NYU President Boycotts the Boycotters

Credit: NYU Stern
Credit: NYU Stern

In an unprecedented and unexpected move, NYU President Andrew Hamilton was not present for the 35th Annual President’s Service Award at NYU last evening. This was reported by the school’s newspaper. 

Per the University’s website: 

“the purpose of the President’s Service Award is to recognize the distinguished achievements of undergraduate, graduate, and professional students and student organizations for their commitment to civic engagement and service in local communities across the University’s global network or for their promotion of learning, leadership, and quality of student life at New York University.”

Last week, the Pro-Israel community was in shock when we learned that Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) would be receiving a President’s Service Award. SJP are well known as the leading on-campus grassroots group around the country that leads the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.

When we found out about this news, New York’s Pro-Israel community sprung into action – letters were sent and calls were made to President Hamilton, student op-eds were published around the world in major newspapers and earlier today, a well respected Jewish alumni Judea Pearl, father of Daniel Pearl, renounced his Distinguished Alumnus Award from NYU.

In April of 2018, President Hamilton went on record to strongly oppose the BDS movement. This is why many of us were so surprised to hear that NYU would be giving one of their highest student honors to an organization that incites violence, targets Pro-Israel supporters and openly advocates for the destruction and boycott of the Middle East’s only democracy, the Jewish State of Israel.

Here is where things took a turn that even I couldn’t predict.  According to the Washington Square News (NYU’s Student Newspaper), President Hamilton did not attend last night’s award ceremony that bears his title “President”.

The President of NYU’s Jewish Voices for Peace chapter had this to say:

“This year Students for Justice in Palestine won a Presidential Service Awards, and now the PRESIDENT of NYU is not coming to the PRESIDENTIAL service awards,” said by Rose Asaf to the Washington Square News.

These recent developments are a big win for the Pro-Israel community in New York!!!  We would have preferred SJP didn’t receive an award in the first place but President Hamilton “boycotting the boycotters” sends a very strong message to anyone paying attention that he doesn’t support SJP and remains firm in his stance against the BDS movement.

Thank you President Hamilton.

About the Author
Bryan E. Leib was born in Philadelphia and resides in New York, NY. Currently, Bryan is the Act.IL Program Manager for the Israeli-American Council in New York. In 2018, he was the one of the youngest Jewish-American Congressional Candidates as the Republican Candidate for PA-03 (Philadelphia County) He is the former Treasurer of the Philadelphia Young Republicans and is currently serving as a Board Member of the Young Friends of the National Museum of American Jewish History. He is also a member of the Jewish National Fund-USA Speakers Bureau. The opinions expressed here are his and not representative of any organizations he is affiliated with. Follow him on Twitter: @LeibforPA
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