Brandeis University’s decision to remove Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) from campus has drawn both praise and scorn since the news became public on Monday.
The Brandeis SJP announced through its Instagram account that the group had been “unjustly de-charted” and later claimed the decision did not “represent the Brandeis community who are calling for free speech and immediate ceasefire.”
A statement from Brandeis spokeswoman Julie Jette to Fox News Digital confirmed “the removal of recognition.”
“National SJP has called on its chapters to engage in conduct that supports Hamas in its call for the elimination of the only Jewish state in the world and its people. Such expression is not protected by Brandeis’ principles of free speech,” Jette said.
Since the story broke, Jewish campus groups have voiced their support for the university’s decision and hoped it would ignite a national trend.
“Brandeis University’s decision yesterday shows unequivocally that supporting terrorism and creating a hostile campus environment has consequences, and acknowledges the reality that Jewish students are confronting more antisemitism on campuses. Campuses should be safe places for all students alike – Jewish and Muslim, Israeli, and Palestinian – to live, learn, and thrive,” Brandeis Hillel Executive Director Rabbi Seth Winberg told Fox News Digital.
The Brandeis Israel Public Affairs Committee (BIPAC) also released a statement on its Instagram account that praised the university president for defending the Jewish community.
“BIPAC deeply thanks President Liebowitz for his unwavering support of the Jewish and Zionist community at Brandeis. We commend him for being a consistent trailblazer among presidents of institutions of higher education to protect Jewish students’ rights and safety. He is honorably upholding the legacy of Brandeis’ founding values, to protect discriminated student populations,” the statement read.
In an additional comment to Fox News Digital, BIPAC President Noah Levy said, “We really believe that the campus supports President Liebowitz’s decision.”
However, there has been some backlash against the decision. The Justice, Brandeis University’s student newspaper, reported on a demonstration Monday night unaffiliated with SJP which featured multiple students speaking out in support of Palestinians and against the school.
“The first job of the University is to make its students feel safe, accepted, [and] loved. What are we doing now?” one student reportedly said.
Another student allegedly insisted they had “never been more disgraced at Brandeis” and was “done with the Zionist forces at this school.” There were also multiple declarations of “Free Palestine!” by the crowd.
The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE) released a statement to Fox News Digital that blasted Brandeis University’s decision, insisting that it was in violation of its policy of free speech.
“None of the chants or slogans cited by President Liebowitz come close to meeting the legal criteria for incitement or harassment. Make no mistake, Brandeis is punishing its students for nothing more than protected political advocacy,” FIRE Senior Program Office Zach Greenberg said.
He added, “In this difficult moment, Brandeis could have demonstrated how students can engage with opposing viewpoints. Instead, President Liebowitz is teaching them to simply silence those they hate. This betrayal of Brandeis’s free speech promises is a stain on the school’s 75-year reputation as a bastion for free inquiry.”
According to its website, Brandeis University was founded in 1948 by the American Jewish community as a nonsectarian research institution and was named after the first Jewish Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court Louis Brandeis.
SJP has come under fire nationwide for being a part of ongoing campus protests in support of Hamas following its deadly attack against Israel on Oct. 7.
The University of California, Berkley chapter referred to the invasion, which killed more than 1,400 Israelis, as an example of “indigenous resistance.”
“We support the resistance, we support the liberation movement, and we indisputably support the Uprising,” the statement read.
The George Washington University chapter added that the “mobilization is NOT unprovoked.”
“This past weekend we witnessed them breaking free, tearing down the prison walls, and making it known to the world: WE WILL BE CAGED NO LONGER,” the GWU group commented after the attack.
SJP was also ordered to be disbanded on Florida state universities by Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fl.
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