I find myself grappling with my feelings over the article, “NYU Dorms Flooded with ‘Eviction’ Notices” (April 25), about the distribution of mock eviction notices under the doors of two New York University dorms by Students for Justice in Palestine.
As a child of Holocaust survivors and a lawyer who values our First Amendment rights, I alternate between feelings of sadness and outrage, this troubling act perpetrated on the eve of Yom HaShoah in our own liberal New York City backyard.
Reasonable minds will surely disagree as to whether this incident elevates itself to a freedom of speech matter or if it crossed the line into harassment or other violations. There is also dispute about whether this was a targeted act against Jewish students, but it is quite clear that the message was at the very least an anti-Zionist protest, if not a hate crime against Jews.
It is my sincere hope that NYU will take swift action and a strong stand against any tactics that make any of its students feel unsafe in their living quarters. Ideally NYU would encourage a platform for actual open discourse of these issues rather than just one-sided views of any particular self-serving message.
I am a parent of an NYU student and I confronted her, asking what she was going to do about this. Then I realized that it behooves us, as parents, shuls and schools, to engage our children in dialogue and to equip them with the tools they need to intelligently, articulately combat and respond appropriately to anti-Zionist rhetoric on their campuses. As a very smart friend reminded me, “That is what the dining room table is for.” Our kids may not elect to involve themselves, but shouldn’t they, at the very least, be adequately informed on the issues so they can?