Sunday, January 27, 2013
Outrage As Brooklyn College Plans To Sponsor Anti-Israel Event
An “anti-Israel event” hosted by Brooklyn College is not kosher, some students protest.
A Feb. 7 forum titled “BDS Movement Against Israel” is co-sponsored by the college’s political science department, along with student and community groups that support an international boycott of Israel for alleged violation of Palestinian rights. BDS stands for boycott, divestment and sanctions.
According to organizers, speakers will include Omar Barghouti, a founder of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, and Judith Butler, a professor at the University of California who has supported campaigns to boycott Israel.
The college’s welcoming role will “condone and legitimize anti-Jewish bigotry” and “contribute significantly to a hostile environment for Jewish students on our campus,” say students quoted on the Jewish news site Matzav.com.
Brooklyn College spokesman Jeremy Thompson said the event was initiated by a campus chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine.
“We have not had any calls for the event to be canceled,” he said. “We have people asking whether it’s appropriate for the political science department to be sponsoring this event.”
The sponsorship “does not signal an endorsement,” he added.
"As a university, we are committed to academic freedom and the free exchange of ideas. We don’t tell student groups or academic departments what topics they can or cannot discuss."