Former CAIR Employee Tapped to Investigate Antisemitism at CUNY

Cuny School of Law (Google)

By Matis Glenn

A former employee of a BDS-backing organization has been appointed to investigate allegations of antisemitism at CUNY schools, reports the Daily Caller. CUNY Chancellor Felix Matos Rodriguez appointed Saly Abd Alla, who previously worked at CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations), a BDS-supporting organization, to oversee an investigation into allegations made by Kingsborough Community College Professor Jeffrey Lax that CUNY faculty had discriminated against him for being Jewish. Lax filed a complaint saying that his fellow faculty members arranged a meeting on Shabbos in an effort to exclude him from attending.

City Councilwoman Inna Vernikov (R) responded to the appointing of Alla several times on social media. “CUNY assigning a former CAIR Rep to investigate allegations of Antisemitism is like hiring David Duke to investigate racism,” she further told Hamodia.

According to the Anti-Defamation League, CAIR has ties to Hamas, and was founded by members of organizations which were allies of the Palestinian terrorist group, which regularly calls for the annihilation of Israel.

On June 30, Councilmembers Inna Vernikov and Eric Dinowitz held a hearing of the Committee for Higher Education to address antisemitism at CUNY.

The seven hour-long hearing featured testimonies from students and faculty decrying what they say is the increasingly hostile and intolerant culture in CUNY schools for Israeli and Jewish students, and a deep bias in the way faculty present Israel in relation with other countries when discussing human rights issues.

CUNY Chancellor Felix Matos Rodriguez was conspicuously absent from the hearing, and instead sent representatives who appeared remotely.

Among those who testified at the hearing were students Joshua Greenberg  of Baruch College and Tzvia Waronker of John Jay, who said that they were harassed and targeted for being Jewish.

Susan Tuchman, of the Zionist Organization of America said, “At a rally to protest tuition rises, Jewish students were threatened…one student threatening to light someone on fire because they wore a sweatshirt in support of Israel.”

That student, who threatened to murder a Jew, was Nerdeen Kiswani – she was selected by CUNY School of Law’s student body to deliver this year’s commencement speech at graduation.

In the weeks after the hearing, Vernikov says that she has made repeated efforts to arrange a meeting with Mayor Eric Adams, and has asked him to make a statement on the issue; as of yet, to no avail. “I’ve been speaking to the mayor’s office about antisemitism at CUNY for over two months now,” Vernikov told the New York Post. “I’ve requested a statement and a meeting with the Mayor to discuss this very important topic that impacts thousands of Jewish New Yorkers. A new semester has begun but I’ve been given the runaround.”

“The delay on the part of the mayor’s office to address the issue of pervasive Antisemitism on campuses, where students are afraid to be openly Jewish or freely express their pro-Israel viewpoints, is puzzling and quiet frankly frustrating. I know the Mayor cares about the Jewish community, but a statement acknowledging and condemning Antisemitism at City University of New York is not complicated. I am hopeful that the Mayor comes to the table very soon,” she said.

Last month, Vernikov met with Bill Thompson, Chairman of the CUNY board of trustees, together with former City Councilman Dov Hikind; Vernikov said on social media that she was “impressed with his clear determination to help address this serious issue.”

“CUNY is committed to cultivating a diverse and inclusive community,” Joseph Tirella, a spokesperson for CUNY told the Post on behalf of Alla, “free from antisemitism and all forms of hate, and safe for all individuals. All CUNY chief diversity officers are professionals and trained to ensure the University and its campuses comply with workplace rules and carry out when needed fair and impartial investigations of workplace discrimination.”

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