'Students for Justice Palestine' demand Rutgers University divest from 'Israeli settler colonialism'

The keffiyeh-clad spokespeople suggested that they had been ordered to cease operations due to "Zionist pressure."

Jarryd Jaeger Vancouver, BC

Following the lifting of their group's suspension on Wednesday, members of Students for Justice in Palestine at Rutgers University-New Brunswick held a press conference, laying out a "list of demands" for administrators including to divest from what they referred to as "Israeli settler colonialism."

The keffiyeh-clad spokespeople suggested that they had been ordered to cease prior operations due to "Zionist pressure" and vowed to keep agitating "until our homeland is liberated, from the river to the sea." 

"The demands that we have for the university are clear," a male spokesman began. "One, Rutgers University must identify and terminate the position of the administrator who leaked a private suspension letter including the name and contact information of a member of the Students for Justice in Palestine to media outlets, and issue a public apology for compromising student safety." 

He went on to list five demands the group had previously made to the Rutgers administration.  

"One, Rutgers must divest its endowment fund from Israeli bonds and corporations upholding the Israeli settler colonialism, apartheid, and genocide. Two, Rutgers must end its agreement with Tel Aviv University, which welcomes TAU as a partner in the Helix Innovation Hub. Three, Rutgers must protect Palestinian students and advocates exercising their political rights. Four, Rutgers must release a statement from the office of the president acknowledging the ongoing genocide against Palestinians, its impact on the Palestinian community at our university, and advocating for a ceasefire. Five, Rutgers must hire additional professors specializing in Palestine and settler colonial studies and institute a department of Middle East studies." 

The spokesman called on Rutgers to "incorporate anti-Palestinian racism, which includes 'Naqba denial,' into all of its mandatory DEI training and race-based curricula for faculty and staff," and "provide resources for Palestinian and Arab students on campus in the form of an Arab cultural center." 

A female spokesperson began her segment of the video saying, “The work does not stop until our homeland is liberated.” 


The anonymous student declared, “Long live the intifada, globalize the intifada, long live Palestine.”

The female spokeswoman went on to refer to Rutgers' endowment fund as a "a portfolio of profiteering off Palestinian suffering," and demanded that the university divest from any company with even the most tangential ties to war in the Middle East, including Boeing, General Electric, and Motorola. 

During the press conference, the male spokesman wore a sweatshirt bearing the KIND logo. The snack bar company's founder, Daniel Lubetzky, is the Jewish son of a Holocaust survivor and has made it one of his missions in life to promote cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians. 

Lubetzky founded the OneVoice Movement over twenty years ago. The group "amplifies the voices of moderate Israelis and Palestinians seeking to end the conflict," and seeks to "reject the status quo and unlock the full potential of both peoples." 

As NorthJersey.com reports, SJP had been banned because "students were protesting in nonpublic forums, causing disruption to classes and university functioning, which are violations of university policy." The group, which also vandalized the business school, was mentioned in an investigation by officials into allegations of antisemitism on campus. 

None of this was mentioned during the press conference, however, with the group chalking it up to the university succumbing to "Zionist pressure." 

While SJP's suspension is lifted, the group will be on probation until December 2024.

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