Letter to the Editor: Angelina Palumbo

Dear Editor,

My name is Angelina Palumbo and I am the Vice President of The Jewish Student Union and the founder of the Students Supporting Israel chapter at SUNY New Paltz. SUNY New Paltz has been a breeding ground for antisemitism and Jewish students are feeling the prejudice daily. While there has been a recent surge of Jew hatred across the country, this is not a new phenomenon on our campus. Last year two students were denied entry from a club because of their Jewish identities and swastikas were found etched into elevators in the Student Union Building. So…How could it get worse?

On November 15th an article was published “MSA Holds Student-Led Rally in Support of Palestine”. The author writes,  “Many also flew Palestinian flags or held signs decorated in red, green, and black with sayings of solidarity.” The author conveniently leaves out what some of the signs read: “Globalize the Intifada”. Jewish and Israeli students did not feel safe in the following weeks after reading these signs. The First and Second Intifada’s were violent uprisings that killed hundreds of innocent people. This is the behavior that is being glorified on our campus. 

After winter recess the climate on campus was calm. This was short-lived as flyers of the Israeli hostages including 1-year-old Kfir Bibas and 4-year-old Ariel Bibas were violently ripped down on campus. The perpetrators were caught on film. President Wheeler had made a statement last semester, “We do not condone the intentional removal of flyers based on their content” This statement does not seem to have held up well. 

The breaking point for many Jewish students was Wednesday, February 28th. SSI organized three IDF reservists to speak about their experience since October 7th. This event was met with tremendous backlash. Due to safety concerns, the event was moved from the SUB to College Terrace, an isolated building. Around eighty participants sat inside the event and listened to the presenters. The event was met with over 200 protestors chanting outside. One of the chants was “SSI you can’t hide”. How do you think Jewish students felt hearing that chant? To add fuel to the fire this quote was published in The Oracle’s article titled “Students Protest Presence of IDF Soldiers on Campus”. 

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) released a college campus report card this past week. This report card rated campuses based on how they are handling the ongoing conflict and treatment of Jewish students. SUNY New Paltz received a “D” for Deficient Approach. If that score does not sum up of Jewish students feel on campus I am not sure what will. 


Angelina Palumbo