✅ Protesters demand Rutgers University divest from Israel

✅ The demand is under consideration by Rutgers

✅ State Sen. Singer: "antisemitism will not receive taxpayer funding

Rutgers University would lose state funding if it divests in Israel, under proposed legislation.

State Sen. Robert Singer and Assemblyman Sean Kean, both Republicans in Ocean County, are proposing a package of legislation that would discourage anti-Semitic policies by state-affiliated organizations.

Rutgers President Jonathan Holloway brought a pro-Palestinian encampment to an end by agreeing to eight of the 10 demands brought by Students for Palestinian Justice. Demands to divest from Israel are subject to a review process that Holloway said is underway. Holloway said a demand to end the university's partership with Tel Aviv relationship will not be met.

"We were asked to sever that relationship. We will not. Period," Holloway told the Board of Directors at a special meeting Monday.

Punishment for divesting

One of Singer's bills would remove all state aid and other funding types to any university that divests from Israel. Divestment is the process of ending financial ties with Israel as a form of protest against the nation's actions concerning the Palestinian territories. The law would target aid if the university's endowment fund or any university subdivision, department, or section divests from Israel or participates in boycott, divestment and sanctions.

The package includes a resolution condemning Rutgers for agreeing to the demands of the encampment protestors.

"While I wholeheartedly support free speech, including speech I vehemently disagree with, New Jersey taxpayers should not have to financially support institutions that allow anti-Semitic behavior. This package of bills will ensure that organizations in New Jersey that take steps to support or permit activities expressing antisemitism will not receive taxpayer funding," Singer said in a statement.

Another bill would would disallow flags of organizations designated a terrorist organizations from being displayed on state property.

ALSO READ: NJ cops arrest student with pro-Israel signs but allow Gaza protesters to camp

Faculty and safety marshals protect Rutgers encampment site as participants leave 5/2/24
Faculty and safety marshals protect Rutgers encampment site as participants leave 5/2/24 (@SpyderMonkey0_0 via X)

Murphy: 'The Jewish community is outraged'

Gov. Phil Murphy, during his "Ask Governor Murphy" program on WBGO, WHYY and WNYC radio reiterated that he has heard from "the Jewish community" that Rutgers addressed the concerns of pro-Palestinian students right away but complaints from Jewish students have yet to get an audience with Holloway.

"That's not acceptable," Murphy said. "The Jewish community is outraged."

He added that everyone has the right to peaceful protest in America. They do not have he right to engage in hateful behavior or disrupt the educational process.

"What you don't have a right to do is just because a kid walking to class is Jewish or a kid walking to class is a Palestinian you have no right to cross wires and blame that kid" because you don't agree with them, Murphy said.

The governor said the Rutgers protesters missed an opportunity to back a two-state solution that would create an independent state of Palestine.

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