US/World News

Pro-Palestinian group denies collecting data on U.S. students

(JTA) – Students for Justice in Palestine, a pro-Palestinian student advocacy group, denied an Israeli report that it had collected information on Jewish students on college campuses in North America. Israel Radio reported Tuesday that information on the group’s alleged activities was presented to members of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee when it met to discuss efforts to boycott Israel by anti-Israel groups at American colleges. The report said the committee had vowed to work against the singling out of Jewish students.

Knesset member Anat Berko of the ruling Likud party, who was among the lawmakers who held the session, told Israel Radio that Students for Justice in Palestine had been collecting information on where Jewish students live. Citing information from Miluimnikim BaHazit (Reservists On Duty), a pro-Israel advocacy group of Israel Defense Forces veterans, Berko said the committee was told “about the marking out of Jewish dorms, of rooms of Jewish students, for example at New York University and other campuses.”

The National Students for Justice in Palestine later told the Forward it had “never heard of such cases.” Officials from the Zionist Organization of America and StandWithUs, which combat antisemitism on college campuses, knew nothing of any such activity, the Forward reported.

On Wednesday, an aide to Berko told The Times of Israel that Students for Justice in Palestine was “collecting information on where Jewish students live,” and that there had been several incidents in which “eviction notices” were placed in dormitories where “there are mezuzahs.” Notices telling students to leave dorms and referencing Israeli military actions against Palestinians had been posted at NYU and on a campus in Connecticut. Israel Hayom in June quoted a Jewish student describing a similar incident on his Florida campus.

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