Supporters of a Rutgers University pro-Palestinian student group are suing the New Jersey college, saying it froze funds that they had raised in support of efforts to end the Israeli blockade of Gaza.
The suit was filed in federal district court by BAKA: Students United for Middle Eastern Justice against the university, its executives and governing bodies on behalf of the 250 people who attended the U.S. Boat to Gaza fundraiser in November 2010. At that event, $3,345 was donated toward an international protest of the blockade.
BAKA used student activity fees to sponsor the event, which featured a buffet, according to The Record.
Those funds have yet to be distributed, according to BAKA.
According to the group’s website, the university has not released the money due to pressure from Hillel and other groups. Posted on the site is a letter from Rutgers Hillel expressing “great concern” over the flotilla fundraiser.
The New Jersey regional office of the Anti-Defamation League reportedly contacted the university prior to the 2011 fundraiser to protest the event.
The university agreed to let the event take place but said it would look into whether the groups that make up the U.S . Boat to Gaza are eligible to receive tax-deductible donations.