel in 1948 and executed the Nakba.

      • Hostage
        March 13, 2014, 12:50 am

        It should also be noted that the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) is a branch of the World Zionist Organization. The Jewish Federation and Hillel are also projects of the WZO; and the State of Israel is a project of the WZO.

        Yes it is a joint criminal enterprise, the WZO Settlement Division operates out of the Prime Minister’s Office and its projects over the Green Line are funded, in part, by the Israeli Knesset:
        * WZO Settlement Division returns to the PMO
        link to jpost.com
        * Livni to impose freedom of information act on WZO settlements division: Meretz head says division’s budget grew in 2011 from allocated NIS 62.35 million to NIS 373.3m.
        link to jpost.com

        In order to qualify as “specified criminal activity”, which can be prosecuted under the US racketeering statutes, a crime only has to be an extraditable offense that is subject to a multilateral treaty agreement involving a person who is a US national. Several treaties and executive agreements, include genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, so long as they are codified in the laws of both the demanding and surrendering States, e.g. United States–Soviet Memorandum of Understanding on the Pursuit of Nazi War Criminals, or the Multilateral Convention on Extradition signed at Montevideo on Dec. 26, 1933. link to avalon.law.yale.edu

        Pillaging is federal crime under the US Code and under the domestic laws of many Caribbean, Central and South American ICC member states.

      • Jackdaw
        March 13, 2014, 1:14 am

        More tiresome and meaningless war crime indictments from Hostage.

        BTW. Wasn’t the ‘Highway of Death’, from Gulf War I, also a war crime?

      • Hostage
        March 13, 2014, 7:26 pm

        More tiresome and meaningless war crime indictments from Hostage.

        They aren’t meaningless at all. The High Court of Justice in Israel cited the prohibition in the Hague Convention against pillaging private property when it ordered the State to remove the original Elon Moreh settlement and prohibited expropriation of private Palestinian property in the future.

        Subsequently, the government itself revealed a database which recorded the fact that a third of the land occupied by the settlements in the West Bank is privately-owned Palestinian land. See Steven Erlanger, “West Bank Sites on Private Land, Data Shows, New York Times, 14 March, 2007 <link to nytimes.com

        Article 6(b) of the 1945 IMT Charter (Nuremberg) included “plunder of public or private property” in its list of war crimes, for which there must be individual criminal responsibility. The State of Israel employed a legal fiction that treated the Occupied Palestinian territories as unincorporated Israeli territory in order to build Jewish settlements on plundered state land. But the ICJ advisory opinion regarding the applicable law and the UN General Assembly vote on the status of Palestine have rendered those excuses untenable.

        BTW. Wasn’t the ‘Highway of Death’, from Gulf War I, also a war crime?

        A Court might possibly reach that conclusion. The Iraqi Army had been instructed to leave their weapons behind and withdraw from Kuwait. Since they chose to ignore that warning, they were not considered to be “outside the fight” when they began their armed maneuver. There is no requirement to allow an enemy safe passage to consolidate its forces elsewhere and take up new defensive positions, or fight another day. I’ve never seen any evidence that the Iraqis in question tried to surrender and were rebuffed.

        Nonetheless, I do think that the US should be required to defend its actions in an international court in that instance or any other armed conflict where reasonable questions or doubts arise.

      • Shingo
        March 13, 2014, 8:06 pm

        More tiresome and meaningless war crime indictments from Hostage.

        Yes, war crimes and international law are indeed meaningless to hasbrats.

      • just
        March 13, 2014, 8:40 pm

        Jackdaw– I very much look forward to the day that your very favorite country faces those “tiresome and meaningless war crime indictments”.

        It will happen. It should happen here, too.

      • Waterbuoy
        March 15, 2014, 12:52 pm

        “More tiresome and meaningless war crime indictments from Hostage.”

        The panicked, hysterical punitive reaction of this Israeli regime to the acquisition of UN Observer Nation status by Palestine… which gives them access to the ICC … suggests that the regime would substitute “… frightening and threatening…” for “tiresome and meaningless”.

        GWBush recently cancelled a speaking engagement in Switzerland over such fears regarding HIS war crimes.

    • Kathleen
      March 12, 2014, 3:17 pm

      These student activist being hit with more repercussions for their righteous non violent actions than IDF and illegal settlers for committing violent and deadly crimes against Palestinians. What a world what a world we live in. This is pure unadulterated bullshit

  5. Citizen
    March 12, 2014, 6:32 am

    Were the leaflets distributed at the campus homes of all students?

    • adele
      March 12, 2014, 4:32 pm

      according to one of the SJP members, 600 fliers were distributed under doors at random.

  6. Cliff
    March 12, 2014, 7:13 am

    Awful.

    The Israelification of US academia is getting worse.

    • seafoid
      March 12, 2014, 11:22 am

      Israel is living on borrowed time . They get more and more desperate.
      A long way from Tikkun Olam at this stage. Very hard to believe this is what the centuries of prayers were about.

    • The JillyBeans
      March 12, 2014, 1:55 pm

      I’d hate to call it “Israelification” I think the problem is Zionism, not Israel. Zionism is the ideology driven policy of expansion of the state. It is what drives these illegal and barbaric behaviors of the settlers and their supporters. The citizenry of Israel includes a variety of Jews and non-Jews who are very much against the ideals of Zionism, so it is inaccurate to label it as an Israeli behavior.

      • Cliff
        March 13, 2014, 10:04 am

        Of course the problem is Israel.

        Israel = Zionism.

        The citizenry of Israel includes a variety of Jews and non-Jews who are very much against the ideals of Zionism

        Bullshit.

        There is a 20% Arab minority. That minority is the Palestinian population that Jewish terrorists did not *completely* ethnically cleanse in 48′ and 67′.

        They are institutionally discriminated against and subject to several racist laws.

        Israel is a Jewish supremacist State.

  7. traintosiberia
    March 12, 2014, 9:13 am

    Normal behaviors are being criminalized . Tomorrow distributing leaflet about Justine Bieber performing in nearby town could be alleged to have violated school policy .

    Next is the requirement of the training. Is the Gulag back in fashion?

  8. unverified__5ilf90kd
    March 12, 2014, 9:27 am

    The Israelification of US academia is really frightening – it shows how these Zionists are willing to lie and cheat in order to confuse ignorant Americans about the Palestinians. The malign effect of rich Zionist contributors to US Universities is dangerous to say the least.

  9. American
    March 12, 2014, 9:33 am

    Fascists of I -Firstdom in the USA.
    The only way we are going to get rid of them is to ‘demonize’ them as fifth columnist and enemies of democracy to the public.
    Its easier and simpler to do it that way for the public then to base the fight on Israel and Palestine.
    They are fascist after all.

  10. LeaNder
    March 12, 2014, 11:10 am

    Thanks, Max. This stuff is soooo depressing.

  11. W.Jones
    March 12, 2014, 11:29 am

    Thank you for sharing. By the way, I emailed Adam Horotwitz some time ago but did not get a reply. I am sure he is busy. What is the best way to get in touch with him?

  12. pjdude
    March 12, 2014, 11:36 am

    they can’t condone having people feeling targeted or intimindated so they targeted and intiminidated members of their community? wow thats down right orwellian. wow their copying Israeli thug behavior

    • adele
      March 12, 2014, 5:50 pm

      there is though a clear distinction between MOCK evictions and REAL evictions

  13. seafoid
    March 12, 2014, 11:44 am

    link to ipsc.ie

    Victory in Galway as NUIG Students’ Union votes to join BDS movement

    ” The Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) has welcomed the passing of motion calling on the National University of Galway (NUIG) Students’ Union to actively participate in the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel until it ends the occupation of Palestine and complies with its obligations under international law.

    The motion, which reads in full “That NUI Galway Students’ Union actively supports the campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against the State of Israel.” was passed by an almost 2 to 1 margin (1,954 to 1,054 votes) during a student referendum held on March 6th. NUIG Students’ Union becomes the first student’s union in Ireland to adopt such a motion in support of Palestinian rights, and joins campuses all over the world in rejecting Israeli Apartheid.”

    link to youtube.com

    Much older stuff from Galway – Caoineadh na Dtri Mhuire

    link to cic.ie

    “These are the songs that at time kept the people alive. Songs that gave them comfort, solace, courage , pleasure and hope when times were hard. They were songs to raise the spirit and the people held them in their hearts.”

    link to youtube.com

    Contemporary version

    link to youtube.com

    It is very hard to listen to the words of this song and not think about Israel’s persecution of the Palestinian people

    link to irishpage.com

    “Throughout Ireland these sacred songs were felt to function both as prayers and as direct substitutes for the caoineadh (‘keening’, women’s funeral lament) which was suppressed by the Church.”

  14. Marshall
    March 12, 2014, 11:45 am

    Hmm, I wonder if the huge network of campus conservative groups that exist to claim coercion by a corrupt liberal elite of university administrators will spring into action against an actual instance of administrative harassment of a student group for their politics. Actually, I don’t wonder. They won’t.

  15. OlegR
    March 12, 2014, 11:49 am

    Good news, thanks Max…

    • adele
      March 12, 2014, 5:57 pm

      actually, Oleg, this isn’t good news for you. Events like this have the flip side of raising awareness amongst a broader audience and galvanizing greater public opinion and action on behalf of Palestinians.

      Same tactics were used against students during the S.Africa campus protests. Don’t gloat too soon.

      That is beautiful and poetic irony of fighting for justice, they more the other side fights back, the more you know that you are getting closer to justice. You need to read up on your history Oleg.

      • Annie Robbins
        March 14, 2014, 1:21 am

        actually, Oleg, this isn’t good news for you.

        ah…sure it is. oleg is prolly teetering on the edge, he’ll be comin’ over shortly. it’s hard for him to say it..but..he knows, he chokes:

  16. Balfour
    March 12, 2014, 12:28 pm

    Boston Globe, are you listening?

  17. chet
    March 12, 2014, 1:15 pm

    Desperation.

    Like cornered rats, furiously fighting for their lives, the Zionist fanatics note the recent studies showing the increasing disinterest of American Jewish youth in respect of Israeli issues and as a consequence, are willing to do anything to stifle sympathy for the Palestinians and to attempt to enlist Jewish university students in the Zionist cause.

  18. JusticeForPalestine
    March 12, 2014, 2:53 pm

    Something tells me that ACLU won’t chose to represent these students whose banner was taken down.

  19. LanceThruster
    March 12, 2014, 4:08 pm

    Punishment for the real thing? – None.

    Punishment for political theater? – Police investigation and club sanction.

    I guess in our Bizarro world, this makes sense.

  20. lysias
    March 13, 2014, 12:59 pm

    Joseph Aoun appears to be a Christian Arabic name. Aoun’s first degree listed in his Wikipedia entry is a Master’s in Oriental Languages and Literature from Université Saint-Joseph, Beirut, Lebanon, 1975. Two years later, he got a diploma from the University of Paris.

  21. Citizen
    March 14, 2014, 7:31 am

    Re above on “the highway of death”–it’s a mixed bag re evidence of a war crime, or crimes. See link to en.wikipedia.org

    I’m sure I’m not the only regular here that would like to see Bush Jr & crew on trial for war crimes.

  22. Citizen
    March 14, 2014, 7:39 am

    The token trial of Bush & some of his crew: link to commondreams.org

  23. Pippilin
    March 14, 2014, 1:22 pm

    Shill-man. Interesting.

  24. Waterbuoy
    March 15, 2014, 12:44 pm

    It’s insultingly condescending of the admin to assume that students would be frightened or intimidated by a fake “eviction notice”.
    It’s REAL fascist intimidation to sick the police on human rights activists.

    I’m curious and would love to see a photo or copy of the “eviction notice” here.

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