FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(New York City, NY -- March 13, 2019) -- StandWithUs is alarmed to learn of a systematic, year-long anti-Semitic campaign against Michael Goldstein, an administrator and adjunct professor at Kingsborough Community College (“Kingsborough” or the “College”), part of the City University of New York (CUNY) school system. Goldstein has been the target of widespread harassment from faculty members who spearheaded a campaign to terminate his employment with Kingsborough.
The campaign against Goldstein has focused in part on controversial posts from his personal social media accounts. However, instead of simply criticizing and challenging his views, Goldstein's opponents have descended into hate speech and intimidation. Nothing can justify the vicious harassment and anti-Semitism Goldstein has faced.
In February 2018, activists defaced a picture of Leon Goldstein, Michael Goldstein’s father and the former president of Kingsborough, writing “Kill the Zionist Entity” on the picture. In May 2018, they distributed over 1,000 flyers throughout campus calling for Goldstein’s firing and sharing pictures from his personal Facebook profile, including a picture of his 13-year-old daughter. The same day, protestors arrived outside Goldstein’s office and began banging on the door and windows. Between June and September of last year, a series of anonymous articles was published calling on students to “rise up against [Goldstein].”
Kingsborough administrators refused to classify the February 2018 vandalism as a hate crime and took only minimal measures to ensure his personal safety. Despite Goldstein’s repeated requests, Kingsborough failed to provide him with a public safety officer until October 2018, after another faculty member at the college was attacked. According to Goldstein, who is now represented by the Lawfare Project, at least five complaints have been filed with CUNY administration by other Jewish faculty members also targeted in this hateful campaign. To date, the administration still has not opened a full investigation into these incidents.
In addition to CUNY’s own Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination policy, the College’s failures to adequately protect Goldstein or address the harassment when it began last year might violate New York state and federal laws.
“The failure of Kingsborough’s administration to adequately protect Michael Goldstein and other Jewish faculty and pursue appropriate sanctions against those responsible for what are clearly anti-Semitic attacks is seriously alarming and should concern all people of conscience,” said Roz Rothstein, StandWithUs co-founder and CEO. “We call upon the College to immediately take all necessary action to protect the Jewish members of its community – including taking appropriate punitive action against the perpetrators of this campaign of hate – and to emphatically denounce anti-Semitism in all forms.”
StandWithUs (SWU) is a seventeen year-old, international, non-profit Israel education organization. Through university fellowships, high school internships, middle school curricula, conferences, materials, social media, educational films and missions to Israel, StandWithUs supports people around the world who want to educate their schools and communities about Israel.
Based in Los Angeles, the organization has chapters throughout the U.S., in Israel, the UK, Canada and Brazil.