Jewish students weren’t targeted by Palestine solidarity activists - Rutgers probe

Activists have used mock eviction notices on several campuses to draw attention to Israel’s demolitions of Palestinian homes.

Syjil Ashraf

Rutgers University has completed its investigation into complaints about the distrubution of mock eviction notices highlighting Israel’s destruction of Palestinian homes.

Campus pro-Israel group Rutgers Hillel had publicly alleged that Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) had targeted the dorm rooms of Jewish students at the New Brunswick, New Jersey campus.

Rutgers Hillel director Andrew Getraer encouraged students to lodge complaints, prompting an investigation by the university’s bias committee. One campus rabbi from Rutgers Hillel even called for SJP to be “disbanded” as punishment.

However, university spokesperson E.J. Miranda wrote The Electronic Intifada on 16 October:

The review of this matter has been concluded and the student organization has received a formal warning for violation of the university’s posting policy. The student who lodged the complaint has been informed of that.

As was previously reported, the university found that SJP violated a policy that requires groups to gain prior approval from administrators before distributing flyers in dormitories.

The violation does not relate to the content of the flyers.

New Jersey Jewish News identified the student who made the complaint as Jake Binstein, Hillel’s Israel advocacy co-chair.

“The review determined that the random distribution of the notices constituted a violation of the university’s policy on posting,” Miranda added.

Miranda’s reiteration that the flyers were distributed randomly confirms the university found nothing to support Hillel’s claims that Jewish students were specifically targeted.

Students for Justice in Palestine – Rutgers New Brunswick issued a statement explaining that the group’s action was intended to draw attention to Israel’s ongoing, systematic destruction of the homes of thousands of Palestinian families.

“Our completely fake notices caused no harm. It is Israel’s very destruction of Palestinian homes and the confiscation of Palestinian land that these notices were intended to draw attention to that continues to cause harm to millions,” the SJP statement said in part.

“We hope that those who received and read them were given more insight as to the plight of the Palestinian people after being put in their shoes for just a few seconds.”

As The Electronic Intifada previously reported, the latest – unfounded – claims of bias are part of a long-running effort by pro-Israel groups to paint Rutgers as a hostile environment for its significant Jewish student population as a consequence of Palestine solidarity activism.