On June 8th, the NYC City Council Committee on Higher Education was set to hold a kangaroo court hearing cracking down on recent victories for Palestine within CUNY under the guise of investigating antisemitism on college campuses.
In an interview the week before, Councilman Eric Dinowitz, who chairs the Higher Education Committee admitted to the real reason for the hearing, “The embracement and normalization of BDS by both CUNY students and faculty has fostered an extremely hostile campus environment that has resulted in the more blatant forms of antisemitism that are becoming all too common in our city.”
Last month in May 2022 in a historic victory, the faculty of CUNY Law voted to endorse BDS, following in the footsteps of the school’s student government which successfully passed a BDS resolution in December 2021.
This latest victory came as WOL’s chair and founder Nerdeen Kiswani was selected by the CUNY Law Class of 2022 to be the student commencement speaker, a platform she used to highlight the ongoing struggle for Palestine within CUNY and beyond and the Chancellor’s complicity in normalizing the zionist entity’s genocidal occupation of Palestine.
Now Nerdeen is the target of yet another racist smear campaign headed by City Councilwoman Inna Vernikov who just made headlines for cutting $50,000 in funding to CUNY Law in retaliation for the faculty voting to endorse BDS. The threats against Nerdeen include threats against her life and attempts to censor and silence organizing for Palestine across CUNY campuses.
To support Nerdeen and the fight for Palestinian organizing follow the action items below:
✅ Call or email Councilwoman Inna Vernikov’s office
✅ Call or email CUNY Chancellor’s office
(Call script below)
✅ Tweet vocalizing support for Palestinian organizing
@ChancellorCUNY refuses to listen to Palestinian voices yet takes trips to israel and entertains the zionist lobby seeking to threaten and silence his own students. @CUNY voices are proudly pro-Palestine. You do not represent us! #ZionismOutOfCUNY #WeStandWithNerdeen
The failed hearing on antisemitism is a ruse in which @ChancellorCUNY & @InnaVernikov seek to silence Palestinian students who rightfully criticize Israel for its state-sanctioned genocide. @CUNY When will you stand up for your students? #ZionismOutOfCUNY #WeStandWithNerdeen
@ChancellorCUNY ignores Palestinian students & workers but chooses to platform @InnaVernikov, an anti-Palestinian racist. This planned hearing was just an example of trying to silence @CUNY anti-Zionist voices but we grow stronger every day! #ZionismOutOfCUNY #WeStandWithNerdeen
Zionism has no place in cuny. Attempts to silence us only make us stronger. #ZionismOutOfCUNY #WeStandWithNerdeen
Councilwoman Inna Vernikov
Phone Number: 718-368-9176
Office Hours: Wednesday 9am – 7pm
Hello, my name is [INSERT NAME] and I am calling as a concerned NYC Resident [OR CONCERNED INDIVIDUAL FOR OUT-OF-STATERS]. I am appalled at Councilwoman Inna Vernikov’s behavior. Her racist, Islamaphobic smear campaign against Nerdeen Kiswani and CUNY Law is nothing but an attempt to chill and silence CUNY students and workers organizing in solidarity with Palestine under the guise of antisemitism. This manufactured backlash with zero evidence is not only a clear threat to First Amendment rights to free speech and academic freedom but a failed attempt to punish organizers for the extraordinary victories for Palestinian liberation on CUNY Law’s campus. You do not represent us. We stand firmly with Nerdeen Kiswani, Within Our Lifetime, CUNY Law, and all organizers fighting for Palestinian liberation and we demand that you stop your smear campaign immediately.
Phone Number: 646-664-9100
Office Hours: 9am – 5pm
Hello, my name is [INSERT NAME] and I am calling as a disturbed CUNY community member of the CUNY community. It is of grave concern to myself and other CUNY community members that you continue to contribute through your inactions to the defamation; harassment and violent repression of Palestinian, Arab, Muslim, and other CUNY students and workers organizing in solidarity with Palestine. As you continue to deny CUNY’s complicity, even while you take funded trips to the settler-colonial entity, CUNY plans to partake in a meeting masquerading as a “hearing” on antisemitism. This hearing is nothing but an attempt to probe on how to censor and chill organizing efforts for Palestine. It is ironic that no such hearing has been organized for the rampant anti-Black or anti-Palestinian racism on campus. Your participation in such hearing would demonstrate your continued complicity in anti-Palestinian racism and your complicity in actively perpetuating violence against CUNY students and alumni like Nerdeen Kiswani. For that reason, we demand that you refuse to participate and that you condemn the hearing for the sham that it is. We stand firmly with Nerdeen Kiswani, CUNY Law, and all CUNY organizers fighting for Palestinian liberation and we demand that you take action immediately