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NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – Rutgers University campus police tonight barred some 400 Jewish students and their supporters, including some Holocaust survivors, from attending what was billed as an anti-Zionist gathering at the state school tonight.
The student-sponsored event was announced with an open invitation campus-wide, and Rutgers policy is for all student activities to be open to the public.
However, when the sponsoring organizations of “Never Again for Anyone” saw they were outnumbered by Jewish students and their supporters by about 4-to-1, they asked campus policy to bar students wearing kippas – and eventually limited attendance to known supporters of the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, Americans for Muslims in Palestine and the Middle East Children’s Alliance.
Pleas to university officials from the Jewish students and their supporters for access to the event went unheeded.
“They started charging money as soon as they saw Zionists outside,” said Rabbi Akiva Weiss.
Rutgers campus police said they could not provide a statement as to why the public event would turn away 400 members of the public. One officer said they were called in late and weren’t really sure what was going on.
When the Jewish students, led by Aaron Marcus, were denied entry, they gathered in the lobby and sang religious songs in Hebrew.
“We wanted to protest this event because as the children and grandchildren of victims of the Holocaust we believed it to be absolutely absurd to compare Israeli act of self defense to the vicious, systematic murder of millions of Jews, Catholics, Gays, Gypsies, Russians and others,” Marcus said.
Members of the New Jersey branch of Young Americans for Freedom were in attendance to protest the discrimination against Jewish students.
The program at Rutgers is part of a national tour purporting to promote peace and justice for Israel and surrounding lands.