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Brooklyn, NY - Elected Officlas Condemn Brooklyn College For Sponsoring Anti-semitic Lectures

Published on: January 31, 2013 02:58 PM
By: Press Release
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Press Conference Denouncing Brooklyn College For co-sponsoring Racist Lectures January 31 2013 at Brooklyn College, Main Gate On Bedford Ave. Photography by Stefano GiovanniniPress Conference Denouncing Brooklyn College For co-sponsoring Racist Lectures January 31 2013 at Brooklyn College, Main Gate On Bedford Ave. Photography by Stefano Giovannini

Brooklyn, NY - Assemblymembers Dov Hikind and Steve Cymbrowitz along with former NYC Comptroller Bill Thompson addressed a huge gathering of students, faculty and press this morning at Brooklyn College to strongly criticize Brooklyn College for officially co-sponsoring an anti-Israel lecture featuring a well-known racist. The event “BDS Movement Against Israel,” which is scheduled to take place on the Brooklyn College campus on February 7, will be co-sponsored by Brooklyn College’s Political Science Department.

“This lecture, which is funded by tax dollars, gives a platform to the BDS movement, whose goal is to delegitimize Israel’s existence,” said Assemblyman Hikind. “Like its philosophical brothers in Hamas, BDS aims to eliminate the State of Israel from the map. Only its tactics differ from its terrorist cousins: While Hamas blows up busses of innocent men, women and children, BDS works to isolate Israelis, to cut them off from business.”

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Press Conference Denouncing Brooklyn College For co-sponsoring Racist Lectures January 31, 2013 at Brooklyn College, Main Gate On Bedford Ave. Photography by Stefano GiovanniniPress Conference Denouncing Brooklyn College For co-sponsoring Racist Lectures January 31, 2013 at Brooklyn College, Main Gate On Bedford Ave. Photography by Stefano Giovannini

“This isn’t an issue of freedom of speech. This isn’t about having a dialogue. This is about the City’s University, which uses public funds, officially sponsoring speakers who call for the annihilation of the State of Israel; speakers who praise Hamas and Hezbollah. I asked President Gould to just withdraw the official support of the Political Science Department because that support is the City University giving its endorsement. Do that and we have no issue. They can go on and have their hateful forum. But President Gould doesn’t get it.”

The Brooklyn College Political Science Department co-sponsored event invites students to hear seasoned propagandist Omar Barghouti, founder of the BDS, who has compared Israelis to Nazis and added that he won’t take a lecture from a “white person”. Barghouti will be joined by Judith Butler, an apologist for Hamas and Hezbollah.

Assemblyman Hikind’s office reached out numerous times to Paisley Currah, chairman of the Brooklyn College Political Science Department. Currah would not accept his calls, nor calls from other elected officials. Hikind called Currah a coward.

In addition to former NYC Comptroller Bill Thompson, numerous elected officials turned out this morning to condemn Brooklyn College’s sponsorship of the BDS event, including: NYS Senator Eric Adams, NYS Senator John Sampson, NYS Assemblywoman Rhoda Jacobs, NYS Assemblyman Alan Maisel, NYS Assemblyman Michael Simanowitz, NYS Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein, NYC Councilman David Greenfield and NYC Councilman Mike Nelson.

Also in attendance were Helen Freedman, Executive Director, Americans For a Safe Israel, as well as Ari Kagan (a leader in the Russian Jewish community) and Wolf Sender, District Manager, Brooklyn Community Board 12. Dr. Rina Yarmish (Chairperson, Mathematics & Computer Science, Kingsborough Community College) addressed the crowd and delivered comments from CUNY Trustee Jeff Wiesenfeld. Joey Saban, a Brooklyn College sophomore, also addressed the crowd.

NYC Councilman David Greenfield, Press Conference Denouncing Brooklyn College For  co-sponsoring Racist LecturesNYC Councilman David Greenfield, Press Conference Denouncing Brooklyn College For  co-sponsoring Racist Lectures

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1

 Jan 31, 2013 at 03:08 PM joeynathan Says:

were is the jdl to crack a few heads

2

 Jan 31, 2013 at 03:11 PM Aryeh Says:

Gould is a self-hating Jew. She has refused any attempts to make the University balanced and fair. Her agenda is radical.

3

 Jan 31, 2013 at 03:39 PM FYI Says:

for the record paisley currah is a woman who identifies as a man. if that gives the cause more legitimacey :)

4

 Jan 31, 2013 at 04:11 PM BC Student Says:

I am not going to comment whether it is right or wrong. I am merely supplying the public with an email that was sent to all brooklyn college students and staff members
Dear students, faculty, and staff,

Each semester, student clubs, academic departments, and other groups on our campus host events and invite speakers on a broad range of topics. At times, the issues discussed may be challenging and the points of view expressed may be controversial.

Next week, Students for Justice in Palestine is hosting two speakers who will discuss their views on the BDS movement, which calls for boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israel. The event is co-sponsored by several campus and community organizations, including the political science department.

The rest will follow...

5

 Jan 31, 2013 at 04:12 PM BC Student Says:

As an institution of higher education, it is incumbent upon us to uphold the tenets of academic freedom and allow our students and faculty 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. As your president, I consistently have demonstrated my commitment to these principles so that our college community may consider complex issues and points of view across the political and cultural spectrum.
more to follow

6

 Jan 31, 2013 at 04:14 PM BC Student Says:

Unfortunately, some may believe that our steadfast commitment to free speech signals an institutional endorsement of a particular point of view. Nothing could be further from the truth. Brooklyn College does not endorse the views of the speakers visiting our campus next week, just as it has not endorsed those of previous visitors to our campus with opposing views. We do, however, uphold their right to speak, and the rights of our students and faculty to attend, listen, and fully debate. We also encourage our students and faculty to explore these issues from multiple viewpoints and in a variety of forums so that no single perspective serves as the sole source of information or basis for consideration.
In addition, as I have said on several occasions, our college community values mutual respect and civil discourse. We ask all students, faculty, staff, and guests on our campus to conduct themselves accordingly so that Brooklyn College continues to be a learning environment where all may discuss and debate issues of importance to our world.
Sincerely,
Karen L. Gould

7

 Jan 31, 2013 at 04:15 PM anon Says:

BDS. Let's stop using acronyms and call it what it is... the Arab Boycott, Divest, and Sanction, campaign against Israel...no free speech here.

8

 Jan 31, 2013 at 04:18 PM lipa21 Says:

why don't ALL Jewish students at Brooklyn just PLAY LOUD MUSIC inside the auditorium to drown out the HATERS

9

 Jan 31, 2013 at 05:22 PM Mordechai_Ben_Yaakov Says:

In light of the email shared by BC Student, perhaps we should organize for hate groups such as the KKK to speak at Brooklyn College and see what Ms. Gould's response would be. After all, "it is incumbent upon us to uphold the tenets of academic freedom and allow our students and faculty 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" (according to Gould).

10

 Jan 31, 2013 at 06:21 PM Liepa Says:

Reply to #6  
BC Student Says:

Unfortunately, some may believe that our steadfast commitment to free speech signals an institutional endorsement of a particular point of view. Nothing could be further from the truth. Brooklyn College does not endorse the views of the speakers visiting our campus next week, just as it has not endorsed those of previous visitors to our campus with opposing views. We do, however, uphold their right to speak, and the rights of our students and faculty to attend, listen, and fully debate. We also encourage our students and faculty to explore these issues from multiple viewpoints and in a variety of forums so that no single perspective serves as the sole source of information or basis for consideration.
In addition, as I have said on several occasions, our college community values mutual respect and civil discourse. We ask all students, faculty, staff, and guests on our campus to conduct themselves accordingly so that Brooklyn College continues to be a learning environment where all may discuss and debate issues of importance to our world.
Sincerely,
Karen L. Gould

I didn't see anything in your response pertaining to why this is being co-sponsored by Brooklyn College’s Political Science Department.

This group is all about wiping Israel off the map, so not only are you allowing the great instituion, Brooklyn College to co-sponsor this hateful event you're using public funds to boot.

For shame Ms.Gould!!!

11

 Jan 31, 2013 at 07:02 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #9  
Mordechai_Ben_Yaakov Says:

In light of the email shared by BC Student, perhaps we should organize for hate groups such as the KKK to speak at Brooklyn College and see what Ms. Gould's response would be. After all, "it is incumbent upon us to uphold the tenets of academic freedom and allow our students and faculty 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" (according to Gould).

I know you are being sarcastic, but this is exactly the tension that exists in a free society. Does one have the right to irrationally hate another? When can one person prevent another from expressing an opinion, and how do we determine which opinions to allow? There is really no bright line to define this. My personal preference is to let the bugs crawl out from under the rocks and be exposed to the light of day. Let Hezbollah speak, let the KKK speak, let the white supremacists speak and then we rebut them with facts and logic. There will always be evil and hatred in this world and I, personally, would rather have it up front and in public where I can see it than hidden in the back alley.

12

 Jan 31, 2013 at 07:04 PM Anonymous Says:

If Gould or the political science department wanted to encourage academic freedom and "debate" or "dialogue" she would have requested that the political science department also invite a speaker to represent a different or opposing viewpoint.

13

 Jan 31, 2013 at 07:59 PM ShlomoH Says:

Can we organize a massive protest on the day of the lecture? Let's turn out in droves (thousands of people) and voice our opposition!! Assemblyman Hikind, can you organize a rally as such?

14

 Jan 31, 2013 at 08:46 PM cmvasquez Says:

Reply to #6  
BC Student Says:

Unfortunately, some may believe that our steadfast commitment to free speech signals an institutional endorsement of a particular point of view. Nothing could be further from the truth. Brooklyn College does not endorse the views of the speakers visiting our campus next week, just as it has not endorsed those of previous visitors to our campus with opposing views. We do, however, uphold their right to speak, and the rights of our students and faculty to attend, listen, and fully debate. We also encourage our students and faculty to explore these issues from multiple viewpoints and in a variety of forums so that no single perspective serves as the sole source of information or basis for consideration.
In addition, as I have said on several occasions, our college community values mutual respect and civil discourse. We ask all students, faculty, staff, and guests on our campus to conduct themselves accordingly so that Brooklyn College continues to be a learning environment where all may discuss and debate issues of importance to our world.
Sincerely,
Karen L. Gould

I fail to understand how you could possibly have meaningful discourse with people committed to the total destruction of Israel and the Jewish people. Invite Dr. Zuhdi Jasser to speak, but only if you are truly interested in another point of view.

15

 Jan 31, 2013 at 10:18 PM ReuvenN Says:

Student fees and taxpayer money are being used to sponsor this blatantly anti-Semitic and pro-genocide event. I agree with Dov Hikind. The Brooklyn College president must be replaced, as should the head of the polical science department. I urge all to contact Brooklyn College with their protests. I have.

16

 Jan 31, 2013 at 10:53 PM BC Student Says:

Reply to #14  
cmvasquez Says:

I fail to understand how you could possibly have meaningful discourse with people committed to the total destruction of Israel and the Jewish people. Invite Dr. Zuhdi Jasser to speak, but only if you are truly interested in another point of view.

I agree with all of you! I think they are wrong, but I was just informing the public as to what they are "officially" saying about the matter. and please point out to me, where exactly it says ANYWHERE in the media that it is being sponsored by the political science department? Just because I searched and couldn't find I, maybe I am overlooking something?

17

 Jan 31, 2013 at 11:22 PM Mordechai_Ben_Yaakov Says:

Reply to #11  
Anonymous Says:

I know you are being sarcastic, but this is exactly the tension that exists in a free society. Does one have the right to irrationally hate another? When can one person prevent another from expressing an opinion, and how do we determine which opinions to allow? There is really no bright line to define this. My personal preference is to let the bugs crawl out from under the rocks and be exposed to the light of day. Let Hezbollah speak, let the KKK speak, let the white supremacists speak and then we rebut them with facts and logic. There will always be evil and hatred in this world and I, personally, would rather have it up front and in public where I can see it than hidden in the back alley.

Unfortunately, I think you missed my point. While I was being sarcastic, my purpose was not to disparage the display of a socially or culturally sensitive topic. My purpose was to highlight the disparity by which anti-semitism or anti-Israeli activity is protected by "academic honesty and integrity" but other forms of racism are not so protected.

I would have no problem with BC hosting a BDS event if they would also host a Klan event as well as any other host of xenophobic events, as uncomfortable as it would be. If BC truly believes in giving voice to contentious groups, then give voice to them all. If not, don't pick and choose which groups will and won't be heard.

18

 Feb 01, 2013 at 06:00 AM Norden Says:

Reply to #13  
ShlomoH Says:

Can we organize a massive protest on the day of the lecture? Let's turn out in droves (thousands of people) and voice our opposition!! Assemblyman Hikind, can you organize a rally as such?

If you feel so strongly on this issue why don't YOU organize a demonstration where people will "turn out in droves (thousands of people) and voice [their] opposition"?

19

 Feb 01, 2013 at 06:02 AM Hewlett Says:

Reply to #9  
Mordechai_Ben_Yaakov Says:

In light of the email shared by BC Student, perhaps we should organize for hate groups such as the KKK to speak at Brooklyn College and see what Ms. Gould's response would be. After all, "it is incumbent upon us to uphold the tenets of academic freedom and allow our students and faculty 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" (according to Gould).

I don't know what drugs you are taking but "perhaps we should organize for hate groups such as the KKK to speak at Brooklyn College" is an indicator of your current mental instability.

20

 Feb 01, 2013 at 06:27 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #6  
BC Student Says:

Unfortunately, some may believe that our steadfast commitment to free speech signals an institutional endorsement of a particular point of view. Nothing could be further from the truth. Brooklyn College does not endorse the views of the speakers visiting our campus next week, just as it has not endorsed those of previous visitors to our campus with opposing views. We do, however, uphold their right to speak, and the rights of our students and faculty to attend, listen, and fully debate. We also encourage our students and faculty to explore these issues from multiple viewpoints and in a variety of forums so that no single perspective serves as the sole source of information or basis for consideration.
In addition, as I have said on several occasions, our college community values mutual respect and civil discourse. We ask all students, faculty, staff, and guests on our campus to conduct themselves accordingly so that Brooklyn College continues to be a learning environment where all may discuss and debate issues of importance to our world.
Sincerely,
Karen L. Gould

Unfortunately the worst Jews are the one who deceive themselves into thinkingtheir being Jewish is not relevant, and do not put that first, and do not use their position as intended ( like Esther in the Purim story). What is the point of letting hatred spread? There is nothing to learn from doing so that we have not already learned during Nazi era. Was she not put in her position precisely to stem teh tide of hatred rather than allow its spread? Karen I am sorry you really think being up there will exempt you from damage that will be done. Soon they will replace with a Muslem and let's see if he/she is so generous with hatred being allowed. A video made has a man in prison now, even though it was not the cause of teh deaths in Lebanon. Why give haters free reighn when they do not do so for others?

21

 Feb 01, 2013 at 06:32 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #11  
Anonymous Says:

I know you are being sarcastic, but this is exactly the tension that exists in a free society. Does one have the right to irrationally hate another? When can one person prevent another from expressing an opinion, and how do we determine which opinions to allow? There is really no bright line to define this. My personal preference is to let the bugs crawl out from under the rocks and be exposed to the light of day. Let Hezbollah speak, let the KKK speak, let the white supremacists speak and then we rebut them with facts and logic. There will always be evil and hatred in this world and I, personally, would rather have it up front and in public where I can see it than hidden in the back alley.

No, we all know it is there, always, but they should be afraid to raise their ugly head and be seen. Stay under the rocks and do not contaminate others. It is not a matter of hating, it is a matter of confiscating. To hate gives teh right to confiscate.

22

 Feb 01, 2013 at 06:51 PM marcia Says:

Reply to #11  
Anonymous Says:

I know you are being sarcastic, but this is exactly the tension that exists in a free society. Does one have the right to irrationally hate another? When can one person prevent another from expressing an opinion, and how do we determine which opinions to allow? There is really no bright line to define this. My personal preference is to let the bugs crawl out from under the rocks and be exposed to the light of day. Let Hezbollah speak, let the KKK speak, let the white supremacists speak and then we rebut them with facts and logic. There will always be evil and hatred in this world and I, personally, would rather have it up front and in public where I can see it than hidden in the back alley.

HUGE difference from when I graduated BC! Mutual respect THEN, allowed me to wear my Jewish Star my best friend wore her cross and the only openly gay male in that class wore his Lambda...and no one invited someone to the campus to SPEAK about US! How about inviting speakers who discuss REAL EDUCATION ISSUES like lack of reading skills in our school system?!

23

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