Connect with us

RSS

Jewish Vanderbilt University Student Group Denied Admission to Multicultural Organization

Students protest on the steps outside of Kirkland Hall at Vanderbilt University in Nashville , Tenn., Tuesday, March 26, 2024. Photo: Nicole Hester via REUTERS CONNECT

Amid a burst of antisemitism on college campuses across the US, the Students Supporting Israel (SSI) chapter at Vanderbilt University has been denied membership in the Multicultural Leadership Council (MLC) branch of student government.

According to The Vanderbilt Hustler, the group is the only one to be rejected from this year’s applicant pool, an outcome that SSI president Ryan Bauman said is evidence of febrile opposition to dialogue and coexistence among some segments of the student body. The only Jewish group to be admitted, Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), is a fringe anti-Israel organization that did not condemn Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel and has long celebrated terrorism against Israelis.

Among the nine groups to be admitted to the MLC this year were the Taiwanese American Student Association, Vanderbilt Pride Serve, the Vanderbilt Association for South Asian Cuisine, and the Vanderbilt Iranian Student Association. One of the 11 total organizations that applied, Vanderbilt United Mission for Relief and Development, is still awaiting an upcoming vote.

As a requirement of its application, SSI was told to deliver a presentation to the MLC but given only a few minutes to do so. Afterward, the group was cross-examined by the MLC — of which Students for Justice in Palestine is a member organization — about their opinions regarding “genocide” and “apartheid,” an apparent attempt to use the proceeding as a soapbox for anti-Zionist propaganda.

“We told them that we didn’t show up to discuss politics,” Bauman told The Algemeiner during an interview on Tuesday. “We told them we were there to celebrate Israeli culture and further the pro-Israel movement and invited them to have other dialogues at another time. We were then told to leave, and they held a closed session. And as you can see, it resulted in us being rejected by a wide margin.”

Vanderbilt University is not a terrible place to be a Jewish student, Bauman explained, but the persistence of anti-Zionists shaming them about their identities has caused them to feel marooned and misunderstood at a time when they want commiseration between all students affected by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“I really wish that they [the MLC] would reconsider. If they wanted to have hard conversations about their criticisms of Israel, let us join and have those conversations, but they can’t even look me in the eye and say that we have a right to our opinions,” he continued. “It’s awful and immensely sad to see that much obstinance exuding from college students who will become the future leaders of the world.”

Overall, Bauman added, the percentage of Vanderbilt University students who support movements like the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel is small. He credited the school for being “the best campus” for Jewish students.

“It’s complicated,” he said. “It’s hostile sometimes, but I feel very confident and comfortable walking around with my Star of David and going to Shabbat. And the university has done a phenomenal job making sure that there’s ample security at Chabad and in making Jewish students feel safe. They’ve been very helpful.”

Vanderbilt is still dealing with the aftermath of a disruption of university business last month by an anti-Zionist group that occupied an administrative building and proceeded to relieve themselves in plastic bottles. The activists assaulted and pushed university employees to gain access to the building and berated a Black public safety officer because he would not assist them in breaking school rules, according to campus officials and video footage of the demonstration.

On Friday, the university announced that several students involved in the unauthorized demonstration have been suspended or expelled and must immediately vacate its dormitories. School provost C. Cybele Raver expressed regret for levying severe punitive measures against the students.

“The gravity of this situation and these outcomes weighs heavily on those of us charged with carrying out our responsibility as leaders,” Raver said in a statement shared with The Algemeiner. She emphasized, however, that the students made their own “choices and decision” which prompted the “seriously and costly consequences.”

Asked about the Multicultural Leadership Council’s rejection of Students Supporting Israel, a university spokesperson said the school is reviewing the matter and will share any relevant information about its findings.

This is not the first time that Students Supporting Israel has been denied membership in a student organization. In 2021, the president of Duke University’s Student Government vetoed a vote approving recognition of SSI, an incident which set off volleys of criticism and a sharp rebuke from the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law.

“Grant them the same access,” Brandeis Center president Alyza Lewin said at the time, warning of potential civil rights violations. “Treat them no differently than any other student recognized organization. If the university chooses not to intervene and does not make sure that SSI gets equal access and it is understood to be no different than any other organization, there could be potential legal liability for the university.”

Follow Dion J. Pierre @DionJPierre.

The post Jewish Vanderbilt University Student Group Denied Admission to Multicultural Organization first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

RSS

OCAD University student is seeking $1M in damages—alleging a lack of protection from threats and abuse

Samantha Kline, 22, presented photos of antisemitic graffiti she says targeted her.

The post OCAD University student is seeking $1M in damages—alleging a lack of protection from threats and abuse appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

Continue Reading

RSS

Palestinian Islamic Jihad Releases New Propaganda Video of Israeli Hostage

Israeli hostage Alexander (Sasha) Trufanov as seen in a propaganda video released by Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Photo: Screenshot

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group on Tuesday released a short propaganda video featuring Israeli hostage Alexander (Sasha) Trufanov, 28, who was kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists during Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel.

The 30-second undated video shows Trufanov, an Amazon employee, identifying himself and saying that he will soon discuss what has happened to him and other hostages in Gaza.

Similar videos have been released by terrorists groups in Gaza. Israel has lambasted them as psychological warfare.

Trufanov’s mother said in a video released by the family that she was happy to see her son after all this time, but “it was heartbreaking” that he had been a hostage for so long.

Trufanov was an engineer at the Israeli microelectronics company Annapurna Labs, which Amazon owns.

Hamas-led Palestinian terrorists abducted over 250 people during their Oct. 7 onslaught. Trufanov was kidnapped alongside his mother, grandmother, and girlfriend.

All three were released as part of a temporary ceasefire agreement negotiated in November. His father, Vitaly Trufanov, was one of the 1,200 people killed during the Hamas massacre.

“The proof of life from Alexsander (Sasha) Trufanov is additional evidence that the Israeli government must give a significant mandate to the negotiating team,” the Hostages Families Forum, which represents the families of the hostages, said in a statement.

More than 120 hostages remain in Gaza, which is ruled by Hamas. Islamic Jihad is a separate but allied terrorist organization in the Palestinian enclave. Both are backed by Iran, which provides them with money, weapons, and training.

Negotiations brokered by Qatar, Egypt, and the US to reach a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas in Gaza have been stalled for weeks.

The post Palestinian Islamic Jihad Releases New Propaganda Video of Israeli Hostage first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

Continue Reading

RSS

Gal Gadot’s Action Movie Nabs Second Place on Netflix List of Most Watched Films in Second Half of 2023

Gal Gadot as Rachel Stone in a scene from the trailer for “Heart of Stone.” Photo: YouTube screenshot

Netflix released its engagement report that details the films with the most views from July 1 to Dec. 31, 2023, and Israeli actress Gal Gadot’s action thriller Heart of Stone secured the number two spot with 109.6 million views.

The film — starring Gadot alongside Jamie Dornan and Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt in leading roles — was the runner-up to Leave the World Behind, the drama starring Julia Roberts, Mahershala Ali, and Ethan Hawke that garnered 121 million views on Netflix.

Heart of Stone, directed by Tom Harper, was released on the streaming giant on Aug. 11 of last year. The action film is about international intelligence operative Rachel Stone, played by Gadot, who goes on a mission to protect an artificial intelligence system, known as The Heart, from falling in the wrong hands. The film was produced by Pilot Wave, a company founded by Gadot and her husband Jaron Varsano.

Gadot also stars in Netflix’s most popular film of all time, Red Notice, alongside Dwayne Johnson and Ryan Reynolds.

The post Gal Gadot’s Action Movie Nabs Second Place on Netflix List of Most Watched Films in Second Half of 2023 first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

Continue Reading

Copyright © 2017 - 2023 Jewish Post & News