Why Fordham University stands up for human rights

Students and supporters protest Fordham ban of SJP (Flickr)
Students and supporters protest Fordham ban of SJP (Flickr)

It has been discovered that Fordham University, a private Jesuit university in the Bronx has appealed a court decision that had originally awarded the notoriously anti-Israel, anti-Semitic, and terror-supporting campus group Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) the right to be a campus club.

Why is this considered “standing up for human rights” you may ask?

It’s because whether Fordham administration knows it or not, they are advocating for the Jewish and pro-Israel community, and are trying their very best to combat anti-Semitism.

According to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, which has been adopted by 18 countries, most recently by the federal Canadian government.

According to the definition, “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavour” is considered antisemitic, which is exactly what SJP engages wherever they may be on a university campus.

Antisemitic incidents are becoming a major concern at American universities. According to the ADL’s Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents, there were 201 antisemitic incidents reported at American university campuses in 2018, three less than 2017, but 96 higher than 2016.

Antisemitism comes in many forms, however, it is widely known that antisemitism at postsecondary institutions is one of the vile forms, particularly with students and student society who virulently hate Israel. That’s why the human rights and safety of Jewish and pro-Israel students are being cared for and is being acknowledged as worthwhile in appealing to the court of law, in this case, the Supreme Court of the State of New York.

It’s because students in the 21st century at many universities who simply believe in the Jewish state are intimidated so very frequently with BDS intimidation and antisemitism that no one would ever tolerate.

It’s because SJP’s support for Hamas turns into the university being a hotbed for hateful rhetoric and in extreme cases, hate-motivated violence.

The idea of human rights educates society that hate is not tolerated in any form. Human rights are never found in the form of BDS and through anti-Israel rhetoric. It is found through compassion, caring for others, and standing up to what is right, even if it is not a popular choice.

It is very commendable that a Roman Catholic school would decide to appeal this decision of hundreds of other schools that are simply private or public institutions that allow SJP, and other anti-Israel groups to be granted club status.

The administration of Fordham University has definitely made the correct decision in appealing this court case. I know that the pro-Israel community around is hoping that this decision will be overturned, and justice will be served, with SJP being banned as a club at Fordham.

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