CUNY Law speakers led antisemitic rally in 2022, resulted in brutal attack on innocent Jew

“More Jews will get hurt at or because of CUNY Law’s bigoted and violence-inciting incubator. It’s time for the American Bar Association or New York State to shut them down and ensure that no one else gets hurt,” Prof. Jeffrey Lax told World Israel News.

By World Israel News Staff

Two vehemently anti-Israel activists who delivered CUNY Law School’s commencement speeches in 2022 and 2023 were key speakers at a New York city pro-Palestinian rally that culminated in antisemitic attack against a Jewish man.

Both Nerdeen Kiswani and Fatima Mohammed made headlines for leveraging their commencement speeches as an opportunity to slam the Jewish state and promote a pro-Palestinian narrative.

Pro-Israel and Jewish activists have pointed to the speeches by Kiswani and Mohammed as evidence of pervasive antisemitism at CUNY, which makes Jewish staff and students feel unsafe at the educational instituion.

But according to a Times of Israel report on Tuesday, the women’s involvement with pushing a virulent anti-Israel narrative has led to real-world consequences for Jews off-campus as well.

The women are members of the If Not Now organization, a pro-Palestinian group that has called for the destruction of Israel and demonizes Zionism. Both Kiswani and Mohammed spoke at an If Not Now rally held near the Israeli consulate in Manhattan in April 2022, TOI reported.

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During that demonstration, Kiswani led chants accusing “Zionists” of committing “genocide,” called for a “globalized intifada,” and advocated for “freeing every inch of Palestine” by “any means necessary.” Notably, Mohammed made those same points the following year in her commencement speech.

At the rally, Mohammed chanted, “Glory to the martyrs, glory to the resistance, glory to Palestinian men fighting on the land,” and swore “by Allah” that the collapse of the State of Israel was imminent.

Matt Greenman, a Jewish man who was participating in a counter-rally, was then viciously beaten on the street nearby in an unprovoked attack by attendees of the pro-Palestinian demonstration.

One of Greenman’s assailants was recently sentenced to prison after being found guilty of hate crime charges.

“In calling for ‘revolution’ against capitalism and ‘rage’ against Zionist Jews, Fatima Mohammed’s commencement speech came dangerously close to incitement to violence which, of course, is not protected under the First Amendment. So, it is hardly surprising to hear that she spewed similarly venomous and dangerous language at Nerdeen Kiswani’s rally the year before. That rally did lead to violence against a Jewish victim,” Prof. Jeffrey Lax, business department chair at CUNY’s Kingsborough Community College and founder of S.A.F.E. CUNY, a non-profit that advocates for Zionist Jews systemically discriminated against and excluded by the CUNY, told World Israel News.

“Instead of taking precautions to protect its students, and especially its Jews, CUNY School of Law praised Kiswani and now stands proudly behind Mohammed’s hate, vitriol, and dangerous language,” Lax said. “More Jews will get hurt at or because of CUNY Law’s bigoted and violence-inciting incubator. It’s time for the American Bar Association or New York State to shut them down and ensure that no one else gets hurt.”

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In a separate incident in 2021, several pro-Palestinian men affiliated with If Not Now attacked a Jewish man wearing a kippah shortly after a demonstration. One of them, Wasseem Awawdeh, was recently sentenced to 18 months in jail for the assault.

Citing a policy of refusing to speak to “Zionist media,” If Not Now declined to comment on the TOI report.