Lawmakers send letter to New York Gov. Hochul calling for ban of pro-Hamas student group

A bipartisan group of lawmakers on Monday sent a letter to New York Gov. Kathy Hochul asking that the Democrat ban “Students for Justice in Palestine,” a pro-Palestinian group whom they allege has “spewed hate and endorsed violence, from NY college campuses.” 

The letter, signed by more than three dozen lawmakers, points to rising instances of antisemitism at “countless public and private universities throughout New York City and State” in the wake of the Oct. 7 attack by the Hamas terrorist group in Israel. 

“These are extraordinarily difficult days for Jewish New Yorkers affected by a steep rise in hate and bias in the weeks following October 7th,” the lawmakers say. 

The signatories pointed to a group, “Students for Justice in Palestine,” that they argue has become “a major growing cause of concern on college campuses” and has chapters “throughout American Universities.” 

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The lawmakers say SJP’s umbrella organization, the National Students for Justice in Palestine (National SJP) has heralded Hamas as a resistance movement and regards “Palestinian students in exile” as being part of the movement, not merely in solidarity with it. 

The lawmakers accuse SJP of having released statements across New York State that “endorse the use of violence and attacks on civilians.” They allege that SJP members, at events, have chanted incendiary slogans like “from New York to Gaza, Globalize the Intifada” and “when people are occupied, resistance is justified” and “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” 

“This is a civil rights issue, it is an equal protection of the law issue, and it calls for bold action and moral courage,” the lawmakers say. “Jewish students have a right to an education free from persecution, harassment, intimidation, and threats to their physical safety.” 

Fox News Digital has reached out to National SJP and Hochul’s office for comment. 

Founded in 1993, SJP has been on several college campuses, including Columbia and Brandeis University, as well as Florida’s university system. 

The federal government, meanwhile, has opened civil rights investigations into seven schools and universities over allegations of antisemitism or Islamophobia since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war.

The list includes three Ivy League institutions — Columbia, Cornell and the University of Pennsylvania — along with Wellesley College in Massachusetts, Lafayette College in Pennsylvania and Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York. It also includes one K-12 system, the Maize Unified School District in Kansas.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 


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