CUNY professors quit union in protest over anti-Israel screed

At least 50 CUNY professors have resigned in protest from their college union after it handed a one-sided resolution condemning Israel for latest assaults on Palestinians and threatening to help the motion to boycott and divest from the Jewish state, The Post has realized.

The controversial decision authorised by delegates of the union, the Professional Staff Congress, outraged many professors — a few of whom are descendants of Holocaust victims and have kinfolk in Israel.

“With the PSC CUNY 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,” seethed Professor Yedidyah Langsam, chairman of Brooklyn’s College’s Computer and Information Science Department and its college council, in a letter of resignation to PSC President James Davis.

Langsam likened the state of affairs to how Jewish professors in German universities felt in the course of the notorious Nazi reign in the course of the late Thirties.

“I personally have an uncomfortable feeling interacting with these faculty, and as many students have written, feel exceedingly uncomfortable on campus,” Langsam wrote of these supporting the decision.

“For that reason, I have resigned from the PS-CUNY Union effective immediately, after being a member for over 40 years. I have urged my fellow faculty to immediately resign as well. You do NOT represent us and I will not be a part of an organization that supports those who wish to destroy us.”

The Professional Staff Congress, a union representing CUNY professors, passed a resolution condemning Israel in June.
The Professional Staff Congress, a union representing CUNY professors, handed a decision condemning Israel in June.
Photo by Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis by way of Getty Images

The PSC advised The Post that a minimum of 50 members have resigned or despatched notices of their intention to take action.

The protest comes amid a backlash towards Vermont-based ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s for saying that it’ll not promote its merchandise in the Israel-occupied Palestinian territories.

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli has warned Ben & Jerry’s father or mother firm, Unilever, that New York may prohibit investments in the agency over the transfer.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo additionally is dealing with strain to implement his personal 2016 executive order to droop doing enterprise with any firm engaged in the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions marketing campaign towards Israel.

Davis, who simply took over as PSC president, acknowledged to The Post that the union’s anti-Israel decision has triggered “distress” amongst members but in addition claimed that conservative forces are trying to take advantage of the controversy and injury the group by urging folks to resign.

“We are in active dialogue with members who have expressed concern over the resolution. Some have decided to remain, some to resign, and some to take time to think it over,” Davis stated.

“Many members are absolutely sincere in their distress, but we also know that a pressure campaign has been launched by people who were not PSC members in the first place and have been waiting eagerly, since the 2018 anti-union Janus v AFSCME Supreme Court decision, for an opportunity to peel members away from the PSC.”

But professors enraged over the PSC decision argue that it ignored key details — for instance, that Hamas was shooting rockets into civilian inhabitants facilities in Israel in the course of the recent dispute with the Jewish state.

Instead, the decision says, “PSC-CUNY condemns the massacre of Palestinians by the Israeli state’’ — while decrying Israel’s “expansionism and violent incursions into occupied territories.”

PSC-CUNY “cannot be silent about the continued subjection of Palestinians to the state-supported displacement, occupation, and use of lethal force by Israel,” it says.

The decision provides that the Palestinian wrestle for “self determination” is akin to the struggles of “indigenous people and people of color in the United States” and blacks in apartheid South Africa.

The PSC missive added that this fall, it’ll “facilitate discussions … and consider PSC support of the 2005 call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS)” towards Israel.

Langsam raged in his letter to the union, “Your unbalanced movement fails to handle the over 4000 rockets fired from Gaza into residential areas.

“You fail to handle the apartheid habits of the Palestinian authorities (not a single Jew is permitted to be in Gaza) whereas neglecting to say that Palestinians are members of the Israeli Knesset and at the moment are a part of the ruling coalition.

“You equate the cautious bombing by the Israeli Air Force in order to reduce any collateral injury with the actions of the Palestinians who use their very own civilian ladies and youngsters, hospitals, and colleges as shields for his or her launching websites.

“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 stated.

A person holding a sign at the John Jay College rally calling for a boycott on Israel.
An individual holding an indication on the John Jay College rally calling for a boycott on Israel.
Photo by Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis by way of Getty Images

“Where is your resolution in support of your fellow faculty and students?”

Langsam stated Israel is honest sport for respectable criticism however that the decision was “one-sided” and is “nothing more than plain Anti-Semitism, disguised in the PC `woke’ terminology of today as Anti-Zionism.”

A gaggle referred to as “PSC Exit” has launched a marketing campaign to point out professors how they will legally quit the union.

“Our union has evolved over the last many years in ways that make it unrecognizable,” the anti-PSC group stated. “They now spend time and money on actions that don’t have anything to do with our careers. Instead they deal with international politics even when a lot of the membership has no curiosity in these actions.

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

The rising exodus will harm the union’s pocketbook. A professor whose gross pay is $100,000 kicks in $1,050 a yr to the PSC, or 1.05 % of wage.

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