Students at a New York University dormitory known for having many devout Jews woke up to mock eviction notices slipped under their doors on Thursday morning, to simulate what pro-Palestine activists say Palestinian residents experience on the West Bank.
The mock notices were dispersed in Palladium Hall, which is the only dorm with a Shabbat elevator, which runs automatically to allow Jewish students to use it on the Sabbath without pushing the buttons. The notices, distributed by the university’s Students for Justice in Palestine, tell students they have until midnight on Friday to move out, according to the Times of Israel.
The group alleges that such notices are “routinely given to Palestinian families living under Israeli occupation for no other reason than their ethnicity”; in reality, Israeli authorities have demolished homes belonging to people who are thought to have carried out terrorist acts against Israelis. Additionally, NYU’s SJP joins calls for divestment from Israel by pointing out that university, the United States government, and other organizations invest in and aid Israel.
Known as “dorm storming,” the approach of slipping the fake notifications to students has taken place at other universities and is frequently perpetrated by other SJP chapters; at Northeastern University, the campus chapter was temporarily suspended.
“Being very straightforward, this made me feel targeted and unsafe in my own dorm room and I know others feel exactly the same as myself,” a student told the Times. “I understand free speech rights but if this was targeted solely to Jewish students then this appears to be of a more threatening nature rather than informative.”