The City University of New York (CUNY) is assigning a former leader of the Hamas-linked Council for American Islamic Relations (CAIR) to investigate an antisemitism and anti-Zionism complaint made internally by a Jewish professor.
CUNY assigned its chief diversity officer, Saly Abd Alla, the former civil rights director of CAIR’s Minnesota chapter, to investigate an email sent by Kingsborough Community College (KCC) professor Jeffrey Lax, accusing its president of anti-Zionist antisemitic discrimination. CAIR is listed by the U.S. Department of Justice as an unindicted co-conspirator in funding millions of dollars to the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas, and their leaders have previously called for the destruction of Israel.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) named CAIR a terrorist organization in 2014.
“We don’t want Jews here. That’s the message that it sends,” said Lax in an interview with the the Daily Caller News Foundation.
CUNY has informed one of our co-founders that his internal complaint alleging discrimination against him for being a Zionist Jew will be investigated by former Director of Civil Rights for CAIR MN.
We are beyond disturbed on many levels. More information to come. pic.twitter.com/EjWmzSpInd
— SAFE CUNY (@SAFECUNY) September 13, 2022
He noted that Alla is in charge of overseeing all discrimination investigations at the “single largest urban university in the country,” which encompasses 25 campuses and close to 300,000 students. “When you have someone from CAIR leading a discrimination office throughout the university, you are the biggest cause of the antisemitism,” he continued.
Lax shared his email to CUNY’s Office of Recruitment and Diversity with the DCNF. (NYC’s Universities Allegedly Turned A Blind Eye To Antisemitism For Years, Complaint Says)
He told the DCNF his complaint emphasized that KCC President Claudia Schrader “completely stopped” communicating with him regarding previous internal complaints he made after the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled the college repeatedly discriminated against observant Jews and supporters of Israel. He added that Schrader hired a proponent of the anti-Israel Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement to the school’s Diversity Equity and Inclusion search committee, which includes no Jewish members, despite being created partially to address antisemitism claims.
Lax also told the DCNF that Schrader often releases public statements whenever an incident of racism or bigotry occurs at the university, but she never publicly condemned a CUNY student who took a bat to an Orthodox Jew at an off campus pro-Palestine rally in 2021.
On Friday, Alla responded to his email, inviting Lax to meet with her to discuss his complaint.
“Before we begin, do you mind if I ask you a couple of questions about procedure and jurisdiction,” Lax responded in a letter. “I notice that you are the former Civil Rights Director of CAIR MN. As you know, CAIR is an aggressive anti-Zionist movement and a vocal supporter of BDS,” he continued.
“First, do you believe that being discriminated against because someone is a Zionist Jew (something that is deeply connected to both my religion and ethnicity) states a claim and a proper protected class designation under CUNY discrimination policy. Second, if you do believe that it does, whether you could investigate such claims without bias.”
Lax told the DCNF he still has not received a response.
CUNY, Schrader and Alla did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s requests for comment.
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