Judea Pearl, the president of the Daniel Pearl Foundation, has terminated his status as a distinguished alumnus of New York University (NYU) over the institution’s decision to give an award to the campus Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapter.
“In the past five years, SJP has resorted to intimidation tactics that have made me, my colleagues and my students unwelcome and unsafe on our own campus,” Pearl wrote in a letter to NYU President Andrew Hamilton. “The decision to confer an award on SJP, renders other NYU awards empty of content, and suspect of reckless selection process.”
Pearl was granted the status of distinguished alumnus by the Polytechnic Alumni Association during a campus lecture in 2013. He is a professor of computer science at the University of California, Los Angeles and runs an organization named after his son Daniel Pearl, a journalist killed by Islamic terrorists in 2002 while on assignment in Pakistan.
“Mr. President, I have been in academia for close to 50 years, and I know the difference between free speech and campus norms,” Pearl slammed his alma mater.
“Entrusted with the mandate of maintaining a climate of learning and mutual respect, your office should distance itself from the SJP selection and explain to the campus why such distancing is necessary. In the absence of a corrective action by your office the academic standing of this university is begging for other voices to call out the Orwellian character of (SJP’s) award,” Pearl added.
SJP claims to stand for human rights, specifically the rights of the Palestinian people and consistently portrays itself as an advocate for a just solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Critics, however, accuse the group of aiming to dismantle the Jewish State, a goal accepted by BDS co-founder Omar Barghouti, who has recently been denied entry into the United States.
Right up to his death, Daniel Pearl defied his terrorist captors, illustrated by the journalist’s last words — “My mother is Jewish. My father is Jewish. I am a Jew” — that were captured in a video message released by his killers.
[Photo: cincin12 / Wikimedia Commons]