A trip to Israel meant to introduce students to “Israel beyond the headlines” has been boycotted by a coalition of two dozen clubs from New York University (NYU).
The subsidized trip, called the NYU Israel Experience, will take approximately 25 student leaders to Israel in January to “promote intersectionality and inclusiveness,” according to the application.
A coalition led by the recently created NYU chapter of the far-left Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) has made a “pledge to not participate in or apply” for the trip because they say it is a “propaganda” program that is “part of the right-wing strategy to combat the Palestinian movement for human rights and self-determination in the academy.”
The coalition includes the NYU College Democrats, NYU Against Fascism, NYU Freedom for North Korea, the Arab Student Union, Democratic Socialists of America at NYU, NYU Student for Justice in Palestine, NYU Disorientation and the Queer Union — NYU.
“Out of solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for human rights and self-determination and their demand for Israeli adherence to international law, we refuse to go on a trip that includes a visit to illegally occupied land,” the coalition’s boycott statement states.
The Maccabee Task Force (MTF) funding the program does not pass muster, either. The coalition blasts the Sheldon Adelson-backed pro-Israel campus advocacy organization.
“We refuse to go on a trip funded by a group as toxic and Islamophobic as Sheldon Adelson’s Maccabee Task Force,” reads their boycott letter. It cited Adelson’s conservative views as its reasoning, as well as MTF’s former funding of “Islamophobic groups like the David Horowitz Freedom Center,” which links student activists to terror organizations. MTF has since cut ties with the Horowitz Center.
According to the coalition, if a boycott, divestment, and sanctions resolution is put up for a campus vote, students that participate in the trip may be thought to have a “conflict of interest.”
David Brog, executive director of MTF, told the Washington Free Beacon: “It is extremely, extremely troubling that the College Democrats have taken the side of extremists who want to prolong the conflict by insisting that one and only one side is to blame, Israel, instead of taking the side that promotes education, which will ultimately lead to peace.”
Brog said the NYU College Democrats have been duped by misinformation campaigns which spread lies about Israel.
According to Jenny Neuman, secretary for the NYU College Democrats, the group participated in the boycott after deliberating with their executive board. They found that “the source of funding for the highly subsidized trip from Sheldon Adelson and the Maccabee Task Force create a conflict of interest for student leaders.”
“We also feel that Israel’s illegal occupation of the West Bank since 1967 directly undermines our support of Palestinian dignity and sovereignty,” Neuman said.