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.
About the Author:
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
For a peace treaty with the PA, half the Israeli public would agree to divide the Jerusalem
As for the president’s new, softer tone vis-à-vis Prime Minister Netanyahu and Israel, this is most likely being driven by the results of the recent Israeli election.
What especially appeals to us is his grand – some critics would say extravagant –view of what the borders of Israel should look like.
The establishment of Hebrew University was a cause much beloved to Einstein who in 1923, during what would be his only trip to Eretz Yisrael, delivered the university’s inaugural lecture on Har Hatzofim (Mt. Scopus) and, discussing the theory of relativity, spoke the first few sentences of his address in Hebrew.
The Golden Square wanted Germany to destroy the British and Jewish presence in their country. The Third Reich craved what was beneath the ground – oil.
Ida Nudel’s account of how the Soviets persecuted and punished her was far worse than imagined.
Swim4Sadna is an annual event benefiting Sadna, an integrative special-ed community in Gush Etzion
Prof. Wistrich, was THE foremost historian of anti-Semitism; committed spokesman & advocate of Jewry
Jewish Voices for Peace’s 2015 Haggadah is a blatant anti-Israel screed crying, “L’chayim to BDS!”
On his shloshim, I want to discuss a term I’ve heard countless times about Rav Aharon: Gedol HaDor
After obsequious claims of devotion to Israel, Obama took to criticizing Israel on peace process
Mr. Obama, Israeli voters have democratically chosen to apply Israeli sovereignty over Judea&Samaria
There was something else of great importance in play – something we would have liked to see him take into account before deciding to stand with the boycotters.
Beyond the particulars of this tragic death, however, we should all be concerned about the possibility that a criminal prosecution in a major American city is being driven by fear of mobs in the street.
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.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/academic-freedom-is-not-a-one-way-street/2013/02/13/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: