(JTA) — At least 50 professors at the City University of New York have quit their union following passage of a resolution condemning Israel.
The resolution, passed by the the Professional Staff Congress June 10, was introduced in the wake of the Israel-Gaza conflict the previous month and referred to Israel’s “establishment as a settler-colonial state in 1948″ — language often used to reject Israel’s existence as a Jewish state.
Yedidyah Langsam, the chairman of Brooklyn’s College’s Computer and Information Science Department, urged other faculty to resign from the union. He said the resolution made Jewish faculty feel unsafe.
“By endorsing this resolution you have made many Jewish faculty and students uncomfortable with being associated with Brooklyn College and CUNY to the point of fearing for our safety,” he said in a letter to James Davis, president of the union, according The New York Post. “Have you and your colleagues forgotten the exponential increase in anti-Semitic attacks against Jews in the NY City area?”
Davis confirmed the resignations or the faculty members’ intention to resign in an interview with the Post. The union represents academic staff at CUNY.
Davis suggested that there was an effort to bring back the disaffected professors.
“We are in active dialogue with members who have expressed concern over the resolution,” he told the Post.
The resolution describes the events leading up to the renewed fighting in May and during the conflict only in terms of Israeli attacks without referencing Hamas attacks on Israel.
Hamas, the terrorist group that controls the Gaza strip, launched the Gaza portion of the conflict with a barrage of rocket attacks on May 9.
The resolution also calls on the union to consider joining the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.
The CUNY system has 25 colleges spread across New York City’s five boroughs.