Northeastern University in Boston has a long history of anti-Israeli agitation and intimidation by students groups and some faculty.

Students for Justice in Palestins (SJP) has been one of the prime movers in the climate of fear instilled among Jewish and other pro-Israel students, leading to warnings from the Northeastern administration.

This is not surprising. SJP campus branches are notorious for their aggressive behavior.  At Cornell in 2012, SJP students assisted by three Cornell faculty members disrupted a rally by a pro-Israel group, including using loudspeakers to try to drown out the pro-Israel rally. (added) Cornell SJP also has defaced pro-Israel posters.

At Northeastern, SJP already was on probation for vandalism and disruption when, in conjunction with “Israeli Apartheid Week” SJP served mock eviction notices on students in dormatories. Not only did the distribution of flyers in dormatories violated campus policy, it was a deliberate act of provocation towards pro-Israel students where they live.

The Northeastern administration then temporarily suspended SJP and some of its officers from participating in campus organizations, as reported at Algemeiner.  The suspension notice is here.  (Added — images at bottom of post)

True to form, SJP and its supporters at anti-Israel websites like Mondoweiss and Electronic Intifada played victim, as if SJP was punished for its views. SJP and its supporters also, in best Pallywood form, exaggerated the punishment by claiming that two SJP students were going through the explusion process:

With profound disappointment and righteous indignation Northeastern University Students for Justice in Palestine announces it has been suspended as an organization. SJP is disappointed because Northeastern’s claims of creating a diverse learning environment that encourages the free exchange of ideas and promotes Academic Freedom are impossible to reconcile with the university’s decision to suppress our speech and suspend our political group. As if banning our activities from campus and denying us all use of campus resources wasn’t outrageous enough, the university is pursuing expulsion-level sanctions for two students—all for participation in a mock eviction action. SJP is furious to report the only individuals to face our school’s opaque disciplinary process are two young women of color; none of the white or male participants have faced any charges. This unprecedented ban and appalling prosecutions are the latest attempt by the university to suppress pro-Palestine speech, and continues the university’s disturbing history of enacting injustice.

SJP has organized an email and telephone campaign to try to force Northeastern to change its decision. (Email and telephone contact info at the link for those of you who want to express support to Northeastern administration.) It also has started an online petition.

In fact, as detailed below, the students never faced explusion.  SJP is claiming that the lack of explusion now was a result of its pressure campaign, but that is not true.  The Northeastern administration previously made clear the students were not facing explusion.  So SJP invented a false claim, then used exposure of the falsity to claim a small victory.  These students have a bright future in Pallywood.

Northeastern provided me with the following statement (emphasis added):

“The temporary suspension of SJP was handed down only after a careful and thorough review of the facts. Despite repeated efforts by university officials to work with the leadership of SJP, the organization has repeatedly shown a disregard for university policies over an extended period of time. Specific violations include—but are not limited to—vandalism of university property, distribution of flyers in residence halls without prior approval, and disrupting the events of other student groups.

Contrary to the assertions in the petition, SJP leaders have not been banned permanently from participation, and the organization has had many opportunities to discuss its conduct with university officials. Further, reports that expulsion procedures have been initiated against students affiliated with SJP are false.

The issue here is not one of free speech or the exchange of disparate ideas. Instead, it is about holding every member of our community to the same standards, and addressing SJP’S non-compliance with longstanding policies to which all student organizations at Northeastern are required to adhere.”

(Added) Here are images of the letter:

 Northeastern SJP Suspension Notice 1

 Northeastern SJP Suspension Notice 2

 Northeastern SJP Suspension Notice 3

 Northeastern SJP Suspension Notice 4

 Northeastern SJP Suspension Notice 5


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