Last week, New York University conferred its President’s Service Award on Student for Justice in Palestine (SJP), one of the most vicious campus anti-Israel groups. The school’s president, although he has firmly rebuffed calls for the university to boycott the Jewish state, ignored pleas to reverse the award committee’s decision. Jonathan Marks comments;
So enthusiastic are the NYU chapter of SJP’s members that two were arrested last year for disrupting a celebration of Israel’s independence. Law enforcement has terms to describe stealing flags and hurting people as you rip microphones from their hands, such as “robbery in the second degree” and “assault in the third degree.” NYU, on the other hand, calls such actions having an “extraordinary and positive impact on the university community.” . . .
The NYU spokesman John Beckman [defended the award by claiming] that although “many in our university community disagree with the SJP, NYU will continue to defend the rights of our students and others to express their opposing views.” By conflating respecting free speech and rewarding discriminatory behavior, Beckman managed in one brief statement to declare NYU both morally and intellectually bankrupt.
Those looking to excuse the school’s president Andrew Hamilton and NYU can point to how the ceremony was handled. SJP complained that Hamilton didn’t show up and that [those conducting the ceremony were] “not calling out the names of the award recipients. Pathetic.” Here, I must agree for the first time with Students for Justice in Palestine. Even if SJP is right that Hamilton and NYU were sending a message in the way they handled the ceremony, this coward’s mode of distancing is, indeed, pathetic.