A rift has broken out between a New Jersey-based pro-Palestinian student group and a national pro-Palestinian organization, threatening a three-day Palestinian solidarity conference scheduled for Rutgers University in New Brunswick in October.
A spokeswoman for the National Student Conference of the Palestine Solidarity Movement (PSM) confirmed that the group has voted to move its third annual national conference from Rutgers to Ohio State University because of "concerns about the capability of New Jersey Solidarity (NJS) to host this year's conference successfully."
Columbia University is the latest battleground in a national drive to persuade universities to stop investing in Israel because of its ongoing conflict with the Palestinians.
Dueling petitions are circulating on the Internet this week on both sides of the divestiture issue.
A group of faculty members from Columbia and Barnard College launched a petition Oct. 26 calling on Columbia to use its “political and financial influence to encourage the United States to suspend military aid and arms sales to Israel.”
Since establishing the Middle East Coexistence House, a dormitory floor where Jews, Muslims and members of other faiths live together, at the New Brunswick campus of Rutgers University in New Jersey three months ago, Danielle Josephs has described the innovative dialogue project to Jewish activists around the country, Rutgers donors and alumni, faculty members and representatives of non-governmental organizations and journalists.
On Monday she told the President of the United States about her idea.
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