Originally published May 18, 2022
Anti-Semitism is too polite of a moniker to describe what just occurred at the graduation ceremony for CUNY Law, right here in the heart of the largest Jewish community in the United States. Selected by the students to give an address – knowing full well where she stands on these issues – Nerdeen Mohsen Kiswani grabbed the opportunity, and the microphone, to espouse hatred of America, Israel, and the Jewish people.
She started her speech thanking her “comrades,” notable because it’s a Marxist term, showing where she lies on the political spectrum from the first sentence. She laments that she has been “facing a campaign of Zionist harassment by well-funded organizations with ties to the Israeli government and military on the basis of my Palestinian identity and organizing,” and that she has been subject to numerous articles attacking her.
Well, Nerdeen, you’re about to get another one. Not because you’re a Palestinian, but because you’re a garbage person who would like to see a second Holocaust in the State of Israel and the genocide of millions of Jews.
According to the New York Post, in an op-ed from the Editorial Board, “Nerdeen Mohsen Kiswani is the founder and a leader of Within Our Lifetime, an outfit dedicated to the complete eradication of Israel. The group’s been banned from Instagram for hate speech; StopAntisemitism.org named Kiswani its anti-Semite of the year for 2020.”
Within Our Lifetime boasts messages like “Resistance and Return By Any Means Necessary.” They have statements commemorating the Second Intifada from 2000-2005, claiming that it “launched a new chapter of Palestinian resistance to Zionist settler colonialism” and lamenting that “at least 5,000 Palestinians were martyred.”
The “About” page of Within Our Lifetime’s website stops just short of actively calling for genocide. There are pictures of the Land of Israel covered with a Palestinian flag and a woman in a Hijab firing a slingshot. It claims they “uphold the right of all Palestinian refugees to return to their homeland in all of historic Palestine from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea… The liberation of Palestine requires the abolition of Zionism… We defend the right of Palestinians as colonized people to resist the Zionist occupation by any means necessary.” These snippets merely scratch the surface of what this group emphasizes publicly. Kiswani was on video in 2020 attempting to set fire to a black student for the great crime of wearing an IDF sweatshirt. At rallies, Kiswani is known to say such things as, “There is only one solution: Intifada revolution,” and, “I hope that a pop-pop is the last noise that some Zionists hear in their lifetime.”
This is the person that CUNY Law students chose to speak to them. This is the person who received cheers from the crowd while she espoused hatred for Jews.
This speech drew some outrage from those who saw it, and hopefully will draw more as it gets more attention. New York Congressman and Gubernatorial Candidate Lee Zeldin tweeted, “This is so wrong. As Governor, I’ll withhold CUNY $ unless it reverses course, combats the rise of anti-Semitism within its culture, policies and ranks, and fosters an employment and learning environment that once again protects Jewish students and faculty.” Meanwhile, Senator Chuck Schumer, who claims to be a “shomer Yisrael” when he’s looking for donations and votes, is silent.
Jew-hatred is becoming more and more commonplace and acceptable, especially among leftist academia. It must be called out and stopped everywhere. Let’s hope that the Bar Association of New York reviews this garbage person’s character and denies her the ability to ever practice law in the United States. Then she can go back to where she claims to love – the Palestinian territories – where she can speak as freely as they would allow her to. Let’s see how quickly she wants to run back to the colonially oppressive United States then.