AJC New Jersey Regional Director David Levy released the following statement in reaction to the agreement made between Rutgers News Brunswick Campus administration and protest encampment leaders. 

“I am appalled by the capitulation of President Holloway, Chancellor Conway, and Rutgers University to the protesters illegally encamped on the Rutgers New Brunswick Campus. As the husband of a Rutgers Douglas College graduate and the father of a Rutgers University and Rutgers Law School alum, I am especially disappointed by the failure of an institution that has meant so much to my family to live up to its values.

“In response to the protesters’ disruption of final exams – a violation of university guidelines for free expression on campus which impacted 1,000 Rutgers University students whose exams had to be postponed on Thursday morning – the university entered into an agreement that rewards the protesters' unlawful actions. They have acquiesced to a mob that has directly threatened Jewish students, in violation of the University’s student code of conduct, through their calls for an ‘Intifada Revolution’ and the elimination of the State of Israel. They have forged an agreement that appears to let the protesters’ violations go unpunished, instead emphasizing the short-term gains made by disbanding the protests. 

“The agreement notes that the university will work with the committee of students, faculty, and staff to support 10 displaced Palestinian students who will finish their education at Rutgers. One wonders if the same will be done for 10 Israeli students displaced by the October 7 attack and its aftermath, so that they too can finish their education at Rutgers. In fact, nowhere in the Chancellor’s message or in the agreement is there any recognition of the deleterious impact of this protest on Israeli students, or on Jewish students who have been targeted for attack through inflammatory protest messaging and have been made less safe on their own campuses by an encampment which impacted their access to classroom buildings and was constructed in close proximity to their Hillel.

“We believe that what the Chancellor described as a resolution ‘achieved through constructive dialogue’ with the protesting students to ensure the ‘University’s smooth operation’ was short-sighted, and an attempt to avoid enforcing its own policies when it became inconvenient for them to do so. 

“Rather than enforcing consequences for student protesters who broke the rules, President Holloway instead capitulated to these rule-breakers. The overall message the administration at Rutgers has communicated to their campus community is that disruption, failure to respect established rules, and even threats of violence constitute effective negotiation tactics for gaining ground. Where does this leave Jewish students, who must now contend with the unacknowledged hatred of antisemitic protest messaging as well as an administration that has clearly communicated that there is no stable infrastructure of rules in place to protect them – or any student – from bullying, harassment, and a toxic campus climate?”



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