CUNY resolution condemning ‘Israeli massacre of Palestinians’ sparks wave of union resignations

“You have chosen to support a terrorist organization whose goal is to destroy the State of Israel and kill all my relatives who live there,” wrote one professor.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

Some 50 City University of New York (CUNY) professors have resigned from their union after it passed a resolution that “condemns the massacre of Palestinians by the Israeli state’’ and Israel’s “expansionism and violent incursions into occupied territories,” the New York Post reported on Monday.

The resolution, which called CUNY to adopt BDS policies and said that the union “cannot be silent about the continued subjection of Palestinians to the state-supported displacement, occupation, and use of lethal force by Israel,” immediately sparked backlash among CUNY faculty.

Likening the plight of the Palestinians to the conditions of blacks in apartheid-era South Africa, the resolution did not mention the 4,000 rockets launched by Gaza-based terror groups into Israeli communities.

While the resolution was proposed in June, it only passed in recent days, sparking a wave of resignations from the union.

“With the…resolution, you have chosen to support a terrorist organization, Hamas, whose goal (`From the River to the Sea’) is to destroy the State of Israel and kill all my relatives who live there,” wrote Prof. Yedidyah Langsam, chairman of Brooklyn’s College’s Computer and Information Science Department in his resignation letter to the union’s president.

“By endorsing this resolution you have made many Jewish faculty and students uncomfortable with being associated with Brooklyn College and CUNY to the point of fearing for our safety. Have you and your colleagues forgotten the exponential increase in anti-Semitic attacks against Jews in the NY City area?” Langsam added.

“Our union has evolved…in ways that make it unrecognizable,” read a statement from a group encouraging professors to leave the union. “They now spend money and time on activities that have nothing to do with our careers. Instead they focus on foreign politics even when much of the membership has no interest in these activities.

“We have therefore decided to no longer fund this union with our wages. We can no longer remain members of this union.”

The union’s president, James Davis, said he understood the concerns of some of the faculty but reframed the resistance to the resolution as part of a right-wing anti-union conspiracy.

“Many members are absolutely sincere in their distress, but we also know that a pressure campaign has been launched by people who… have been waiting eagerly, since the 2018 anti-union Janus v AFSCME Supreme Court decision, for an opportunity to peel members away,” Davis told the Post.