Students for Justice in Palestine calls for impeachment of pro-Israel Jewish student, backs down after lawyers get involved

The Students for Justice in Palestine club at Tufts University tried to censure a Jewish student government member following his opposition to a Jewish divestment referendum.

The Students for Justice in Palestine students backed down after lawyers from the Brandeis Center contacted the school’s administration.

The Students for Justice in Palestine club at Tufts University in Boston tried to remove a student government member following his stance in support of Israel. 

When advocacy groups got involved following “a months-long campaign of intimidation, harassment and discrimination,” the students backed down.

According to Jewish Insider, Max Price, who describes himself as a proud Jew, is a member of the student judiciary. According to his personal statement obtained by Jewish Insider, Price explained that as part of his role, he sought to remove “biased, misleading, or otherwise untruthful language” from a referendum proposed by the Students for Justice in Palestine club about divesting from the state of Israel.

“Student members of SJP have repeatedly and persistently harassed me in an attempt to silence my voice,” read Price’s statement. The students pressured Price to recuse himself from the referendum process, then asked the student government to mandate his recusal, Price alleged.

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“That did not work, so now SJP has filed a complaint seeking my impeachment and removal from student government,” he explained. “They are targeting me based on protected characteristics, my Judaism and my Zionism which is inherent in my expression of Judaism.”

Following the incident and several months of threats directed toward Price, the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law contacted the administration of Tufts University on Price’s behalf.

The group’s letter detailed Students for Justice in Palestine’s campaign against Price and recommended that the school “discipline any students who are found, after prompt investigation, to have violated university policy by conducting a campaign of intimidation and harassment.”

One screenshot obtained by Jewish Insider from a student government GroupMe depicted a member proclaiming “f**k max price.” The Brandeis Center also released documents showing that Students for Justice in Palestine members lobbied the student government to sideline Price, which resulted in him being forcibly muted during a November judiciary meeting.

The letter also noted that Price had been summoned to a student government “disciplinary hearing” invoked by the Students for Justice in Palestine.

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A February 26 press release from the Brandeis Center confirmed that Students for Justice in Palestine rescinded their impeachment complaint against Price.

“SJP got caught, their harassment of Jewish students was exposed, and they backpedaled,” said Brandeis Center President Alyza Lewin, who called on the “Tufts administration to take concrete steps to end the ongoing marginalization, harassment and discrimination of Jewish students on campus.”

Tufts University Executive Director of Media Relations Patrick Collins told Campus Reform that the university is “not at liberty to discuss specific student cases or allegations.” 

Though the school takes issues of “bias, safety, privacy, and intimidation” seriously, Collins explained that the school respects the student government’s “independence regarding the conduct of its business according to its policies and procedures.”

Campus Reform reached out to Tufts University and the Brandeis Center for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @BenZeisloft