A letter sent to NYU leadership claims the school is “no longer a safe space for Jewish students” while demanding policies that would shatter free speech on campus. The letter was signed by David Friedman, Trump’s rabidly pro-settlement ambassador to Israel, as well as dozens of Jewish American alumni apparently afflicted with a particularly severe version of main character syndrome.
The letter demands that NYU ramp up security for Jewish students and add mandatory coursework on the issue of “in line with universal values, fact-based critical thinking, and civil discourse.”
Read the leaked letter, “A Message from the NYU Jewish community,” here.
Additionally, the letter demands that NYU create a position “dedicated to combating anti-Semitism.” The school already maintains no fewer than 15 positions dedicated to promoting “Global Inclusion, Diversity, and Strategic Innovation.”
The letter goes on to demand that NYU disband clubs that “utilize hate speech to promote violence and endorse terrorism” and pursue the criminal prosecution of students who “deface property and/or use hate speech in the name of terrorism.” It offers no definition of hate speech, however. The assumption seems to be that strong language denouncing Israel’s violent assault on Gaza, or supporting the Palestinian armed struggle, should be treated as equivalent to verbal threats, and even physical violence, against Jews.
While providing no evidence or documentation of open support for terrorism amongst the student body, the letter alludes to Student Bar Association president Ryna Workman, who authored an op-ed in the body’s weekly newsletter blaming the Israeli state policy of apartheid for inspiring the events of October 7. Workman was promptly canceled for her speech, losing not only her position as president of the Student Bar Association, but a job offer that had previously been extended to her.
Other students were filmed tearing down posters of Israeli hostages taken by Hamas. While none of these acts endorsed terrorism, authors of the NYU letter call for the students to face criminal punishment.
The Grayzone reached out to each of the letter’s recipients for comment but has not received a response. A request for an interview with David Friedman has also gone unreturned.
US-Israeli reciprocal ambassador David Friedman after being briefed on the siege of Gaza: “I don’t understand. The people in Gaza – they’re basically Egyptians. Why doesn’t Egypt take them back?” https://t.co/of3DWtbYZa
— Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) June 17, 2018
Friedman, a former bankruptcy lawyer who served as Trump’s ambassador to Israel, helped oversee the relocation of the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and admonished the United Nations for denying Israel’s “biblical” connection to the city.
Friedman has made no effort to masque his religious zealotry throughout his political career. In an interview with the late televangelist Pat Robertson’s CBN network, Friedman marketed the annexation of the West Bank as a chance to bring the bible “back to life.”
While Friedman has denounced Grayzone editor Max Blumenthal as “one of the most vile anti-Israel haters on the face of the earth,” he apparently sees no issue with Pat Robertson, who once claimed that Jews are too busy “polishing diamonds” to fix their own cars.
At Jerusalem rally, Trump advisor David Friedman denounces me as a secret advisor to Hillary Clinton, calls Huma a Muslim Brotherhood member pic.twitter.com/Ne6wUfcsqJ
— Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) October 28, 2016
In the illegal settlement of Beit El, Friedman is considered a hometown hero. He served as the head of the American Friends of Beit El Institutions and has “raised millions of dollars” for Beit El development projects according to the New York Times. The family name “Friedman” is plastered over schools, playgrounds, plazas and more in the settlement.
Beit El is a “critical component in our collective battle for the safety, security, and unity of the State of Israel,” Friedman once proclaimed. Unsurprisingly, this critical component of the state of Israel was comprised–to the tune of 96.85 percent–of illegally seized, private Palestinian property, according to a 2006 analysis by the Americans for Peace Now NGO.
Apparently not content with aiding and abetting flagrant violations of international law, Friedman is now demanding his former law school enact policies intended to violate the first amendment of the American constitution.