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Jewish activists want Indian-American dean of NY law school fired

New York, June 19 (IANS) Jewish activists have called for the ouster of Sudha Setty, the Indian-American dean of City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law, for allowing and congratulating a graduate student for her anti-Israel ‘hate speech’.

A group of 50 protesters rallied outside CUNY’s Manhattan headquarters last week over Fatima Mohammed’s May 12 remarks bashing Israel and calling the NYPD “fascist” in her controversial speech, the New York Post reported.

In her fiery speech, she also accused Israel of encouraging “lynch mobs” and lauded resistance to “Zionism around the world”.

According to The Post, Setty was seen congratulating and applauding Mohammed’s remarks – which were condemned by the CUNY board of trustees as “hate speech”, and “hurtful to the entire CUNY community”.

“As heinous as the student’s remarks to her Jewish classmates and their families were, it is even more reprehensible that the Dean of CUNY Law, Sudha Setty, would echo that hate speech with applause,” Ronald S Lauder, President of the World Jewish Congress, tweeted.

“To that end, I am calling on the Board of Trustees to immediately fire Dean Setty without equivocation to send a message that Jew Hate will not be tolerated in New York’s public universities,” Lauder added.

The protesters declared a “state of emergency” at the state’s public university system and made several other demands of CUNY, which included “booting any professor who endorsed or approved of Mohammed’s Jew-targeting commencement speech”.

It also called CUNY to implement mandatory anti-semitism training; apply and enforce the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism; punish students who engage in antisemitism, and ban the practice of allowing students to select a commencement speaker.

Also, a coalition of Jewish legal groups separately urged the American Bar Association (ABA) to consider stripping the law school of its accreditation, which would prevent its graduates from sitting for the bar exam in any state.

Setty joined the CUNY School of Law on July 1, 2022, becoming the first woman of South Asian descent to serve as dean of an ABA-accredited law school.

Previously, she served as dean of Western New England University School of Law, where she focused on enhancing social justice lawyering and increasing institutional commitments to racial justice and diversity, equity, and inclusion

Setty is the recipient of the National Conference for Community and Justice 2021 Human Relations Award.

She earned her J.D. with honours from Columbia Law School and her A.B. in history with honours from Stanford University.

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