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StandWithUs Statement Regarding Lack of Free Speech at Brooklyn College

StandWithUs Statement Regarding Lack of Free Speech at Brooklyn College

On Thursday, February 7, at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York (CUNY), four pro-Israel students were forced to leave a Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) event simply because they were holding information sheets that offered a point of view different from the opinion of those who came to promote an extremist, one-sided anti-Israel perspective. StandWithUs is outraged that these students were ejected from the event.

The school's political science department has to take responsibility for sponsoring an event where student rights were violated. The four students who were expelled from the event should never have been asked to leave because they had a different opinion. After all, the four students were completely respectful- the anti-Israel speaker could be heard (uninterrupted) in an audiotape that was release on the Algemeiner. It is unacceptable that the university would issue a statement claiming the students were asked to leave because they were being disruptive when the evidence proves otherwise.

We welcome CUNY Chancellor Goldstein's announcement of an investigation into what happened, and we hope the school will apologize to and vindicate these four students.

We also hope that steps are taken to ensure that this does not happen again.

We remain shocked that the political science department sponsored racist hatemongers who are clearly not interested in peace. BDS founder and activist Omar Barghouti has said openly that if all the refugees would "return to Israel," we would have a "Palestine next to a Palestine." The BDS movement is one-sided, destructive, and hypocritical. The boycott movement never discusses terrorism by Palestinian groups like Hamas. It only promotes the one-sided punishment of Israel in an ongoing conflict.   

Free speech and civil rights were denied to these four students. We call upon Brooklyn College and academic institutions everywhere to ensure that students who respect the rules of civil discourse enjoy their civil rights. We also call upon other universities to refrain from officially endorsing events that promote racism, discrimination, and hatred of people, as this recent event has done at Brooklyn College.
Read the article in the Algemeiner
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