February 7, 2013 UPDATE with two links reporting on the counter protest in support of Israel outside Brooklyn College from the NY Times and also the Jerusalem Post.
"It's the college coming out in support of a vicious, hateful group, plain and simple," New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind told The Jerusalem Post at the rally. "This isn't about free speech. The issue is very simple: the sponsorship is inappropriate."
My previous experience at Brooklyn College was in March of 2011, when David Horowitz was the speaker in opposition to the slanderous "Israeli Apartheid" Hate-Fest. Pictures and video are posted here:
An uproar arose from the Marxist student orgs as well as the "Fakestinian" contingent. Free-speech and the right to hear diverse opinions, opinions that contradicted their lies, were denied. They demanded that no one at the college was to hear Horowitz speak. Brooklyn College gave no support to the student organization that had invited Horowitz and the campus police would not supply any security. It was expected that these Leftist agitators and their Fakestinian chums would attend and go unchecked; free to scream and yell at Horowitz so that he could not be heard. His 'crime' was defending Israel and criticizing the obscene hate-fest: "Israel Apartheid Week". The Horowitz event did happen and Horowitz WAS heard, but ONLY because of the action of the fearless Jeffrey Wiesenfeld (of the CUNY Board of Trustees) . Wiesenfeld demanded that the college supply campus security, that was key to permitting the event to proceed without harassment.
David Horowitz was invited by a student organization and was not co-sponsored by Brooklyn College.
Flash forward to a controversial panel coming to Brooklyn College on Feb 7, 2013. A propaganda panel spewing hatred for Israel and the Jews, and YES, co-sponsored by the Political Science Department of Brooklyn College.
The panel features "Fakestinian" Activist, Omar Barghouti and Judith Butler of whom Hikind said, “They think Hamas and Hezbollah are nice organizations and they probably feel the same way about Al Qaeda!”
These same antagonists who were opposed to David Horowitz speaking in opposition to the Israel Apartheid Week, these same groups are now defenders of free speech and 'diverse' opinions. On our TAX dime they will have racists and hate-mongers advocating for boycotting, sanctioning and divestment from Israel (BDS) and co-sponsored and protected by Brooklyn College.
Would Brooklyn College do the same for David Dukes? How about racist, Al Sharpton and The New Black Panthers. Would they sanction these speakers? Perhaps not David Dukes since they seem to think he represents the 'other' side. If you do not ascribe to the Leftist, Marxist agenda you are 'dis-invited'.
Yet, a supporter of the BDS panel claims that Brooklyn College,
“By bravely co-sponsoring a controversial forum – which means neither approval nor disapproval but openness to different ideas – you are offering a service to the Brooklyn College community…I believe… that reasonable debate without censorship will bring people to better understandings of each other and the issues at hand.”
They did NOT feel so 'warm and fuzzy' when David Horowitz was invited to speak. Those who yell the loudest shut out those of whom THEY disapprove. Bullies and Tyrants. When do we say, "Enough?"
February 7, 2013, should be the day we start to take back our schools from these hate-mongers.. Demand that Brooklyn College sanction speakers who actually represent a diverse reaction to hate-fests like the BDS Movements and Israel Apartheid Week.
On Thursday, January 31, 2013, Dov Hikind (Brooklyn Assemblyman-D ) called a Press Conference to do just that; to say " Enough!" and to take back our schools from these hate-mongers. Their press release said:
We are calling for Brooklyn College’s Political Science Department to withdraw their endorsement of this event, rather than send the message to its students and to the world that the divisive perspective offered by the organizing groups is Brooklyn College’s official view. In addition, we ask that you remain vigilant in ensuring that events bearing the official imprimatur of the College provide adequate opportunity for diverse perspectives to be heard. We believe that this is the very hallmark of academic freedom.
Signed By:Congressman Jerrold Nadler
Councilman Brad Lander
Speaker Christine Quinn
Comptroller John LiuPublic Advocate Bill de Blasio
Borough President Marty Markowitz
Congresswoman Yvette ClarkeCongresswoman Nydia Velazquez
Congressman Hakeem Jeffries
Senator Kevin Parker
Senator Daniel Squadron
Assemblywoman Rhoda Jacobs
Assemblyman Karim Camara
Assemblyman James Brennan
Assemblywoman Joan Millman
Assemblyman Walter Mosley
Councilwoman Tish James
Councilman Steve Levin
Former Comptroller Bill Thompson
Hikind called for the department vote on sponsoring the panel to be public:
"Is someone hiding behind someone’s skirt? Release the vote to the public! Those who want to sponsor the event, put your names down!” He noted just prior to the press conference that the college president Gould has cancelled her upcoming trip to Albany to request increased funds for the university. Hikind added that he was disappointed that she would not be able to advocate for additional funding: “You don’t think it has anything to do with the fact that I said I would make her life a little miserable?”
I managed to catch that wonderful challenge from Assemblyman Hikind in the video below
( :11 to :50). Be sure to watch video in HD
Sorry the video is only of the intros. Had a camera malfunction so I was unable to record the speakers. The speakers included former Comptroller and mayoral candidate Bill Thompson, Assemblyman Alan Maisel, Assemblyman Steve Cymbrowitz, Assemblyman Michael Simanowitz, Assemblywoman Rhoda Jacobs , Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein and Assembly District Leader, Ari Kagan.
Also speaking were two students:
There were questions asked by student reporters
And a healthy turn-out of the regular media:
Helen Freedman Exec. Dir. AFSI (Americans For a Safe Israel) also spoke.
Freedman later said in a report of the Press Conference:
"Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind held a press conference at Brooklyn College today, Thursday morning, Jan. 31, 11 AM, to decry the co-sponsorship by the Political Science Department of the College with a hate-filled program of BDS against Israel. Assemblyman Hikind was accompanied by many of the city and state political figures. Every speaker addressed the tragedy of a moral, ethical, intellectual center like Brooklyn College, the alma mater of both Hikind and Freedman, being turned into a center for the promulgation of hate, lies, deceit, and delegitimization of the State of Israel. As Hikind stated, the "academic freedom" hailed by the President of the College, Karen Gould, and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, could be observed without interference, if only the College would withdraw its support. Taxpayer money should not be paying for the promotion of Jew-hatred."
Rina Yarmish read a statement from Jeffrey Weisenfeld of the CUNY Board of Trustees
STATEMENT BY - Jeffrey S. Wiesenfeld, Trustee City University of New York
Former aide – Governor George E. Pataki, Senator Alfonse M. D’Amato and other public officials.
"In my 13 years as a trustee of CUNY, I’ve had plenty of opportunity to observe the intellectual corruption and anti-Semitism of many in America’s academic elite. I hear about it from trustees in colleges and universities across America and it’s become more common at CUNY, with Brooklyn College as an unexpected hotbed. The current plans for an anti-Israel BDS conference with the school’s co-sponsorship by the political science department raise new questions.
If an individual professor engages in selective hatred of Israel and the resulting intimidation of Jewish students, that is bad enough. If branches of the MSA (Muslin Students Association, all chapters of which are affiliated with ISNA – the Islamic Society of North America, which is the Muslim Brotherhood on our soil), that is bad enough. I’ll be damned however, if I were to be silent on the official co-sponsorship of an entire academic department of a Nuremberg-like conference on a CUNY campus. This is a misuse of tax-levy funds. This is NOT an academic conference in any sense.
Furthermore, other than the intimidation of liberal arts professors who might support Israel, how do we know that EVERY professor in that department supports this drivel?We must also look at the hypocrisy and intellectual corruption of these accusatory, one-sided conferences The Islamic world, having evicted nearly all of its Jews following the reconstitution of the Jewish State in 1948, murdering many and plundering all of their property, is now exterminating its remaining Christians, Bahais and Zaroastrians – in fact, anyone non-Muslims – whose adherents may have resided in these lands for millennia. Brave columnists like Fouad Adjami, Amir Taheri and other brave Muslims chronicle this dysfunctionality – and far worse – at great risk. Inter-Muslim murder rivals their states’ crimes against other groups as well.
From 1920 to the present, approximately 100,000 Jews and Arabs have died in all the conflicts involving them – most Jews and Israelis as victims of terror and in defensive wars and most Arabs as a result of Israel’s defense or their brethren having cowardly used them as “human shields.” 100,000 Syrians alone have been brutally murdered by the forces of Bashar Assad in the last 2 years. Do these BDS hypocrites care?
These BDS advocates single out Israel as a cover for rank anti-Semitism. It is not about saving Palestinians (who mostly need to be saved from themselves and their leaders); its purpose is to delegitimize and destroy Israel. They do NOT want a two-state solution. To them Tel Aviv and Haifa are “occupied territories” as much as Gaza, long vacated by Israel and now one of the world’s most prominent terrorist launching points. They want a one-state solution – to have yet another of the many Arab states. They deny – as anti-Semites do - the eternal connection, since recordable history, of the Jewish people to their land. They reject all peace offers by Israel. They subjugate their own people to a vile existence in the false belief that they can “wait out the Jews.”
I call upon taxpayers to draw a line here and make it known: taxpayer dollars should not fund illegitimate, racist and anti-Semitic activities by any academic department. Those of us who care about Israel would do no less if others were similarly treated. Additionally, academic administrators should be reminded that Jewish students are no less entitled – under applicable federal law – than other students to an educational environment free of intimidation and prejudice."
Jeffrey S. Wiesenfeld, Trustee The City University of New York
And from Andrea Peyser of the NY Post:
"The Political Science Department is co-sponsoring a forum Thursday that leaves no doubt about the depravity lurking within Israel-haters’ hearts and souls.
It’s called “BDS Movement Against Israel.” For the uninitiated, “BDS” stands for boycott, divestment and sanctions, a pernicious plot that calls for the shunning of Israeli scholars and the removal of funding and investment from Israel.
I say it promotes ethnic cleansing."
" 10 City Councilmembers wrote her a letter objecting to the panel. Prominent pro-Israel voices including lawyer Alan Dershowitz lambasted the panel... We don’t believe this program is what the taxpayers of our City, many of who would feel targeted and demonized by this program, want their tax money to be spent on.”
Brooklyn College's President, Karen Gould must sanction and perhaps 'co-sponsor' another panel that would be permitted to oppose BDS. Perhaps then she can say she supports true diversity of opinion .
Link to more photos in the set here: