Israel-Hamas War

Brandeis University bans pro-Palestinian student group

The university has said it is pulling funding and permits for any activities by the National Students for Justice in Palestine

NBC Universal, Inc.

Nearly one month after Hamas’s attack on Israel, Brandeis University announced the decision to no longer support the campus chapter of the National Students for Justice in Palestine. The notice was sent out to the chapter’s leaders, removing their funding from the university as well as their permits to hold activities on campus. 

“We never got a heads-up that we were being investigated, we never met with anybody about the whole issue,” said SJP’s campus chapter president, who spoke with NBC10 anonymously.



Watch NBC10 Boston news for free, 24/7, wherever you are.


Get Boston local news, weather forecasts, lifestyle and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC Boston’s newsletters.

The University issued a statement to NBC10 Boston, saying the “National SJP has called on its chapters to engage in conduct that supports Hamas in its call for the elimination of the only Jewish state in the world and its people. Such expression is not protected by Brandeis' principles of free speech.” 

“SJP being banned is basically that Palestinian students do not matter and shouldn't even be at Brandeis,” said SJP’s president. “I was heartbroken.” 

“I have never felt more embarrassed to not only be a student here but to be within a group of students, Jewish students, that the university made this decision on behalf of,” said Allison Weiner, a senator for Brandeis University’s student union. 

Weiner tells us the university made the decision without consulting the student union. “It sets a really dangerous precedent that the administration can choose pretty much at its own will whether or not to allow clubs to exist on campus.”  

However, the move received applause from other students on campus, particularly for the school’s President Ronald D. Liebowitz.

“He took a step that no other university president has taken get rid of all clubs on campus that support Hamas and other terrorist groups,” said Noah Levy, the president of Brandeis Israel Public Affairs Committee, “It's terrifying to know that there are students willing to say that they stand with a terrorist organization.” 

The notice came on the same day SJP planned a vigil for martyrs in Gaza honoring the over 9,000 people killed so far. While some student groups took issue with the wording "‘martyr," others who attended the vigil say that it did not pose a threat to campus safety. 

“It was a really beautiful space for students who maybe did not want to support Israel to gather and mourn,” said Weiner. 

In response to the University’s statement, SJP posted its own statement online, saying, “This comes as a part of Brandeis University, an institution that values social justice, trying to silence us from speaking our truth.”

In the weeks leading up to the University’s decision, SJO had filed a petition against the campus’ support of Israel. 

Contact Us