Donate Shop Register


Brooklyn College Under Fire for Sponsorship of Anti-Israel BDS Event (VIDEO)
Brooklyn College Under Fire for Sponsorship of Anti-Israel BDS Event (VIDEO)


Buildings on Brooklyn College's campus. Photo: Wikipedia.

By Zach Pontz
The Algemeiner
January 31, 2013


The controversy surrounding a BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) event aimed at Israel in February at Brooklyn College has prompted more criticism of the school, whose political department is co-sponsoring the event that will feature anti-Israel activists Judith Butler and Omar Barghouti.

The Jewish Community Relations Council of New York released a statement that read in part:

“While we vigorously defend academic freedom, we believe that these freedoms do not extend to faculty and academic bodies exploiting their association with the university to enhance their biased and hateful agenda. At the very least, academic integrity requires a balanced forum representing diverse views. Since that is not the case, we call upon the Political Science Department to remove its name from this one-sided propaganda event.”

Tanger Hillel of Brooklyn College also released a statement echoing the JCRC’s belief in academic freedom but condemning the political science department’s role in the event.

“We believe in the right of free speech and that an academic institution should provide an appropriate venue for serious discussion of meaningful issues. However, we strongly condemn the decision of brooklyn college’s political science department to lend its name and support to an event featuring individuals who espouse extremist and hostile view,” the statement said.

Hillel also addressed calls for Brooklyn College President Karen Gould to resign.

“We do not agree with those who call for the resignation of President Gould. We do ask her to endorse the obvious: the college does not agree with these hateful speakers; the college intends to provide equal protection from hate speech for all our students; the college values Hillel’s constructive role on campus; the college values its relationship with israeli universities and colleges; the college abhors any anti Israel call for a boycott.”

StandWithUS, a non-profit organization “dedicated to informing the public about Israel and to combating the extremism and anti-Semitism that often distorts the issues,” released a statement that read in part:

“While student clubs are certainly entitled to put on whatever events they wish that conform to school guidelines, it is reprehensible that a school department is willing to officially dignify this event. This forum, entitled ‘Judith Butler and Omar Barghouti: BDS Movement for Palestinian Rights,’ will be an effort to promote bigotry, prejudice and hate against the Jewish state and its supporters. ”

It also released two videos (see below) one of which is about the hypocrisy and hate of the BDS movement, and the other which features Norman Finkelstein, a well known anti-Israel advocate, admit that the movement’s goal is the destruction of Israel.

Wednesday, the ADL condemned the political department’s actions, as did Alan Dershowitz, the well known attorney and an alumnus of the school.

The president of Brooklyn College’s Assembly (the undergraduate government), Abraham Esses, released a statement Wednesday as well.

“The department’s approach to the issue is far from constructive; knowing well in advance that such sponsorship would insult and isolate a large portion of its students, it chose to express its own opinions through a venue that inhibits open dialogue and honest debate. Far from being receptive to students’ concerns, I regret to inform you that they have repeatedly turned down students’ requests to meet and discuss the issue further.”

He added: “I find the administration’s slow, halfhearted response to the issue to be appalling. Without any support or sympathy for students’ complaints, the administration seems complacent in a department’s clear abuse of its rights and responsibilities. Furthermore, the administration has failed to consult any student group before issuing its statement in support of the Political Science’s sponsorship decision. I believe this approach to be indicative of the respect, or lack thereof, which they have for students on campus. Whereas I understand its hesitation, the administration has clearly failed to represent and act for its own
constituents.”

In a letter to students, faculty, and staff, President Gould wrote that principles of academic freedom grant students and faculty the right to “engage in dialogue and debate on topics they may choose, even those with which members of our campus and broader community may vehemently disagree.” Gould emphasized that while the college endorses free speech, it does not endorse the views of speakers it brings to campus.

A spokesman for the college also noted that another student group, the Israel Club, will host its own event in February.

Watch a video about BDS below:




Watch a video of Norman Finkelstein talking about BDS below:

Other stories
1/17/2017
In my three years of work with Israel advocacy on campus I have given much thought to how ...
1/11/2017
Through The Looking Glass: A Visit To The West Bank...what`s life really like?...
1/11/2017
When teens arrive on college campuses they are often confronted with anti-Israel sentiment...
1/10/2017
MICHIGAN BECOMES 15th STATE TO LEGISLATIVELY OPPOSE DISCRIMINATION AGAINST ISRAEL ON JANUA...
1/9/2017
StandWithUs held a training for leaders of the South African Union of Jewish Students...
1/9/2017
Jewish students are refraining from expressing support for Israel on campuses in the US an...
1/9/2017
As a senior in high school, and a current StandWithUs intern, I am often in the position o...
1/9/2017
Paris Peace Conference 2017 Must Hold Palestinian Leaders Accountable ...
1/9/2017
StandWithUs Canada congratulates the students at Kings University College in London, Ontar...
1/6/2017
Students attending United Nations-run schools in the West Bank and Gaza use textbooks that...
1/6/2017
One of the main challenges to hopes for peace in the Middle East today is the campaign to ...
1/5/2017
Visiting home in Upstate New York on break from school, I hear my mother bellow from downs...
1/5/2017
StandWithUs Rhode Island participated in the third annual IsrAction Day 2016...
1/3/2017
Statement from American Victims of Palestinian Terrorism on the Terrorist Attack in Istanb...
1/3/2017
Liz Brough, the Irish American, non-Jewish coordinator of StandWithUs`s high school intern...
1/3/2017
Despite the passage of an anti-Israel Boycott, Divest, Sanction resolution in the Portland...
1/3/2017
An anti-Israel vote at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor may have failed last month but...
12/29/2016
StandWithUs Chicago participated in the third annual IsrAction Day...
12/28/2016
Sara Gold Rafel, director of the Boca Raton-based Southeast Region of StandWithUs, the Isr...
12/28/2016
Throughout the month of December, the international Israel Education organization StandWit...

 

About Us
Get Involved
Resources
Shop For Israel
Social Media
StandWithUs Websites