UCLA computer scientist Judea Pearl will receive CAMERA’s inaugural Ometz award for courage in recognition of his public renunciation of his status as a “distinguished alumnus” of New York University. Pearl will receive the award at CAMERA’s gala, celebrating “The Promise of Israel and the Battle for Truth” on June 2 at 5:30 p.m., in New York City. Ron Dermer, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, will receive CAMERA’s Emet award.
Professor Pearl took his former school to task in April when the school announced that it would give the President’s Service award to the anti-Israel student group Students for Justice in Palestine. In his renouncement letter to NYU’s President Andrew Hamilton, Dr. Pearl wrote: “In the past five years, SJP has resorted to intimidation tactics that have made me, my colleagues and my students unwelcome and unsafe on our own campus. The decision to confer an award on SJP renders other NYU awards empty of content and suspect of reckless selection process.”
“Professor Pearl was absolutely correct when he said SJP crushes other student meetings,” said Yoni Michanie, a campus coordinator for CAMERA on Campus. “SJP activists have barged into and deliberately disrupted many of our student-supported meetings at colleges across the country.
“This past year, members of SJP burned Israel’s flag and physically assaulted students at our events, and their consistent threats and intimidation have made it difficult to walk proudly as a Jew on campus,” said Adela Cojab, a CAMERA-supported student at NYU.
Ms. Cojab added that Dr. Pearl’s decision to confront the university about SJP was inspirational. “As students at NYU, we are grateful to Professor Pearl for holding NYU accountable for its reckless selection of SJP and failure to protect its students,” she said. “His letter was the first form of public support we received, inspiring alumni and donors nationwide to stand with NYU’s Jewish students. I wish more academics had the courage of Professor Pearl.”
Dr. Pearl, who grew up in Tel Aviv, is the father of the journalist Daniel Pearl, who was murdered by Islamic terrorists in 2002 while he was on assignment in Pakistan. Dr. Pearl said that his life experience and the rise of what he called Zionophobic racism in academia had made it necessary for him to take a stand.
For more information, go to www.camera.org.