[Marxism] Battle over student support for Gaza at Rutgers
lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Nov 4 09:17:07 MDT 2010
The Associated Press
Wednesday, November 03, 2010, 7:34 PM
Jewish groups raise concern over Rutgers student fundraiser for
NEWARK — Jewish groups are raising concerns over a planned Rutgers
University student fundraiser that was originally intended to
collect money for a group that sends supplies to Gaza in defiance
of the Israeli blockade.
Organizers from BAKA: Students United for Middle Eastern Justice,
say their Nov. 4 fundraising dinner is meant to support the
sending of humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people.
A spokeswoman for BAKA, Hoda Mitwally, said her organization was
being maligned by groups opposed to the event who had issued press
releases insinuating her group was somehow linked to terrorism,
attempting to misuse school funds, or intentionally breaking the law.
"The way we are collecting the money is entirely legal," said
Mitwally, a Rutgers senior. "Everything we're doing is essentially
for a humanitarian mission, yet we're being accused of just the
opposite by those who don't want to recognize there is a
humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip."
Members of the Jewish group Rutgers Hillel, who oppose the event
and contacted the Anti-Defamation League with their concerns, said
they want to make sure Rutgers is not used as a fundraising venue
for organizations that violate international law or conduct
illegal actions against Israel.
"We don't want to infringe on anyone's free speech rights, but
when it comes to breaking the law, and using the resources of our
state university to do that, that is where we object," said Andrew
Getraer, the executive director of Rutgers Hillel.
The fundraiser was originally slated to raise money for a group
called U.S. to Gaza, a coalition that plans to sponsor a boat to
deliver supplies to Gaza by defying the Israeli naval blockade,
according to stories first reported on the Web site New Jersey
Jewish News and in The Record newspaper.
Rutgers University spokesman Greg Trevor said the fundraiser had
been approved by the university's Student Assembly Allocations
Committee, but that organizers were told the proceeds could not go
to U.S. to Gaza, because the group lacked the proper tax-exempt
status to qualify as a charity.
BAKA hasn't filed to give the money to a new group yet, Trevor
said. No funds will be released until the university determines
that the recipient is legally registered as a nonprofit in the
U.S., he added.
More information about the Marxism