Syracuse University Counts Anti-Israel BDS Internship Towards Degree

Protesters call for boycott of Israel

Students at Syracuse University can intern with the Syracuse Peace Council, an anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) group, to earn credits that can count toward a degree at the university.

An internship with the Syracuse Peace Council (SPC) — a group that supports the anti-Israel BDS movement — can count toward a major at Syracuse University, according to a report by Campus Reform.

The university describes SPC as “an antiwar/social justice organization” that educates individuals and challenges “the existing unjust power relationships among nations, among people and between ourselves and the environment.”

video obtained by Campus Reform, however, shows speakers representing the SPC taking an anti-Israel stance at their recent event, where they told attendees that there is “a lot of racism in the Israeli society,” and that “a Zionist state” should not exist.

One of the event speakers cited author Norman Finkelstein in an argument that Palestinians “have a right to use violence,” whereas Israel, on the other hand, “has no right to use violence.”

Another speaker — identified by Campus Reform as Avigyle Carmeli — said that she believes Zionism is “a racist ideology,” and that while she herself does not condone violence, “fighting a racist ideology, and sometimes with violence, might be the answer for some people.”

“There’s this fear that is instilled in the education system where you are led to believe that Israel is the only safe place for Jewish people,” continued Carmeli, “[that] it is the only place in the world where Jewish people can live — and so you need to protect it.”

“I don’t think there should be a country or a state for only Jewish people,” added Carmeli.

“What other countries in the Middle East might be safe for Jews?” inquired an event attendee, in response to her statement.

“What is a place that’s safe for Palestinians?” retorted Carmeli, which elicited a response of laughter among other attendees in the room.

“Florida!” said one person in the room, as more laughter ensued. “Syracuse!” exclaimed another individual.

“I mean, I think Zionism needs to end,” clarified Carmeli, “There can’t be a Zionist state, that’s just really wrong.”

Former Syracuse University faculty member Julia Ganson claimed that Hamas has “done a lot of good for Palestinians.” Hamas has been designated as a foreign terrorist organization by the State Department.

Former congressional candidate Ursula Rozum, who has been active with the SPC since 2008, said that “as a white person in the United States” who has “never been to Israel,” she believes there is “a lot of racism in the Israeli society,” because “we live it here [in the United States].”

Rozum also said that Palestinians in Gaza are “a population that is being bombed on the regular.”

“There are people, that, if you look, that, um, from before, um, 1948, that like, Palestine is on their birth certificate or on their passport, um, so I mean, it hasn’t — I really don’t know all history about the establishment of the state of Palestine,” added the SPC representative.

Students can intern with the SPC to earn credit toward a degree in “Writing Studies, Rhetoric, and Composition” at Syracuse University, according to the school’s website.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Twitter at @ARmastrangelo and on Instagram.


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