A group of students and faculty at Brooklyn College are facing allegations by some critics of behavior ranging from racism and antisemitism to outright support of terrorism.
Those being accused of such activity, including the college’s Students for Justice in Palestine president, are fighting back against what they claim are unfounded attacks.
Ayah Aly has been targeted by a number of campaigns labeling her as a racist, particularly in response to several incendiary social media posts in recent years.
Though the offending tweets have since been removed, the pro-Israel advocacy group Canary Mission compiled a list of statements attributed to her.
Among the quotes used as evidence to support that group’s conclusion was a pair of 2013 posts in which she connected the terms “Jews” and “white people” with the hashtag “#Top10ThingsIHate.”
Aly also reportedly expressed on a number of occasions a general antipathy toward “white people,” whom she said are “forever using their ’emotions’ and supposed ‘mental illnesses’ as an outlet to justify their racism.”
Canary Mission also claims her Twitter history includes an assortment of comments critical of Israel and its supporters.
“Anyone supporting Israel is living in a constant state of delusion,” one cited post reads.
Aly reportedly went on to suggest those who fall into that category should “exterminate” themselves.
Among several causes the account’s owner endorsed was a media boycott based on the argument that the industry is “controlled by 6 major Zionist companies.”
According to the report, much of the content deemed inaccurate or misleading was comprised of information she shared from other sources.
The latest tweets or retweets included in the report are from 2016 and the account to which they were posted has apparently been deleted. Criticism of her role at the helm of the SJP chapter have extended beyond social media, though.
In November, she was one of several people affiliated with Brooklyn College to be labeled “Terrorist Supporters” by organizers at the conservative David Horowitz Freedom Center.
Its founder, David Horowitz, labeled SJP “a hate group” in an interview about his effort to publicly shame Aly and others.
He specifically criticized their support of sanctions and other punitive actions against Israel and generally concluded that the activists’ message is rooted in deception and has been co-opted by the terrorist organization Hamas.
“You can criticize any government, including Israel, but when it is confined to easily disputable lies then you’re a propagandist,” Horowitz said.
According to student newspaper The Excelsior, those targeted in the nationwide campaign spoke out in their own defense after his group’s posters began appearing on campus last year.
Aly wrote an op-ed published by the student newspaper The Kingsman in which she described Horowitz’s comments about SJP as “false allegations … against our organization and those who’ve made advances in organizing within CUNY, and embody the principles of the Black Lives Matter movement on the Brooklyn College campus.”
Others on campus, including Brooklyn College President Michelle Anderson, defended the group against allegations of ties to Hamas.
Samir Chopra, another individual targeted by both Horowitz’s group and Canary Mission, described their characterization of his activism at the college amounts to intimidation.
“I think I would not get a job now based on that kind of publicity,” he said. “You know I have a wife and kids.”
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