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City funding to fight antisemitism, hate at CUNY won’t even ‘scratch the surface,’ critics say

A Pro-Palestine protester tent encampment in the center plaza of CUNY's City College in New York, NY as seen on April 25, 2024. (Photo/Christopher Sadowski) Tags: postinhouse nypostinhouse college protest college protests college protesters pro-Palestine protest pro-Palestine protests pro-Palestine protester pro-Palestine protesters anti-Israel protest anti-Israel protester anti-Israel protesters college pro-Palestine protests college protest encampment college protest encampments college anti-Israel protests college student protest college student protests

City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams has steered at least $600,000 in political pork to the City University of New York — just a $50,000 bump for anti-hate initiatives even though the system erupted into a snake pit of antisemitism this year, according to an analysis by The Post.

Five-hundred thousand dollars of this year’s allocations will go toward “Confronting Religious and Ethnic Discrimination,” and aims to help CUNY “continue and expand” its diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, according to the Council’s expense budget.

An additional $50,000 will go to Hunter College and another $50,000 to Queensborough Community College, both under the Hate Crime Prevention Initiative.

The funding, a less than 10% increase, is not nearly enough to combat the hate seen on campuses in the months since Hamas’ Oct. 7 terrorist attack on Israel, as encampments, protests and anti-Israel speakers have flooded schools, critics said.

“I don’t hold much hope,” said Jeffrey Wiesenfeld, a former member of CUNY’s Board of Trustees, who told The Post the funding, which covers all hate, won’t scratch the surface because the problem is systemic.

“They’ve allowed this to go on with such intensity for so long at CUNY that it would take an enormous sum of money to make a dent,” he said. “The disease is so metastatic at CUNY.”

Jeffrey Lax, a Kingsborough Community College professor who runs SAFE Campus, which advocates for Zionist Jews on campuses, said at CUNY, the fish stinks from the head.

“You don’t have the right people in charge,” Lax said. “What did they accomplish last year — the worst year of hate in the history of the university, possibly at any university?”

Lax pointed to CUNY’s chief diversity officer, Saly Abd Alla, who once worked as a director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Minnesota.

“The last time CUNY got [nearly] $600,000, it was for a DEI initiative that made things far worse for Jews,” he said.

And Lax bashed the City Council for “signing blank checks” without demanding conditions to protect Jews on campuses.

Councilman Eric Dinowitz (D-Bronx), who chairs the Committee on Higher Education, said the funding is “one important step we are taking to confront hate here in our own city’s system of higher learning.”

But his colleague, Councilman Bob Holden (D-Queens), a CUNY alum and former professor, suggested CUNY look inward to solve its problem.

Councilman Eric Dinowitz (D-Bronx), who chairs the Committee on Higher Education, said the funding is “one important step we are taking to confront hate here in our own city’s system of higher learning.”

“They should look no further than their biased curriculum, departments, and unqualified radical faculty,” he said.

A CUNY spokesman called the City Council a steadfast parter in its efforts to combat all forms of discrimination.

“New funding from the city will advance CUNY’s commitment to building campuses defined by tolerance and respect,” the spokesman said.


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