Thursday, June 5, 2014

Letter to the Editor re: Daily News Op-Ed "Does NYU have a Jewish problem"

To the Editor:

I'm writing in response to your article "Does NYU have a Jewish problem" published on June 1, 2014. The article tries to equate any criticism of Israeli state policy with anti-Semitism and terrorism. The article uses the words anti-Semitic five times, terror two times and genocide once. Yet what is described is nothing other than free political speech by a student group, no different than other student groups organized for political causes. The authors claim that NYU-SJP "targets" and "threatens" Jewish students. There is no evidence of this in the article or elsewhere. The only thing they use to substantiate their claim are reports of students feelings after reading pamphlets or listening to a writer's presentation. If this type of free speech were not allowed, injustices throughout history like slavery, denial of civil rights and apartheid would have been off limits as long as someone claimed that their discussion made them feel uncomfortable. A newspaper should know the value of free speech. The authors have a right to their opinion, but the Daily News showed poor editorial judgement by granting them a platform to try to suppress and criminalize political action that they disagree with. 

Matthew Peppe
NYU Alumnus, Class of 2003