ADL Slams Brooklyn College for Allowing Political Science Department to Sponsor BDS Event

January 30, 2013 2:42 pm 22 comments

Judith Butler. Photo: Javier Ignacio Acuña Ditzel.

The controversy surrounding Brooklyn College’s political science department, which is co-sponsoring an event aimed at building support for BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) against Israel next month, has intensified in recent days and has prompted a response from the ADL and Alan Dershowitz, as well as a petition at the college which has been signed by hundreds of students.

Ron Meier, the ADL’s New York Regional Director, spoke with The Algemeiner about his organization’s concerns.

“We respect a university’s right and responsibility to bring a range of voices–even voices that we might strongly disagree with –to campus in an environment of free speech. What’s most upsetting, however, is the position taken by the university itself. That is to say, the claim expressed by [Brooklyn College President Karen]  Gould that the co-sponsorship of the event by the political science department does in no way represent an institutional endorsement of the views of the conference.”

Meier said the the ADL sent a letter to President Gould last week but thus far she hadn’t responded.

“Should this conference be allowed to come to campus? Yes. Should anyone who wants to be allowed to attend? Yes, no matter how much we disagree with the views being expressed. But once the political science department serves as a co-sponsor as opposed to just being an interested party, the implication is that the university is behind the conference or supportive of the conference –you can’t but be led towards that conclusion.”

Alan Dershowitz, the famed attorney who is also an alumnus of Brooklyn College, echoed the sentiment.

“I am not opposed to students sponsoring an event like this. Students have the right to be foolish and damn fools and immoral. What I’m opposed to is the political department sponsoring and endorsing the BDS,” he told The Algemeiner.

Jeffrey S. Wiesenfeld, a Trustee at the City University of New York, took the argument one step further in an article published on this website Tuesday, arguing that the event should be cancelled because tax funds are used to support Brooklyn College.

“This is a misuse of tax-levy funds. This is NOT an academic conference in any sense. Furthermore, other than through the intimidation of liberal arts professors who might support Israel, how do we know that EVERY professor in that department supports this drivel?”

Weisenfeld added, “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.”


  • Thank you to Alan Dershowitz and others at Brooklyn College for exposing this issue and challenging the odious Judith Butler.
    Being the gay and ‘progressive’ minded (and “proud Jewish”, as opposed to “criminal Israeli”) freedom fighter that she is, does she not realize that she would be the first to hang from a crane in Hamas, Hizbollah or Iranian society? How naive, sanctimonious, frighteningly misguided and full of herself she is. She, herself has admitted that she could be ‘wrong’ about her views… oh well, she’s not the one who will pay for her the increasingly hostile and hateful atmosphere she is helping to create.
    From one who is proud to live in Israel (with its problems, like any other western democracy)

  • B’SD
    The JDO is demonstrating about this in the streets
    and have called upon all Jews to cuty off all donations to CUNY !

    The JDO on their website make it clear that if a KKK speaker wre invited to Brooklyn College the Black Student Union would correctly break it up physically.Jewish students should break up this Hamas Islamic Nazi “Kill Jews in Israal and here ” speech.A few months ago Hamas bbombed some Yeshivas in Chicago!

    JDO said Jews should march on the homes oif the two
    Jew-Hat Israel-Hating amd America-Hating pig professors who made this happen and run them out of town.

  • B’SD
    The Jewish Defense Organization on its website has annouced a Jewish alumni boycott by all Jews who ever went to CUNY !

    The JDO gives out the phone and secret e amil of CUNY Chancellor Goldsmith who is a Jew appeasing Hamas Islaimc Nazis and refuses to cancel it .His e mail Chancellor@CUNY.EDU
    Dishonest Abe Foxman of ADL refuses to luanch boycott out of his own lack of courage !
    The JDO website with this http://WWW.JEWISHDEFENSE.ORG

  • What would be more disturbing – if known – the number of Jewish student – who like sheep to the slaughter are going to be at the conference because its “the in – thing”. I’d also beconcerned about those going as “observers”. What are they going to observe?? Their brothers and sisters in Israel condemned out of existance because they live in Israel and fight for the right to defend Israel at all cost – an act that if the shoe were on the other foot – Amerca would have no qualms about sending its full miltiary machine into action even against an incapable army such as Egypt or Hizbullah terrorists(Bengahazi excluded)

  • Aabs are Semites as well…What we are dealing with is ANTI-ISRAEL and the promotion to encourage this type of politically one sided attack on the only country in the middle east that REPRESENTS DEMOCRATIC VALUES.

    To have a University in NY sponsor this type of event with out having an apposing or challenging group to discourse their views as well is a miss use of federally funded tax dollars.

    JEWS hating JEWS are the KAPOS OF THIS GENERATION AND…are much more dangerous then even the terrorists who hide behind their own children and civilians and then make claims against the IDF in the UN and to the world.

  • E Pluribus Beagle

    And yet NY Jews will never boycott them? Will they? Students will still enroll and grumble and staff will still work there and keep their heads down. Unless they take a stand nothing will ever happen.

  • It is easy to forgive ignorance, but not stupidity! Another example of anti-semitism. The students and the political department who support such hate need a re-introduction to political science.

    • You have it backwards. People are born stupid but choose to remain ignorant. I am a Jew strongly opposed to zionism

  • Avi and his brother – Legalize Child Molesting for Jews. At this point who cares what he says.

  • Jonathan Adams

    Can you explain what is anti-Semitic about BDS, please. Your article presumes understanding of and agreement with that stance? I readily understand that you may disagree with BDS – even some who disagree with Israeli government policy do that – but I don’t grasp what is anti-Semitic about the tactic.

    • In response to Jonathan`s question “what is anti-Semitic about BDS ?”. Lets spell it out: “Boycott, Divest, and Sanction”. If played out to its logical conclusion, its ultimate achievement would be the destruction of the Jewish State through an economic stranglehold.
      Its like returning Israel to its “Pre-67 borders”.
      It seems, at first-glance to be such a kind gesture.
      From a perspective of empirical science, one can correlate the outcome of an invasion against Israel with the time taken to respond.Mobilization of its reserve combat units requires 16 hours. Eight hours causes chaos, and 2 hours means defeat.
      In 1973, Egyptian and Syrian brigades significantly breached the “holding-line” within hours.
      The absence of any strategic depth translated into the loss of thousands of Jewish lives as poorly fortified front-line units were decimated by the combined “blitzkrieg”. Currently, in the absence of the Sinai buffer (thanks to Camp David and Jimmy Carter)we would have to hold onto an 8 mile border on the Eastern front as well.
      The intent of “BDS” is to use economic leverage to coerce the Jewish State to shrink its diameters to positions that ensure a catastrophic outcome for the Jewish nation.
      It also brings commercial airlines (from all countries) to within the range of shoulder-launched missiles.
      Would you allow a stranger to move into your living room even when he declares that the property (in its entirety) in fact belongs to him ?
      So, your BDS acronym of hospitality, is in fact just a sanitized recipe for genocide.

    • How about a self hating Jew heard of the “Jonathan”?

  • If the situation were the reverse, the conference would have long been cancelled and Gould and Currah forced to resign. Blatant Anti-Semitism some of the worst Anti-Semites are self hating Jews).

    • Aabs are Semites as well…What we are dealing with is ANTI-ISRAEL and the promotion to encourage this type of politically one sided attack on the only country in the middle east that REPRESENTS DEMOCRATIC VALUES.

      JEWS hating JEWS are the KAPOS OF THIS GENERATION AND…are much more dangerous then even the terrorists who hide behind their own children and civilians and then make claims against the IDF in the UN and to the world.

  • Thank you, Mr. Dershowitz, for speaking the truth.

  • Lawrence Kulak

    Surely between Mr. Weisenfelf and Mr. Dershowitz they ought to be able to at least hold this thing up with a lawsuit. The endorsement of the dept of political science is no less than obscene and it represents a facistic incursion by the College on the free speech right of every student.

    How dare they endorse a program that is singling out the State of Israel for derision with so many Jewish students, and how dare we complacently sit back and let this happen?

  • Jeff Blankfort

    If there is any investigation into the misuse of taxpayers’s funds, it should begin with the scams being run by the hassidim in upstate New York to grab money from Pell Grants dssigned to help poor students attend schools that they could not otherwise afford. But since most hassidim have chosen their parasitical, schnorring, life-style (in the US as in Israel, they have no business getting public money. I’m sure Wiesenheimer, oops, Wiesenfeld, has no problem with that.

    • Stuart Kaufman

      Mr. Blankfort, your reference to Wiesenfeld demonstrates that you are nothing more than a wiseass yourself. Your citing of Hassidim,and Pell Grants is a perfect demonstration of the tactics of demagogues. Shift attention away from the matter under discussion. It is the basic technique of the practitioner of sleight of hand: “hey, folks look at THIS hand,” while using the other hand to accomplish the trick. Your problem is that not all of us are stupid, and you are not very good at sleight of hand.
      Slither back under your rock.

  • Roberta Arnold

    The BDS created havoc for the last few years at the Park Slope Food Coop. They are thus far created havoc at several other coops in the United States. One coop is having a hard time staying open. Stand up what is right at Brooklyn Collage and everywhere else they make trouble. BDS people are full of hate, aggression and insidiousness. Gather your team and set up a strategy. Stand up for yourself and let the truth be told. STOP THEM as quickly as you can. The Coop has made rules to be about food not politics.

  • BS”D
    There is a difference between hosting and event for the sake of dialogue so we can hear different voices and opinions on very serious and relevant issues, and sponsoring and event that comes with a preconceived agenda. An event that is truthfully for dialogue must be open to a variety of opinions and the participants must be open to change their views. Fr. David Tracy’s statement should be the guideline: “Conversation is a game with some hard rules: say only what you mean; say it as accurately as you can; listen to and respect what the other says, however different or other; be willing to correct or defend your opinions if challenged by the conversation partner; be willing to argue if necessary, to confront if demanded, to endure necessary conflict, to change your mind if the evidence suggests it…In a sense they are merely variations of the transcendental imperatives elegantly articulated by Bernard Lonergan: “Be attentive, be intelligent, be responsible, be loving, and, if necessary, change.” Fr. David Tracy, Plurality and Ambiguity (San Francisco: HarperCollins, 1987 – reprinted by UCP in 1997), 19.
    Shalom uvrakha
    Respectfully for the sake of peace,
    Pastor Frantz

  • “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.”

    As a NYer that pays lots of tax – I second the motion

  • Brooklyn College has become a branch of HAMAS and Hezbollah….
    Just like Columbia and most California colleges…To teach at these schools you must either hate Jews or if you are a Jew then you have to be a dhimmi like the president of Columbia

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.

Current day month ye@r *


  • Arts and Culture Middle East Hamas Commander Reportedly Urges Hezbollah to Join Forces Against Israel

    Hamas Commander Reportedly Urges Hezbollah to Join Forces Against Israel – Five months after Israeli forces tried to assassinate Hamas military commander Mohammed Deif in Gaza, Deif appears to have signed a letter that the terrorist group claims he wrote in hiding. The letter, addressed to Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah, expressed Deif’s condolences for the death of Hezbollah terrorists during Sunday’s reported Israeli airstrike in Syria. Deif is said to have survived multiple assassination attempts, but he has not been seen in public for years. According to the Hezbollah-linked Al-Manar [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Theater Shlomo Carlebach Musical Has the Soul to Heal Frayed Race Relations

    Shlomo Carlebach Musical Has the Soul to Heal Frayed Race Relations – The cracks that had been simply painted over for so long began to show in Ferguson, Mo., in November 2014, but in truth they had begun to open wide much earlier—on Saturday, July 13, 2013. That is when a jury in Sanford, Fla., acquitted George Zimmerman of culpability for the death of a 17-year-old black man, Trayvon Martin. The cracks receded from view over time, as other news obscured them. Then came the evening of Aug. 9, 2014, [...]

    Read more →
  • Theater US & Canada ‘Homeland’ Season Finale Stirs Controversy After Comparing Menachem Begin to Taliban Leader

    ‘Homeland’ Season Finale Stirs Controversy After Comparing Menachem Begin to Taliban Leader

    A controversial scene in the season finale of Homeland sparked outrage by comparing former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin to a fictional Taliban leader, the UK’s Daily Mail reported. In the season 4 finale episode, which aired on Dec. 21, CIA black ops director Dar Adal, played by F. Murray Abraham, justifies a deal he made with a Taliban leader by referencing Begin. He makes the remarks in a conversation with former CIA director Saul Berenson, a Jewish character played by Mandy [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Spirituality/Tradition Placing Matisyahu Back Within a Life of Observance

    Placing Matisyahu Back Within a Life of Observance

    Shining Light on Fiction During the North Korea-Sony saga, we learned two important lessons. The first is that there are two sides to this story, and neither of them are correct because ultimately we should have neither inappropriate movies nor dictators. The second is that we cannot remain entirely fixed on the religious world, but we also must see beyond the external, secular view of reality. It’s important to ground our Torah-based thoughts into real-life activism. To view our act [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Nine Decades of Moses at the Movies

    Nine Decades of Moses at the Movies – Hollywood has had its share of big-budget biblical flops, but until now, the Exodus narrative has not been among them. Studios have brought Moses to the big screen sparingly, but in ways that defined the image and character of Moses for each generation of audiences. The first biblical epic In 1923, director Cecil B. DeMille left it to the American public to decide the subject of his next movie for Paramount. DeMille received a letter from a mechanic [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Exodus on Screen (REVIEW)

    Exodus on Screen (REVIEW) – The story of the Exodus from Egypt is a tale as old as time itself, to borrow a turn of phrase. It’s retold every Passover, both at the seder table and whenever “The Ten Commandments” is aired on television. But the latest adaptation—Ridley Scott’s epic film, “Exodus: Gods and Kings”—fails to meet expectations. Scott’s “Exodus” alters the source material to service the story and ground the tale, but the attempt to reinvent the biblical narrative becomes laughable. Moses [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Lifestyle ‘Jewish Food Movement’ Comes of Age

    ‘Jewish Food Movement’ Comes of Age - In December 2007, leaders of the Hazon nonprofit drafted seven-year goals for what they coined as the “Jewish Food Movement,” which has since been characterized by the increased prioritization of healthy eating, sustainable agriculture, and food-related activism in the Jewish community. What do the next seven years hold in store? “One thing I would like to see happen in the next seven years is [regarding] the issue of sugar, soda, and obesity, [seeing] what would it be like to rally the [...]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Education Seeds of ‘Start-Up Nation’ Cultivated by Israel Sci-Tech Schools

    Seeds of ‘Start-Up Nation’ Cultivated by Israel Sci-Tech Schools – Forget the dioramas. How about working on an Israeli Air Force drone? That’s exactly the kind of beyond-their-years access enjoyed by students at the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) industrial vocational high school run by Israel Sci-Tech Schools, the largest education network in the Jewish state. More than 300 students (250 on the high school level and 68 at a two-year vocational academy) get hands-on training in the disciplines of aviation mechanics, electricity and energy control, and unmanned air [...]

    Read more →

Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.