The Celebrate Israel Festival on May 31 at Pier 94, slated to be the largest gathering to date of Israeli-Americans in New York.
Now that the forum co-sponsored by the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement and the Brooklyn College political science department has come and gone, it is incumbent on Brooklyn College and Mayor Bloomberg to vindicate their claim that the event had to be allowed to take place in the interests of academic freedom.
While most of us who criticized Brooklyn College over the scheduling of the event focused on the imprimaturconferred by the sponsorship of the political science department, City University of New York Chancellor Matthew Goldstein and Brooklyn College President Karen Gould defended it in general terms of academic freedom.
And so did Mayor Bloomberg, who in skirting the real issue delivered one of his signature bon mots: “If you want to go to a university where the government decides what kind of subjects are fit for discussion, I suggest you apply to a school in North Korea.”
In any event, a Jewish Brooklyn College graduate student, Ari Ziegler, wrote in a New York Daily News opinion column that he was one of four Jewish students expelled from the forum. He said he attended the event because, though he opposes the BDS movement, he wanted to understand the ideas of those who differ from him and also to ask some questions.
He says he settled in with three members of the campus Hillel. But about halfway through the prepared remarks of one of the speakers, he realized “an organizing member was questioning the friends at my right. He was asking for the sheets in our laps, which contained facts that challenged the ideas being preached from the pulpit.”
Mr. Ziegler reports that he and his colleagues were told to give up the papers “or you’ll be removed.” When they refused, they were, in fact, summarily ejected from the building. He added that Brooklyn College officials initially maintained that “based upon official reports, they [Ziegler and his friends] were being quite disruptive.” Mr. Ziegler calls that “a complete fabrication.”
We were encouraged to learn on Tuesday that CUNY is investigating the removal of the Jewish students from what was, after all, an officially sponsored campus event. Officials are also investigating why members of the media were excluded from the forum.
In the meantime, it would be refreshing to hear from Mayor Bloomberg that all stops will be pulled out to ensure that all sides of an issue – not just those with a leftist seal of approval – are covered by the protections of academic freedom.
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Pentecost, derived from the Greek word for 50, is celebrated 50 days after Easter.
U.S and European demands for the creation of a Palestinian State in the West Bank is world hypocrisy.
We take a whole person approach, giving our people assistance with whatever they need.
20 years after the great Ethiopian aliyah, we must treat them like everyone else; no better or worse
Connecting Bamidbar&Shavuot is simple-A world without Torah is midbar; with Torah a blessed paradise
Many Black protesters compared Baltimore’s unrest to the Palestinian penchant of terrorism & rioting
She credited success to “mini” decisions-Small choices building on each other leading to big changes
Shavuot 1915, 200000 Jews were expelled; amongst the largest single expulsions since Roman times
Realizing there was no US military threat, Iran resumed, expanded & accelerated its nuclear program
“Enlightened Jews” who refuse to show chareidim the tolerance they insist we give to Arabs sicken me
Somewhat surprisingly, the Vatican’s unwelcome gesture was diametrically at odds with what President Obama signaled in an interview with the news outlet Al Arabiya.
The recent solid victory of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party produced something very different.
The reaction is so strong that nine times out of ten, parents engage in some form of coping mechanism before arriving at a level of acceptance of a special-needs diagnosis.
“…his neshamah reached out to us to have the zechus of Torah learning to take with him on his final journey.”
“Let’s get something straight so we don’t kid each other…[the Iranians] already have paved a path to a bomb’s worth of material,” said Mr. Biden. “Iran could get there now if they walked away in two to three months without a deal.”
The president is unwilling to cede any of what he considers his exclusive powers in the area of foreign policy and has struggled mightily to keep the Senate away from any role in the kind of deal to be negotiated.
A committed Religious Zionist, he was a sought-after adviser on Zionist affairs around the world.
More important, Mr. Obama is simply acceding to Iran’s position on the timing of the lifting of sanctions.
For our community, Mrs. Clinton’s foreign policy record will doubtless attract the most attention. And it is a most interesting one.
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