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SUNY Student Tears Down Israeli Flag from Administrator’s Office

A student at the State University of New York (SUNY) Purchase entered an administrator’s office on Tuesday and tore down an Israeli flag that was hanging in the window, National Review has learned.

A video posted of the incident posted to Instagram shows a student walking into the office of Paul Nicholson, the head of Educational Opportunity and Merit Access programs at SUNY Purchase. “Oh, you here to see me?” Nicholson asks as the student enters. “Yeah, I am,” the undergrad, who is filming the encounter surreptitiously responds, before barging into Nicholson’s office and tearing down Israeli flag the administrator hung in the window.

“I’m gonna take these down,” the student says as Nicholson tries to intervene and remove him from the office. “What the f*** man? Free Palestine, bro,” the student responds as he’s pushed out of the office.

“It’s not worth it. Let it go. Chill. Chill,” a third man can be heard saying.

A SUNY Purchase spokesperson told NR that the student has been suspended and the incident was referred to local police.

“As we have been 100 percent clear, antisemitism has no place at SUNY and will not be tolerated,” the spokesperson said.

NR first learned of the altercation from a SUNY administrator who had the incident described to them by Nicholson.

“A student took issue with Nicholson having the Israeli flag, and they got into an altercation, and the student physically attacked him. The university police got involved, and, to the best of my knowledge, the student was arrested,” the administrator said.

Nicholson, an American Jew, is a SUNY alumnus who previously earned degrees at New Paltz and Oneonta, according to his school profile. He could not be reached for comment. According to the administrator, a personal acquaintance of Nicholson’s, Nicholson was instructed by campus police chief Dayton Tucker “to go home and try to shake it off.”

“I don’t think he was physically injured,” the administrator added. “I can only imagine that he is emotionally distraught.”

Apart from the physical altercation involving Nicholson, the administrator told National Review that the campus has been relatively quiet since the Hamas atrocities of October 7.

“There was a pro-Palestinian gathering, maybe three or four weeks ago, right outside my building. You know, a group of students chanting the usual ‘From the river to the sea’ kind of thing and wearing their colors.” The event lasted about an hour or two and ended uneventfully, though the administrator acknowledged having planned out an escape route in case the demonstration went sideways. “I was sort of at the ready to leave if I needed to. There’s a back door that I could scoot out, and I was prepared to go.”

The attack that occurred on Tuesday was unlike anything the veteran administrator has seen in many years at the college. “I cannot think of another time that this sort of thing happened, on a global level like this with an international conflict,” the administrator reflected. “I mean, maybe around 9/11, people actually did the opposite; they kind of came together.”

A statement published by a group on campus, Raise the Consciousness at Purchase, said the flag was emblazoned with the quote, “Stand with Israel,” and that local law enforcement was “investigating the incident as a possible ANTISEMITIC HATE CRIME, a vile accusation conflating the apartheid state of ‘Israel’ with Jewish people and minimizes the very real threat posed by ACTUAL ANTISEMITISM towards Jewish students.”

Source: https://www.nationalreview.com/news/jewish-suny-administrator-assaulted-by-student-for-displaying-israeli-flag-in-office/