NYU Slams West Bank-style 'Eviction Notices' at Dorm Rooms

Pro-Palestinian students place fliers under students' doors; campus pro-Israel group charges anti-Semitism.

New York University has rebuked a campus pro-Palestinian group for serving West Bank-style "eviction notices" under the doors of one of the student dorms, the New York Post reports.

“A flier titled `eviction notice’ anonymously slipped under doors at night is not an invitation to thoughtful, open discussion," said NYU spokesman John Beckman. He said university housing officials "will be communicating with the students in the dorm, looking into the matter, and following up appropriately.”

Students in Palladium dorm discovered the notices Thursday morning. The flier, put out by NYU's Students for Justice in Palestine, begins: “We regret to inform you that your suite is scheduled for demolition in three days. If you do not vacate the premise by midnight on 25 April, 2014 we reserve the right to destroy all remaining belongings. We cannot be held responsible for property or persons remaining inside the premises. Charges for demolition will be applied to your student accounts."

It continues: "Eviction notices are routinely given to Palestinian families living under Israeli occupation for no other reason than their ethnicity." The notice ends with the statement, “THIS IS NOT A REAL EVICTION NOTICE.” Pro-Palestinian students on campus said it was modeled on notices left by Israeli authorities before demolishing Palestinian homes in the West Bank.

Writing in the Times of Israel, Laura Adkins, vice president of NYU's pro-Israel group TorchPAC, accused Students for Justice in Palestine of "choosing to target Jewish students (or at the very least, a dorm brimming with Jewish students) …" She noted that Palladium, one of NYU's 23 student dorms, "is known across campus as one with a high concentration of Jewish residents, and is the only NYU dorm with a Shabbat elevator."

The NYU spokesman said, “It is unclear why the fliering took place in this particular dorm. We don’t believe there is perception of this dorm as having a high percentage of Jewish students. However, were it to be the case that the fliering was done there because it was perceived to be a dorm with a higher proportion of Jewish students, that would be troubling, dismaying and a matter of deep concern for our community.”

The right-wing New York Post headlined its story, "Jewish NYU students targeted by pro-Palestine activists." By contrast, the Anti-Defamation League, in its criticism of the fliers, did not accuse Students for Justice in Palestine of targeting Jewish students, but rather of using a “disturbing tactic designed to silence and intimidate pro-Israel advocates on campuses around the country.”

The ADL noted that "eviction notices have become a popular tactic employed by anti-Israel student groups. In the past two years, similar notices have appeared in residence halls around the country."
 

Bloomberg