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Civil Rights Groups Urge NYU to Discipline ‘Mock Eviction’ Leafletters

The Brandeis Center and the Lawfare Project explained that the mock eviction notices "raise questions about respect, civility and about sensitivity for the reasonable concerns of Jewish students."
John Sexton, President of New York University

John Sexton, President of New York University
Photo Credit: YouTube

On Friday, May 2, the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights under Law  and The Lawfare Project  urged New York University President John Sexton and his administration to “firmly and forcefully” discipline the students who shoved inflammatory materials into students’ private rooms at two New York University dormitories on April 24.

The two independent national civil rights organizations had been approached by New York University undergraduate students who are concerned about an atmosphere of intimidation and harassment in which mock eviction notices were pushed under the dormitory room doors and into the dormitory rooms of Jewish and non-Jewish students.  These flyers contain inflammatory and false accusations and were placed in a manner that created understandable anguish and alarm among the students.

In a letter to President Sexton and Vice Chancellor Linda Mills, the Brandeis Center and The Lawfare Project emphasized that the mock eviction notices raised “serious issues under federal civil rights law.”  Specifically, the groups reminded President Sexton and Vice Chancellor Mills that Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin in programs that receive federal funds.  “More broadly,” the two organizations wrote, “they raise questions about respect, civility, and mutual understanding and about sensitivity for the reasonable concerns of Jewish students.”

At approximately 3:00 a.m. on Thursday, April 24, 2014, mock eviction notices spreading anti-Israel sentiment had been distributed throughout New York University’s Palladium and Lafayette dormitories by members of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP).

The eviction notices state, “Palestinian homes are destroyed as part of the state of Israel’s ongoing attempts to ethnically cleanse the region of its Arab inhabitants and maintain an exclusively Jewish character of the state.  By destroying Palestinian homes, the state makes room for illegal Israeli settlements.  The Israeli government itself describes this process as Judaization.”

Not only is this grossly inaccurate, but it reinforces pernicious stereotypes and defamations about the Jewish people.

The Brandeis Center and The Lawfare Project explained to Sexton and Mill that “dormitory rooms are virtually the opposite of public forums for speech and debate.  Rather, they are spaces in which students are most vulnerable.  There is no part of a university campus in which is it more crucial to protect student safety, security, and privacy.  This is particularly true during late hours of the night.”

New York University, like many other institutions, has instituted reasonable, content-neutral rules prohibiting the kind of infractions that were committed here.  The civil rights groups insisted that it is “absolutely imperative” that NYU “fully and firmly enforce these rules against the perpetrators immediately, taking fully into consideration the invasiveness of the behavior and the foreseeable harms to dormitory students.”

The Brandeis Center and The Lawfare Project also urged NYU to take into proper consideration that the offensiveness of the perpetrators’ actions was heightened by their selection of a dormitory that is well known to house an unusually high concentration of Jewish students.

“As you are no doubt aware,” they wrote, “Palladium is the only dormitory building at New York University that has a Shabbat elevator.  A university spokesman has argued that the elevator was installed at this location for reasons that are unrelated to the building’s high concentration of Jewish residents.  This is entirely beside the point. Regardless of the reason for which the elevator was initially installed, your students have made clear to us that its existence is one of the reasons that so many prominent Jewish students are known to live there.  If Palladium was targeted in any part because of its concentration of Jewish students, then this factor must be considered in determining the nature and severity of the infraction.  Either way, however, the perpetrators’ choice of this particular building has aggravated the impact of the infractions.”

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36 Responses to “Civil Rights Groups Urge NYU to Discipline ‘Mock Eviction’ Leafletters”

  1. Evict members of SJP instead

  2. Carolin Knox says:

    It is tragic that they have to be told to punish the perpetrators of this anti-Semitic act.

  3. This is a hate crime, pure and simple.

  4. Lau Ryder says:

    The perpetrators should be suspended from school for at least one semester.

  5. The folks who did this need to be outed and face the consequences for there are always consequences for ones actions.

  6. Ira Abramson says:

    Happened in Florida at FAU.

  7. they should be EXPELLED!! Harassment charges should be filed. AND CIVIL RIGHTS VIOLATIONS AS WELL.. can you imagine if this was done to BLACK students?? Jesse & Al & the new MAYOR would be calling for the death penalty

  8. No one screaming about this of course and as usual. It’s SICK.

  9. Dan Silagi says:

    Bryan J. Maloney First, there's a difference between saying you're the KKK, which has been labeled a terrorist organization by the US Attorney General's office, and what these pro-Palestinian putzes did. They did not try to terrorize anyone, just make a political point, which I totally disagree with. If it were an actual "eviction notice" it would be a totally different story. All I'm saying is the latter is protected speech under the First Amendment, just as protesting abortion clinics is, and by the way, I'm totally pro-choice.

  10. Your Heart Knows the truth of Quran And your souls are believes in holy Quran that’s why you Don’t agree for bet Heaven with me Other wise come on bet Heaven, you can bet in your Heart either, Remember Children’s are bonded with animals

  11. Lau Ryder says:

    I agree Charna, but you and I both know those students will not be expelled and we will be lucky to see a term suspension. Unfortunately, we are held to different standards, good and bad. : /

  12. David Bryan says:

    We are reacting wrong to this, notices should be left all at dorms announcing the “wanted for murder and genocide” by all islamic and arab peoples. Demanding their deportation to Arabia at once.

  13. this speaks to a even more serious problem-the lack of college administration oversight in student affairs-they’re asleep at the wheel. I would not want to be a Jewish student on an American campus right now nor the parent of one. This is how it starts people -WAKE-UP!

  14. this speaks to a even more serious problem-the lack of college administration oversight in student affairs-they’re asleep at the wheel. I would not want to be a Jewish student on an American campus right now nor the parent of one. This is how it starts people -WAKE-UP!

  15. Serve SJP with eviction notice. On second thought — no notice, just through them out.

  16. If this was a joke or prank, I fail to see the humor. Bet it was some clique being funny, as they know nothing will ever happen to them.

  17. Hank Lukas says:

    it’s to bad that the Jewish Defense League is not around anymore, would be nice to see them break heads of anti-semites. To show don’t mess with Jews.

  18. If discipline could include hanging at the end of a rope, then it should be considered as to show you don’t mess with Jews.

  19. Suspending them would not be effective.

  20. as a former student of NYU I am very much disappointed in the whole handling of this

  21. I fully agree with him Not only is it causing discord on campuses leading to a dangerous ideology not supported by the west they continually disrupt students and their studies. Parents pay a lot of money to have children attend these institutions of higher learning and they should feel protected and not violated by homeland strife while studying as American or living abroad. These Universities should to start making restitution and monetary damages to students who have been disrupted if they knowingly let these students infringe on the rights of others to be targeted in their home away from homes in the dorms. The overwhelming majority of individuals would not let these people on their front porches or their property to leave literature in the sanctity of a private residence and parents pay top dollar to let these students rent a dorm room. They should feel protected from intrusion at all times.

  22. Even if a group did not identify themselves as KKK, had this been done to a dormitory of predominately black students, the president would have immediately gone on the air condemning it and explaining to the rest of the US how we should understand the feelings of blacks based on their past history.

    Intimidation of Jewish students has been going on all across the US on campuses and not a word from him. This should be taken seriously.

  23. Anonymous says:

    the grifter in the white house is a Jew hater so of course he's silent. where are the congresspeople who could be yelling and screaming about the intimidation and threats Jewish students are facing on every campus across the u.s. the usual suspects are the left wing arabists in support ( they imagine) of islam. the death cult no one seems to have the backbone to confront. except for Israel. the Jewish state that is taking on the responsiblity for the whole world on its shoulders.

  24. Alan Kardon says:

    Invasion of private property is not free speech.

  25. Alan Kardon says:

    Dan Silagi I agree, we should find the people who did this and throw them in the trash.

  26. Dan Silagi says:

    Alan Kardon Then NYU has to ban ALL flyers coming under the door. They cannot be selective.

  27. Dan Silagi says:

    Actually, I totally agree with you. But the law doesn't.

  28. Dan Silagi says:

    The First Amendment. One of the columnists here, a "recovered lawyer," cited a Supreme Court case which she claimed said that a business could ban flyers placed under the door. She's right, except the ban has to be of all flyers, not just certain flyers.

  29. Alan Kardon says:

    If you put flyers, any flyers, under my door you have invaded my privacy. I have a right to protect myself. Simple solution let someone try to do it to me. They better hope I do not find them.

  30. Dan Silagi says:

    If you own your own house, as I do, you make the rules. But at NYU, the students rented their dorm rooms, and the landlord (NYU) makes the rules. If NYU said that pro-Israel leaflets would be allowed and not pro-Arab ones, that would be a First Amendment violation.

  31. Alan Kardon says:

    Dan Silagi Forgery is not protected by the 1st Amendment. Neither is harassment.

  32. Dan Silagi says:

    Read the story again. This was not forgery. The BDS-holes clearly gave the name of their organization, and stated that this wasn't a real eviction notice. Nor is it harassment. Another, more intrusive example are the robo-calls we all get from political candidates. They are exempted from the Do Not Call list, and there's a reason for that: It would be considered a First Amendment violation to bar political speech. It's not a violation to bar Joe's Roofers from calling someone on the Do Not Call list to try to sell him a new roof.

  33. Alan Kardon says:

    Dan Silagi That's ok with me. They also should have better security as to enters the building. If they are responsible, let them be more responsible.

  34. Alan Kardon says:

    Can you please show me what you are stating is in the letter? I seem to have missed it. Also did they get authorization to use someone's name and title?

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