November 20, 2019
Contact: Avi D. Gordon, Executive Director Alums for Campus Fairness
917-512-4585, [email protected]
Statement Commending Vassar College President Bradley
Last week, Fairness to Israel (FTI), the Vassar College chapter of Alums for Campus Fairness, condemned the disruption of a presentation by an Israeli speaker, Hen Mazzig. Not only did the protesters attempt to shut down Mazzig’s talk by crowding the hallway, making loud noises and blasting music, but they engaged in antisemitic chanting, including the chant “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” President Bradley quickly released a statement that recognized that the protesters violated school policy with respect to engaging in peaceful protest and that there would be consequences for the students’ actions.
President Bradley’s intial statement was an appropriate start to an ongoing conversation about SJP’s orchestrated disruption of a talk by an Israeli speaker whom they sought to vilify. However, as many FTI members explained to President Bradley, it was important that she also unequivocally recognize the antisemitic nature of SJP’s chants. On November 18th, President Bradley released a stronger statement denouncing “anti-Semitism, hate speech, or discrimination of any kind.” FTI stands with President Bradley in believing that “ the use of the chant—in this way, directed at this speaker—crossed the line into anti-Semitism.”
FTI thanks President Bradley for engaging with our leadership (as well as other alumnae/i, the students, and scholarly experts in antisemitism) and issuing a statement that explicitly affirms that Vassar will “support an environment and structures in which free speech flourishes” and all students are free from discrimination. FTI will continue its positive relationship with President Bradley to support the Jewish community and all others at Vassar who are committed to ensuring fair and open dialogue about Israel and a campus free of antisemistism.
About ACF: Alums for Campus Fairness (ACF) is America’s unified alumni voice on issues of antisemitism, demonization of Israel, and bigotry. With over thirty-five chapters, ACF positions thousands of alumni on the front lines of key issues at their alma maters and works to ensure that universities remain pillars of open dialogue and equal opportunity for all students. For more information, please visit www.campusfairness.org.