Editor's Note: The following correspondence was initiated by JewHatredonCampus.org founder David Horowitz who sent a letter to Cornell President David Skorton explaining the reasons why Cornell was ranked among the 10 Most Anti-Semitic College Campuses in America and to offer our assistance in rectifying this dismal rating. President Skorton responded by attempting to minimize the instances of anti-Semitism described in our report as "generated by one group, Students for Justice in Palestine." David Horowitz responded by dismissing this explanation as inadequate because, "the activities of Students for Justice in Palestine and the closely related BDS movement are the primary causes of the rash of anti-Semitic events and incidents on college campuses across the country, and at Cornell." He asked President Skorton to explain how the university can justify giving official university recognition and funding to Students for Justice in Palestine when its key mission, "the destruction of the Jewish state," violates Cornell's official policies on diversity and non-discrimination.
Letter to Cornell President David Skorton from JewHatredonCampus.org Founder David Horowitz:
Dr. David J. Skorton
Dear President Skorton:
My organization, “JewHatredonCampus.org,” has published a list of the 10 Most Anti-Semitic college campuses, which includes Cornell University. Our list has been published on websites that reach more than 100 million viewers.
The specific events meriting the inclusion of Cornell on this list include:
· The introduction in student government of a resolution to Boycott, Divest from and Sanction Israel (BDS). The BDS movement is an anti-Semitic campaign – described as such by former Harvard president Larry Summers - whose purpose is to destroy the Jewish state.
· The verbal and physical harassment of peaceful pro-Israel protestors at Cornell including such taunts as “F—k you Zionist scum” and “I swear to God I will f--king slap you.” One student had a sign torn out of his hands and water thrown on him. The pro-Israel signs of other students were smeared with ketchup.
· The organization by Students for Justice in Palestine of a mock Israeli checkpoint at Ho Plaza, a central student gathering point on campus, to harass students with anti-Israel propaganda as they attempt to move about campus.
· The placement by SJP of dozens of signs containing anti-Israel propaganda including false information and statistics around campus.
· The disruption and takeover of a student government meeting by members of an “Ad Hoc Assembly” consisting of members of Students for Justice in Palestine and other students who were upset about the tabling of a resolution to boycott and divest from Israel.
These activities violate Cornell University’s policy on the “Principle of Freedom with Responsibility” which states that:
"The principle of freedom with responsibility is central to Cornell University. Freedoms to teach and to learn, to express oneself and to be heard, and to assemble and to protest peacefully and lawfully are essential to academic freedom and the continuing function of the University as an educational institution. Responsible enjoyment and exercise of these rights mean respect for the rights of all. Infringement upon the rights of others or interference with the peaceful and lawful use and enjoyment of University premises, facilities, and programs violates this principle."
Additionally, Cornell’s policy on “Bias Incidents” states that:
"Under Cornell’s specific definition, a bias incident is an act of bigotry, harassment, or intimidation that occurs on the Cornell campus or within an area that impacts the Cornell community and that one could reasonably conclude is directed at a member or a group of the Cornell community because of that individual’s or group’s actual or perceived age, color, creed, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity or expression, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status or any combination of these or related factors."
References: http://www.dfa.cornell.edu/cms/treasurer/policyoffice/policies/volumes/governance/upload/CCC.pdf; https://www.hr.cornell.edu/diversity/reporting/bias_response.html
Evidently, in the eyes of the Cornell administration, Jewish students are not protected under these policies. This is the primary reason for Cornell’s inclusion in the list of 10 Most Anti-Semitic campuses, and one we would like you to remedy.
These actions, which have been led by Students for Justice in Palestine on your campus, violate Cornell’s anti-discrimination policy and create a hostile environment for Jewish and pro-Israel students on your campus. Why is Students for Justice in Palestine receiving funding and other campus privileges from Cornell University, when its very purpose violates Cornell policy?
As an organization dedicated to combating campus anti-Semitism, we offer our assistance in rectifying this disturbing situation on your campus and ensuring that Jewish students at Cornell University can live and study in an environment free from fear and harassment.
We would recommend that your first step be to conduct an immediate inquiry into whether the organization Students for Justice in Palestine, which is responsible for these actions, is violating your “Principle of Freedom with Responsibility” and “Bias Incidents” policies. If you conclude this is the case, then you should remove their campus privileges and funding. This will send a strong message that harassment and intimidation of any minority, including Jews, will not be tolerated at Cornell.
Please contact me at the address below to let me know your plan of action, or if there is any way we can assist you to ensure that Cornell once again becomes a safe and welcoming environment for Jewish students.
David Horowitz Freedom Center
14724 Ventura blvd. #820
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
CC: Robert S. Harrison, David D. Croll, Andrew H. Tisch, Jan Rock Zubrow, Barbara A. Baird, Richard A. Baker, Matthew L. Biben, Jessica M. Bibliowicz, Richard L. Booth, Douglas L. Braunstein, Mario Cilento, Ezra Cornell, Gary S. Davis, Nicole B. DelToro, Elizabeth C. Everett, David R. Fischell, Gregory J. Galvin, Ross H. Gitlin, Rana Glasgal, Patricia E. Harris, Kraig H. Kayser, Ruben J. King-Shaw, Peggy J. Koenig, Robert S. Langer, Jr., Linda R. Macaulay, Lowell C. McAdam, William H. McAleer, Ronald D. McCray, John F. Megrue, Howard P. Milstein, Alan L. Mittman, John A. Noble, Peter J. Nolan, Barbara Goldman Novick, Annie O'Toole, Lubna Suliman Olayan, Armando J. Olivera, Donald C. Opatrny, William D. Perez, Leland C. Pillsbury, Bruce S. Raynor, Gene D. Resnick, Susan T. Rodriguez, Meredith A. Rosenberg, Paul A. Salvatore, Martin F. Scheinman, Dalia P. Stiller, Chiaki Tanuma, Ratan N. Tata, Lisa Skeete Tatum, Michael A. Troy, Sheryl Hilliard Tucker, M. Eileen McManus Walker, Padmasree Y. Warrior, Laura A. Wilkinson, Barton J. Winokur, Mariana F. Wolfner, Craig Yunker, Michael J. Zak, Karen P. Zimmer
Response to David Horowitz and JewHatredonCampus.org from Cornell President David Skorton:
Dear Mr. Horowitz,
I am aware of Cornell’s inclusion on your list of campuses with “the worst anti-Semitic activity.” JewHatredonCampus.org’s portrayal of Cornell does a great disservice to our university.
The representation of activity on our campus that supposedly justifies our inclusion on the list has many flaws. Perhaps most troubling is the absence of any information about the effective measures taken by the university to manage the activity while preserving the right to responsible free expression.
The Cornell entry cites a set of incidents generated by one group, Students for Justice in Palestine. It does not provide examples indicating broad anti-Semitism on our campus. The incidents include posting anti-Israel signs on a campus quad, disrupting a student assembly meeting, and disruptive behavior during a protest and counter-protest on a campus plaza. Cornell allows various forms of self-expression and dissent as long as individuals respect the rights of others according to the Campus Code of Conduct. The group received permission to post the signs after they followed the steps of our process for reviewing event requests. During the assembly and protest events, plainclothes police officers and university event managers were present to support free expression in a safe environment.
Cornell Police received two complaints of harassing and disorderly behavior by an individual not affiliated with Cornell during the outdoor protests. Following their investigation, the individual was arrested and arraigned in the City of Ithaca Court.
From its founding, Cornell has encouraged and supported a culture that allows the full participation of all members of our diverse community. The tremendous intellectual, social, and personal benefits of such a culture are possible only when individuals and groups respect one another’s differences and rights. The university’s commitment to responsible free expression is steadfast.
Response to Cornell President David Skorton from David Horowitz, Founder of JewHatredonCampus.org:
David J. Skorton
President, Cornell University
300 Day Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
March 19, 2015
Office of the President
Dear President Skorton,
Thank you for your response to our report about anti-Semitism on your campus. I understand your desire to earn praise for your good deeds, but these fall far short of those necessary to address the problem of anti-Semitism on your campus, and thus to earn the praise that you seek. In particular your email fails to address the specific incidents mentioned in our report but instead dismisses them as the activities of one presumably insignificant group. In fact the activities of Students for Justice in Palestine and the closely related BDS movement are the primary causes of the rash of anti-Semitic events and incidents on college campuses across the country, and at Cornell. Worse, your office funds SJP and provides it with official recognition and many campus privileges that would be denied to similar groups if their hate was directed at African Americans or gays or other minority groups. This is the issue your letter systematically avoids along with the evidence we provided in our report, which I am including at the bottom of this email.
Students for Justice in Palestine is organized for one sole purpose which is the destruction of the Jewish state. Ludicrous SJP attacks on Israel as an "apartheid state" are designed to delegitimize the only democracy in the Middle East and the only state in which Christians and gays are safe, in which women have equal rights, and in which Muslims have the rights accorded to citizens of a democratic society. Its familiar noxious chant, "From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free," is heard on your campus as on others. This chant expresses the genocidal intention of the terrorist organization Hamas and of Students for Justice in Palestine to eliminate the Jewish presence from the Middle East. In fact, both Hamas and Fatah, which SJP supports, have officially declared their goal as an ethnic cleansing of the Jews from their domains.
As we pointed out in our letter, SJP has violated Cornell's diversity principles on numerous occasions, and also in its very purpose as an organization. Yet Cornell recognizes SjP as an official student group and grants it numerous campus privileges - including the privilege of holding its hate-fests on Cornell property. And Cornell provides funding for this hate group as well. SJP members have a First Amendment right to spew their hatred, but Cornell has an obligation not to support it with campus privileges and university funding.
Kindly address these specific issues in your reply to this email and also in practice on your campus. Then we will gladly praise you for a serious effort to remedy this disgrace.
II. CORNELL UNIVERSITY
Cornell’s SJP chapter has used open force to intimidate Jewish and pro-Israel students on campus, and has erected scores of anti-Israel signs across the campus in addition to interrupting a student government meeting and erecting mock “checkpoints” on campus.
A. Spring 2014: Cornell University’s active SJP, which receives support from extremists in the community, attempted and failed to pass a divestment resolution.
B. April 10, 2014: BDS was introduced.
C. April 17, 2014: Direct action: interrupting a student government meeting.www.cornellsun.com/
D. August 29, 2014: Protest: 30 SJP members showed up with signs and a loudspeaker. They read the names of those who died during Operation Protective Edge.
E. Fall 2014: Anti-Israel activists erected scores of anti-Israel signs across the campus, stalked a student, harassed and threatened another, and defaced and destroyed his posters.www.legalinsurrection.
F. October 31, 2014: Street theater with an art display and signs in a quad.
G. November 19, 2014: Verbal harassment at an anti-Israel rally. www.legalinsurrection.
H. November 19, 2014: Physical assault: A pro-Israel student was splashed with water and had a sign torn from his hands.
I. November 19, 2014: SJP organized a mock Israeli checkpoint at Ho Plaza, a central student gathering point on campus, between the Cornell Bookstore and Willard Straight Hall, where many student activities are centered.