Students for Justice in Palestine at Cornell Stage Anti-Israel Protest

Written by Casey Breznick and Andres Sellitto.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwUnm0dtfrY&feature=youtu.be

A ragtag group of students, faculty, and city locals associated with Cornell’s chapter of Students of Justice in Palestine (SJP) gathered in Cornell’s central campus Friday afternoon to stage a protest against Israel and Operation Protective Edge.

The protestors stood in a crescent formation in Ho Plaza, one of Cornell’s most-walked intersections, as many hundreds of disinterested students walked by during the hour-long ordeal. At the peak, SJP’s numbers reached about 40. Occasionally, they were joined by either confused or gleeful students eager to chant for a minute or so before booking it to lunch or class.

Needless to say, the rhetoric of the several speakers using a bullhorn was as expected narrow-minded, reminiscent of Hamas’s propaganda talking points, and at times just bizarre.

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Along with chants like “From river to sea Palestine will be free!” to “Resistance is justified when you’re occupied,” the major speech delivered by an unidentified student dressed in a black thawb (a traditional Middle Eastern ankle-length robe) included such memorable lines as “Palestinian resistance group” when referring to terrorist organization Hamas and “Israel was established militarily in 1948 as an exclusionary state based on Jewish ethnic supremacy.”

Another off the wall remarke included something along the lines of “Israel’s occupation of Palestine is the number one cause of anti-Semitism in the world.”

However, surely topping it all off was this rallying cry: “… the general opinion in Israel and the United States that the life of a Palestinian Arab is worth jackshit next to the life of an Israeli Jew.”

One figure in the audience, Cornell researcher Don Barry, astronomy, was handing out flyers advertising the World Socialist Web Site and the International Youth and Students for Social Equality.

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Another older man, who refused to identify himself, was quoted in a Cornell Review interview saying, “In a world without capitalism Israel has no place.”

In the midst of the protest, an unidentified graduate student approached a Review staff member asking him to stop filming the event (see video for confrontation). The protester challenging the Review’s freedom of the press eventually walked away before the situation got out of hand.

Rounding out the speakers’ anti-Israel talking points were the attempts to implicate Cornell and all of its students and faculty for the deaths of Palestinians in Gaza. Because Cornell’s endowment is partially invested in Israeli companies like SodaStream and companies that do significant business in Israel like Raytheon, the protesters concluded that anyone paying tuition to or working for Cornell is funding Israel’s military.

About twenty feet down the plaza from where the protesters were gathered stood a few Jewish students from Challah for Hunger selling challah bread to raise money for poor families in Israel and the United States.

The Students for Justice in Palestine were not seen fundraising for the children and families of Gaza.

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The Return of The Cornell Review

Dear Readers,

It is with great enthusiasm that I and the rest of the editorial board of The Cornell Review announce our return to online and print publishing for the 2014-2015 academic year.

We expect the first issue of our print publication to be distributed in early September. In the mean time and throughout the semester, we will post content to our blog, The Cornell Insider, regularly.

I expect this year to feature many excellent opportunities for the Review to do what it does best:  articulating conservative and libertarian ideas and perspectives while exposing and disproving those of liberals and progressives on campus and around the world.

With the 2014 midterm elections approaching rapidly; militarized chaos around the world; a border crisis of our own; and scandal after scandal emanating from various federal agencies, I do not doubt the Review will suffer a lack of subject matter.

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However, I have made it a priority for myself and our staff to pay special attention to local and campus-specific issues, as they often supersede national and international issues in relevance and importance to the student body. Topics that rocked campus last year – divestment from Israel, divestment of certain energy types, continuing free bus passes for freshmen, and many more – were under-covered in the Review. The result was that the conservative and libertarian perspectives were underrepresented in these important campus-wide debates.It is unacceptable to me that one publication, which, despite some efforts otherwise, is overwhelming biased against conservatism and libertarianism, can dominate campus discourse.

It will be a challenge to elevate the Review to the readership and influence required to be taken seriously by most of the campus. It is not a lofty goal, though. It can be achieved through hard work and dedication.

That is why all of us at have already begun our efforts to bring the conservative and libertarian voices to campus.

With two days until the start of the next academic year at Cornell, our staff has already begun working on our first issue. It will feature great pieces on topics ranging from the Israel-Hamas conflict to the debate on campus rape.

Anyone interested in joining the Review, or is interested in reaching out for more information, is more than welcome to email us at cornellreview@cornell.edu or me personally at cb628@cornell.edu (latter is preferable). You can also reach out to our Facebook page or my personal Facebook profile as well, and you can follow us on Twitter at @cornellreview.

Thank you to all readers and fans of The Cornell Review!

Sincerely,

Casey Breznick

Editor-In-Chief 2014-2015

Conservatives Censored on Campus: Morris Northstar Newspaper Trashed and Vandalized

  • The Morris NorthStar, a conservative student newspaper at the University of Minnesota Morris, claims a professor at the school incited the theft and trashing of all distributed copies of its paper last November.
  • In January, unknown perpetrators vandalized another 100 issues of the paper.
  • The NorthStar is mulling filing a First Amendment lawsuit against the professor. 

When is censorship actually censorship? You could ask Professor Paul Zachary “PZ” Myers, a biology professor and an award-winning scholar and blogger at the University of Minnesota Morris (UMM). Or, you could ask John Geiger, a sophomore majoring in German and Global Business Management and co-founder of the conservative student newspaper, the Morris NorthStar.

Several reports have recently surfaced alleging that, in several posts on his blog Pharyngula, Myers incited students at UMM to trash and vandalize copies of the NorthStar all together worth nearly 2,000 dollars because he disagreed with the student’s conservative politics and satire-driven publication. Continue reading

Leftist Student Mob Overtakes Cornell Student Assembly

  • A mob of about 100 leftist students overtook the Student Assembly to read aloud their previously-tabled resolution calling for divestment from businesses operating in Israel.
  • The mob also made other speeches and comments criticizing university policies and the Student Assembly as non-democratic and non-representative of the student body.
  • A confrontation with President David Skorton resulted in the president and vice-president’s exiting of the room after being barred from their pre-scheduled discussion with the Student Assembly. 

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Mobocracy has come to Cornell. As soon as the Cornell Student Assembly (SA) convened its weekly meeting on April 17 at 4:45 pm, approximately 100 students representing a consortium of leftist and liberal causes overtook the SA. The mob’s show ran for two hours and included endless self-congratulations, outlandish leftist polemics, unplugging of the SA’s microphones, and disrespectful confrontations with President David Skorton.

Following the SA’s roll-call, one student rose and announced a motion to overtake the SA, which was followed by a second and then a vocal approval from most of those in attendance. The students, led by several unidentified undergraduate and graduate students, reorganized the room’s folding chairs in a semi-circle with a large open space for speakers to address the SA, fellow mob members, and other audience members, including several students from pro-Israel groups and on-looking faculty. Continue reading

Student Assembly Rejects Resolution to Divest from Israel

On Thursday, April 10 the Cornell Student Assembly voted 15-8-1 to indefinitely table a formal Resolution to Divest from all companies that conduct business in Israel. The vote came after the Assembly overruled a motion by President Ulysses Smith, ’14, to disallow the tabling of the resolution until after it was presented.

Some of the businesses identified in the resolution as profiteers from Israel’s “military occupation” of and “abuses and violations” in Palestine that Cornell invests in included Tata Motors, Raytheon, Hewlett Packard and SodaStream. (No mention of the fact that Palestinians in Palestine employed by SodaStream like their employer.)

The outcome today was strictly procedural – the motion to table did not alter the substance of the resolution. However, as the Legal Insurrection blog noted, this outcome is a huge blow to Cornell’s Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), the drafters of the resolution. Continue reading