In the ongoing anti-Zionist investigation, the City University of New York has reversed course after it assigned a former employee of an anti-Israel NGO to lead the task.
The probe began at the request of Prof. Jeffrey Lax, chair of the business department at CUNY’s Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn who had alleged pervasive discrimination and harassment against Zionists and Jews on campus, as well as retaliation and a hostile work environment created by Kingsborough President Claudia Schrader.
In response to Lax’s allegations, CUNY placed its Chief Diversity Officer Saly Abd Alla in charge of the investigation, in what was largely called a bad move considering Abd Alla’s past profile.
Abd Alla previously worked as a civil rights director with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)’s Minnesota chapter. The organization has a history of anti-Israel activity and some of its current leadership had previous connections with organizations that are or were affiliated with Hamas.
In response to the backlash of Abd Alla’s appointment, Doriane Gloria, CUNY’s vice chancellor for human resources pulled Abd Alla from the investigation, writing to Lax: “Without addressing the merits of your assertions regarding the professional ability of an employee of our university to perform their duties, we are exploring alternative approaches to conduct such an investigation, so as to make it unassailable and beyond reproach.”
Lax responded with a request that Gloria work with him to select an outside, neutral, mutually agreeable and pro-bono third party to investigate.
“Let me be extremely kind in suggesting that your office has already exercised, at best, extremely poor judgment in appointing the former director of an admittedly and openly anti-Zionist organization to investigate claims based on Zionism discrimination. Let us settle for another day whether what was actually being exercised by your office and CUNY was bad faith or worse,” Lax wrote to Gloria.