Northwestern Administrators Sign Resolution Calling for Boycott of 'Terror' State Israel

Anti-Israel protesters at Northwestern (Scott Olson/Getty Images)
May 8, 2024

Northwestern University administration officials and faculty members signed a resolution demanding that the school cut ties with Israel, calling the Jewish country a "terror" state and accusing it of "one of the most atrocious and monstrous sieges in modern history."

The resolution—which also defended the eliminationist slogan "From the River to the Sea" and criticized the administration for creating a task force to combat anti-Semitism—was signed by over 1,000 students, alumni, and faculty members, as well as officials from Northwestern's admissions and civil rights compliance offices.

"After months of tightening what has—for the last 76 years—been a brutal and insufferable occupation, Israel is leading a multifront war on the people of Palestine that can only be described as ethnic cleansing and genocide," said the resolution.

"Despite the immense loss of life and all that sustains it, US diplomatic, military, and top academic institutions have chosen to stand firmly on the side of terror," the statement went on. "Northwestern is no exception."

The resolution criticized the university for creating an "Advisory Committee on Preventing Antisemitism" and a "Committee on Free Expression" to address anti-Semitism on campus.

"Between establishing bodies to police our tone, arresting students for exercising their rights, and openly calling for the silencing of pro-Palestinian voices, it is clear that our institution's singular response has been one of censorship of any and all voices deemed uncomfortable or challenging to the status quo," said the signatories.

The statement also called on Northwestern president Michael Schill to end "collaborations with Israeli institutions" and divest from "all companies that support Israeli apartheid."

A spokesman for Northwestern told the Washington Free Beacon that the university "has no tolerance for discrimination or harassment. We are reviewing the document. To be clear, Northwestern has not committed to divestment from Israel."

The resolution—which didn't mention Hamas's mass terrorist attack that incited the war—comes as Northwestern and universities around the country have been upended by anti-Israel demonstrations that have veered into open anti-Semitism.

Signatories included Liv Harmening, the outreach and education coordinator for Northwestern's Office of Civil Rights and Title IX Compliance; Kandise Le Blanc, the senior assistant director of undergraduate admissions; Sasha McKnight and Rignesha Prajapati, assistant directors of Multicultural Student Affairs; Qiu Fogarty, the associate director of Social Justice Education; and Haley Kost,  a senior program coordinator at the Center for Civic Engagement.

The statement was signed by senior faculty members, including Mérida M. Rúa, the undergraduate director of Latina & Latino Studies; Mary Pattillo, the chairwoman of the Department of African American Studies; Nitasha Sharma, the director of the Asian American Studies Program; and Noelle Sullivan, the associate director of Global Health Studies.

The resolution defended the slogan "From the River to the Sea, Palestine Will be Free," which calls for the elimination of the Jewish state.

The signers argued that describing the slogan as anti-Semitic is "racist" because it perpetuates stereotypes of Palestinians as "hostile to Jews."

"The attack on this slogan as inherently eliminationist is both inaccurate and irresponsible," said the statement. "It asymmetrically delegitimizes pro-Palestine speech."

The resolution is the latest example of the faculty members and administrators encouraging extremist anti-Israel activism on campuses.

Northwestern assistant journalism professor Steven Thrasher also signed the resolution. Thrasher is being investigated by Northwestern administrators after he was filmed scuffling with police at a campus protest last month. Thrasher also came under fire for anti-Semitic tweets in 2018.

Other Northwestern faculty members sent out emails encouraging their students to skip classes to attend anti-Israel demonstrations, in violation of the university's policies.

Jewish and pro-Israel alumni have accused Schill of failing to adequately address anti-Semitism on campus and called on him to step down.

"The administration is not handling this the way it should be handled," Wendy Khabie, the mother of a Northwestern student and a member of a group called the Coalition Against Antisemitism at Northwestern, told the Free Beacon in late April.