Ferguson to Palestine Event

Join us for an event filled with performances from talented activists using their artistic talents to bring awareness to political movements: FOOD WILL BE SERVED


2nd EVENT OF THE FALL SEMESTER! Come join us for an evening of performances!


Palestine 101 Workshop

Today’s workshop (October 6th) on Palestine 101 went extremely well and we want to thank all of those who came out today! We especially want to thank Dan and Yasmeen for the very informative presentation! There will be more workshops to come and more events to be promoted, so stay tuned!


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First Event of the Semester


Join Arab Student Union (ASU) and Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) for our semi-annual Arab Tea Party! There will be music, dancing, food and more! Come learn how to Debka, a cultural Palestinian dance, eat delicious Arabic food, and meet the old and new members/executives of John Jay SJP & ASU!

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SJP @ The Club Fair 2016

It was great to meet so many people today at Club Fair! If you didn’t catch us we will be at Club Fair tomorrow as well from 4:00pm to 6:00pm on Hound Square!

If you would like to be on our email list serv, contact us at johnjaysjp@gmail.com or direct message us on here or through any one of our social media accounts.

Students for Justice in Palestine at John Jay College's photo.Students for Justice in Palestine at John Jay College's photo.

Get Ready for Fall 2016 With John Jay SJP


Classes start soon and we hope everyone is prepared to come back for another great academic semester! The executives of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at John Jay have been organizing the activities planned for this semester and we hope you are all ready for what is planned!

See everyone soon and enjoy the last few days of summer vacation!

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Students May Face Criminal Investigation For Protesting Film on Israeli Army

“The incident is only the latest in which officials at UC Irvine and other major universities around the country have taken harsh measures against pro-Palestinian activists. “There is a really ugly history of targeting student groups advocating for Palestinian issues,” says Liz Jackson, a staff attorney with Palestine Legal, a group that provides legal advice and advocacy to individuals in the U.S. advocating for Palestinian rights. “It suppresses the really important debates about U.S. foreign policy that young people need to be having. Instead of being able to engage freely and voice opinions that challenge the status quo, one side of the debate is just being crushed.”

The school’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine is now facing the possibility of being banned from the campus. In addition, the university referred their cases to the district attorney for criminal investigation.

Upset about the screening of a film they viewed as propaganda for a foreign military, the students were also protesting the presence of several IDF…

End of Spring 2016 Semester

Dear SJPer’s,

On behalf of the executives of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), we congratulate you all on almost completing another semester at John Jay College and we especially congratulate our Class of 2016 graduating seniors. Some of you have been here since the founding of SJP at John Jay and have been active ever since. We thank you for your support and dedication to SJP as we have had the pleasure of identifying you as members of this organization. It is tough to let you go, however we wish you all the best.

Another Congratulations to all the John Jay Organizations and Executives that were nominated and/or received awards at the 2016 CSIL Award Ceremony on Tuesday, May 3rd. A SPECIAL CONGRATULATIONS to SJP’s own President, Amena Othman, for receiving the Outstanding President of the Year Award. We are extremely proud of the dedication you have put into SJP and are more than happy to see that others have noticed these qualities as well.

As the 2015-2016 Academic year comes to an end, our time as SJP executives do as well. With that, we would like to introduce you to the upcoming Fall 2016/Spring 2017 SJP Executive Board! Newly elected Secretary, Yasmeen Hamad, is an upcoming Sophomore majoring in Computer Science. Newly elected Treasurer, Amanda Jamal, is also an upcoming Sophomore, majoring in Political Science. Last newly elected executive is Vice President, Sammy Nijem, another upcoming Sophomore majoring in Law and Society. Elected for a third term, Amena Othman will continue holding Presidency as a Senior finishing up her Bachelors in Political Science. Current Vice President, Eman Ahmed, also a Senior, finishing up her Bachelors in Forensic Psychology, has been appointed as the first SJP Student Advisor. Congratulations to the 2016/2017 Executive Board of SJP!

As the current Executive Board, we would like to thank all of those who have helped and supported SJP throughout the last few years. We are truly thankful that you have lend your hand and voice to us this past year and we hope we have your support as we continue on at John Jay College.

It saddens us that this year has ended, however we wish you all the best of luck in the future!

One last thing! If anyone has any suggestions they would like to bring up to SJP regarding the work that will be done next academic year, feel free to email us your suggestions as we will be preparing our agenda this summer.
Thank you and Alf Mabrook (Congratulations),
John Jay SJP Executive Board
President: Amena Othman
Vice President: Eman Ahmed
Treasurer: Nancy Amin
Secretary: Farah Zebib


'President of  @[366248636744711:274:Students for Justice in Palestine at John Jay College] Amena Othman receives Outstanding President of the Year at CSIL Awards 2016!''The 2016-2017 SJP Executive Board all rocking traditional Palestinian clothing! #ISACulturalFest''Some of our SJP Graduates of 2016! We wish you the best of luck in the future!'



John Jay College’s Students for Justice in Palestine’s Open Letter to President Jeremy Travis

Dear President Travis,

Thank you for requesting to meet with us and for taking the time to listen attentively to our concerns. We would like to highlight some of the issues we brought to your attention at our meeting on Monday, November 3, 2014. 

As we discussed, our club aims to raise awareness about the human rights violations committed by the state of Israel against the Palestinian people, and aims to build solidarity with the Palestinian struggle to achieve human rights, justice, freedom, self-determination and the right of return. We organize around the principles of the Palestinian Civil Society’s call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions of the state of Israel. Our club is made up of a diverse group of students, which includes faculty, staff, and community members of John Jay College. This SJP is one of five chapters in the entire CUNY system and represents an international movement, with a total of 150 chapters.

One of SJP’s main principles is to condemn the racism and discrimination underlying the policies and laws of the state of Israel. As an extension of this logic, SJP therefore rejects any form of hatred or discrimination against any religious or ethnic group. It should then be noted that some of the main allies of the SJP movement are Jewish youth and groups. In fact, Jewish Voices for Peace, has written a response to the claims you recently implied regarding our SJP chapter in your open letter to the John Jay community. We now hope that our letter assists in the disambiguation of the issues that have arisen since the Jewish Weekly published its article, and since your letter was sent out.

In our meeting, we discussed how troubled we felt by your October 21st letter to John Jay students and alumni, and its implication that members and allies of the SJP movement have taken part in the “harassment” of Jewish students on campus.

You also state that “there have been a series of incidents that have created tensions among three student groups, the Hillel Club, the United Nations Student Association and the Students for Justice in Palestine.” Accordingly, we would like to clarify what SJP event your letter is referencing and recap the details of this event, in order for the John Jay community to better understand SJP’s actions:

 On October 8th, 2014, the aforementioned groups, but also including SJP Hunter College and SJP City College, held a Die-In/Vigil to show solidarity and make political connections to the atrocities committed by state forces from Ferguson to Palestine. We drew parallels to systematic injustices of racial oppression, and discussed how they are blatant human rights violations. The purpose was also to shed light on the brutal realities of colonial occupation, a crime being committed even as we write this letter. A moment of silence was held at the Die-In for the people of Gaza and for U.S. victims of police brutality. SJP, ASA, and our allies explicitly stated during the event that these acts are not a result of religious conflicts, but rather, a result of structural oppression and human rights violations. We called on our fellow students to learn and to take action to end such egregious crimes, which we feel are particularly important, given that we are at an institution that prides itself on achieving justice through education. That said, on the night before our die-in, we were informed by other students that the Hillel club would hold a “counter-protest.” We informed our active members of this, and told them not to engage in any arguments, even if we were provoked, because this would be counterproductive to our cause. We were there to educate those who were open to and interested in learning. At various times, members of the JJAY SJP came up to the microphone and emphasized that anti-Semitism is not welcome in our club; what we stand for is a multi-religious and multi-national condemnation of the crimes of the Zionist state of Israel on Palestine.

 Our event turned out to be a huge success. Soon afterwards, the executive board and our members received positive feedback from students, faculty, and even community organizers. They all emphasized how well versed we were on the subject, how concise our message was, and how much they learned. It is also important to mention that our event was executed according to all bureaucratic guidelines outlined by the administration, as we have always done.

 It is because of this lauding support that it then came as a tremendous surprise to receive your letter as a general announcement, without any warning, or prior inquiry with us on the matter. Regardless of your intent, this particular letter had the effects of repression, not foreign to the SJP movement, an intentional effort to suppress the voices of those who stand in solidarity with Palestinians. This is also only the latest in a series of small acts of repression John Jay’s SJP has faced recently, which we feel are important to address, together with the letter. We’d like to turn to certain details building up to our die-in as examples of such repression:

About a half hour before our event, as our members were heading to the event location, our club coordinator, John Leebens, asked SJP Secretary to speak in his office. He asked her if rumors about using “bloodied sheets” were accurate. When she confirmed that SJP was using dried red paint on sheets to represent lives lost to police and Israeli military brutality, Leebens told her that using such sheets would be “not okay.” He said that it would make people uncomfortable, and would be the kind of action that could get John Jay into the news. The Secretary told him that she understood his concerns, and apologized for the fact that he had not been aware of their specific plans. However, she insisted that getting in the news or creating controversy could not hold SJP back, because it was something that they had expected and something that Palestinian solidarity groups all over the country and the world have historically faced. The Secretary also informed him that having sheets with red paint was essential to the theatrical event, and that while she understood his wishes to avoid controversy, she would have to discuss it with the rest of her executive board before they could make a decision. At the start of the event, the Secretary expressed to the President of SJP, Susanne Abdelghafar, what Leebens had conveyed, and they quickly decided to compromise and only have about half of the “dead” (students wrapped in sheets laying on the ground) use the bloodied sheets, and to have the rest use plain white sheets. During the event, and multiple times after, Leebens expressed to various members of the executive board of SJP that he was proud of the way the event went, and how we handled opposition. However, later we found out that Leebens had advised members of another club to not participate in the die-in because of its controversial message.

What was most problematic about your letter, President Travis, was the direct effect that it had on the perception of SJP on campus. As we explained to you in our meeting, immediately following the letter, many of us were approached by various members of the John Jay community, students and faculty alike, who asked us if we were complicit in anti-Semitic activities. Many student groups, including the African Students Association, who co-sponsored the event, explained that they would no longer be willing to work with us on future events because of the “controversy” it generated, in light of your letter, and because of the resulting implications that they, too, were engaged in anti-Semitic activity or speech—simply because they joined us in protesting Israel’s human rights abuses in Gaza and rising violence on black people across the country by armed representatives of the US state.

 Together with your letter, these series of events had the effect of a political attack on our club and other organized student formations that are critical of Israel’s policies. Although we understand that this was all initiated with The Jewish Weekly’s defamatory article, the way it was handled was not reflective of a neutral or objective agenda on the part of administration. What this conveyed to the student body was that involving ourselves in political discourse about current events, and talking about justice, the very core of the principle claimed to be upheld by this institution, will be met with hostility. Following this, however, at our meeting on the 3rd, you stated that SJP had not violated any John Jay policies and that you were glad that SJP was present and active on campus. You also said that you did not intend to imply otherwise in your letter and expressed regret that student groups have stopped collaborating with SJP. We appreciate this acknowledgement, and insisted that you email the John Jay community to this effect, in order to clarify misconceptions. While you said you would need to think about it, we hope that this or another similar gesture can be worked out so we can continue to engage in our work diligently and with a clear slate since, as representatives of an international movement, and as intellectual agents engaged in political action, we see it our duty to make an impact in our society, and to carry a message of solidarity to the communities that we (the student body of John Jay college) come from. We are aware that, by now, you have met with all three clubs involved, and we expect, naturally, some public announcement of what you have found, in full confidence that the truth will only exonerate SJP of any wrongdoing.

 Thank you all for your time in reading this letter. We hope to see more of you engage in mobilizing for justice with us!


Best regards,

The executive team of The Students for Justice in Palestine at John Jay College