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Hijacking: Anti-Israel language in Cornell Student Assembly statement about racial incidents

Hijacking: Anti-Israel language in Cornell Student Assembly statement about racial incidents

Criticism of Cornell-Technion Tech Campus inserted in last minute rush to address campus racial tensions

The Cornell campus currently is in turmoil over two racial incidents.

In one, a student shouted “build a wall” near the Latino Living Center. At least two reports (Campus Reform and The New American) claim the student was Hispanic and said it to mock Trump. The Cornell administration has declined to confirm or deny those reports, referring me instead to prior general statements from university officials. I may have more on that in a subsequent post.

In a second incident, one or more students who got into a fight off campus with a black student called him the “N” word.

There have been multiple statements from the university administration promising action, and some student assembly members are considering trying to ban “hate speech” as part of a campus code revision.

The Cornell student assembly considered last night a statement on the incidents.

Some students, however, used the opportunity to hijack the student assembly statement to insert language against the completely unrelated Cornell’s partnership with The Technion, Israel’s high tech university.

That partnership for the Roosevelt Island tech campus was the subject several years ago of boycott attempts by pro-BDS students and faculty. Cornell Students for Justice in Palestine recently organized a statement from several student groups condemning the tech campus partnership.

The Cornell Sun reports, Facebook Statement After Collegetown Assault Divides S.A.:

Student Assembly issued a statement on Saturday evening meant to rally Cornellians together following an assault in Collegetown on Friday possibly motivated by racism, but the statement divided some assemblymembers themselves.

The statement — the result of nearly seven hours of deliberation among some S.A. members — recalled Cornell’s history, fraught with racial tension despite the University’s “any person, … any study” creed.

But it also included some additional lines, such as the declaration that “Cornell Tech was built with the support of an institution that has led to the loss of thousands of lives in the Palestine-Israel Conflict.”

S.A., in the statement, also called upon “the members of color on the executive board of the [Interfraternity Council] to explain and justify the existence of an institution that perpetuates racism, elitism, and sexual violence, and whose monetary influence silences the administration.”

At the conclusion, the statement exhorted the administration “to explain and justify the prioritization of white supremacy through the existence of fraternities over the safety of their students.”

Shortly after its Facebook publication, however, backlash within the S.A. began, and the group posted a new statement changing some of the more controversial lines…. [Emphasis added.]

The Cornell Sun story indicates the anti-Israel language was part of a last-minute push to get a statement done:

Alec Martinez ’18, who [Cornell student Gabe] Kaufman said managed the Google Doc while the statement was being drafted, said the statement was not intended “to injure or alienate any community on campus, nor was it to take a side.”

“It was a necessary introduction to conversations that we need to have,” he said late on Monday night.

Martinez said he has reached out to Cornell Hillel since the statement was posted.

“I think there’s plenty of room for them to be sad or angry or confused,” he said, adding that talking about the issues raised by the first statement is still important. “We’re not trying to alienate anyone. These are tough conversations that we have to have.” ….

For Kaufman, the conflict originated leading up to the publication of the statement. Assembly members who did not write the statement were given 15 minutes to vote on its publication, Kaufman and Assemblymember TJ Ball ’18 said.

“Because there was no real process, the statement was posted about 15 minutes after it was introduced to the general membership of the Student Assembly, which meant that the statement which was posted — though extremely valuable and [important] — lacked nuance in some areas and left some individuals and constituencies feeling confused, attacked, betrayed,” Ball said in a message.

With just 15 minutes to make any changes to the statement before voting closed, Kaufman said the resolution passed with a vote of 10-3, despite the fact that 12 members are usually required to pass S.A. legislation.

The anti-Israel language has not been removed, at least as of the Assembly Statement that is live on Facebook as of this writing (archive).

This is just another example of how anti-Israel activists use every opportunity to hijack other causes and redirect them against Israel. I wrote about this phenomenon recently in Anti-Israel Rally at U. Illinois: “No Zionists, no KKK, resisting fascists all the way”:

For several years, anti-Israel activists have sought to hijack other causes in order to turn them against Israel.

A key component of these hijackings is so-called “intersectionality,” the concept that Israel it the unifying evil force in the world that ties together problems far distant from Israel, including alleged police brutality against and inequality among non-whites in the U.S. Israel thus serves the organizing purpose that Jews historically served in international conspiracy theories.

We have documented such intersectional hijackings any times, including with regard to Ferguson (Michael Brown) and Baltimore (Freddie Gray) riots, Eric Garner protests, the Standing Rock Sioux pipeline protest, domestic U.S. police shootingsReclaim MLK marches, and the Black Lives Matter movement, among others.

A recent focus is the plan to hijack the “anti-fascist” movement to turn it against Israel. We recently reported how Anti-Israel pro-BDS profs organizing Antifa campus network:…

I don’t know if this signals more aggressive anti-Israel activism at Cornell this academic year. There is a history we have covered before:

While BDS activity remains, anti-Israel activists are seeking new and creative ways to inject anti-Israelism into campus politics, as Algemeiner reports, New Report: Anti-Israel BDS Campaigns Drop by 40 Percent on US Campuses in Past Year, but Are Turning Increasingly Aggressive.

I think we are in for an interesting year on campuses.

Eternal vigilance is needed to proactively prevent these hijackings.

[Featured Image: Cornell Tech website, credit Kilograph)]


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4th armored div | September 19, 2017 at 3:01 pm

to arms, to arms the Nazi fakistinians are coming –
this is NOT sarcasm.
if my grandparents, uncles and aunts took heed of what was happening in europe, there might have been a tiny chance that they would not have been killed.

this is an existential situation.
Thank G-d Hillary is not POTUS.

There used to be this rhyme about “sticks and stones” and such but obviously we ‘old timers’ were made of sterner stuff.

4th armored div | September 19, 2017 at 3:58 pm

Prof –
my comment is off topic, I am so angry by the Lynching of our President, like him or not (and I do) he is being railroad by the swamp critters.
Clinton and the Crime family got a total free pass and DJT, who is a newbie straight-shooter and not a politician is being railroaded. if this stands we will surely have riots in the streets and a civil war.
he is not using his office to enrich himself and trying to MAGA.

i am so disgusted with all this that i may just make aliyah and take my chances. i am poor, disabled and almost blind, but i can no longer tolerate what is going on.

we need to start a defense fund for DJT – not because he needs the cash, but because i want him to see how many support him with more than just a big mouth.
you start it and i will kick in my 2$ sounds like a penny, but for me ot means buying a bag of candy or some other treat (which i don’t do very often)

Somewhere along the line we need to reaffirm the definition of racism. Just because you don’t like a person that is a different race, it is not racism. Hispanic or latino is not a race, it is an ethnicity. Alberto Fujimori, the past president of Peru is hispanic, but a racial Asian. Orlando Cepeda is hispanic and black.

Don’t let the left change the meaning of words to meet their needs.

    Milhouse in reply to Anchovy. | September 20, 2017 at 3:57 am

    This is a favorite trick of some people, mostly but not all on the left: get everyone to agree that some thing is wrong, and then constantly change its definition to include more and more things that nobody thought were wrong. My response is “If that’s your definition of racism then there’s nothing wrong with racism; my agreement that racism is wrong was predicated on the old definition”.

    But they do the same thing with terms like “rape” and “sexual assault”; everyone surely agrees that “rape rape”, as Whoopi Goldberg put it, or “legitimate rape” as Todd Akin did, is very wrong, but not everyone agrees that all the things crammed in under that label are so terrible, or even wrong at all.

    Another example, not from the left, is the use of the term “intellectual property” to pretend that copyrights and patents really are property, and therefore violating them is theft. “Intellectual property” is an analogy; these rights are not property, but the law treats them in similar ways, so it’s useful for some limited purposes to think of them that way. But they aren’t, really, and when the IP lobby uses the term literally it’s being dishonest.