Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

Dershowitz Challenges Brooklyn College to Invite Him to Speak at BDS Event

January 30, 2013 2:49 pm 8 comments

Omar Barghouti. Photo: usacbi.org

The controversy surrounding the political science department at Brooklyn College, which is co-sponsoring a BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) against Israel event on campus along with several other organizations that will feature devout anti-Israel activists Omar Barghouti and Judith Butler, has elicited a response from one of the school’s most famous alumni: Alan Dershowitz.

In an interview with The Algemeiner, Mr. Dershowitz expressed the same concerns as the Anti Defamation League, noting that the event has a right to be held but that the political department’s co-sponsorship creates serious ethical questions.

“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. The BDS includes the blacklisting of Jewish professors from Israel, and that’s illegal, immoral and racist. An academic department should not be taking sides in this debate. This department would never invite me, for example, to speak and state my opposing point of view. So it’s not about academic freedom; it’s about the department taking one side, and the wrong side.”

Dershowitz noted that the school, and the political science department specifically, will take an enormous hit to its credibility both as a balanced and fair institution. “If I were a student at Brooklyn College today I would be fearful of taking political science courses from professors who might grade me down, or who might refuse to give me a recommendation if my views were different from theirs,” he said.

And he offered his own prescription for resolving the event’s lopsidedness. “The event shouldn’t be cancelled, but the political science department should withdraw it’s support, or alternatively the political science department should invite me or someone else that represents an opposing point of view and give equal endorsement.”

8 Comments

  • Elizabeth Mayfield

    As a Palestinian activist, I have been viciously slandered again and again and marginalized in my community for speaking out on behalf of the Palestinian people. This has gone on for the last 15 years. Every time, I or someone else tries to speak about the Palestinians, the Zionists in our little town of Ames, iowa, demand equal time on the same program. The purpose is not just to present an opposing view, but to turn the discussion away from the plight of the Palestinians and focus only on Israeli’s grievances. Should an organization or institution allow a presenter to force him or herself onto the program, he or she will change the subject and reverse the message to one that is favorable toward Israel and unfavorable toward virtually anyone and anything in the Arab World. Lying and presenting half-truths and misinformation is par for the course. There is never a debate; only uninterrupted rebuttal, in short, the last word. If, however, you refuse to allow a pro-Zionist, pro-apartheid speaker onto your docket, the usurpers rarely, if ever, follow up with a program of their own. The goal is to interrupt, disavow and confuse an audience. Alan Dershowitz is a pro at using this tactic and I want to congratulate the head of the Political Science Department for his fantastic response to yet another Dershowitz whine. Dershowitz and his ilk only spout the Zionist party line which is published in one or another public relations Zionist manual which teaches followers how to defend the indefensible apartheid state that Israel has become. And, the appropriate response is to mock such duplicitousness and tyranny. Bravo Boston College for standing your ground.

  • Dershowitz has spoke twice at Brooklyn College, once on 5/23/08 and once at the invitation of the very Poli-sci Department who he now criticizes so scathingly, to deliver their annual Konefsky lecture. When he himself was to speak, he did not demand that someone with opposing views be present to balance the event, or that the Department withdraw its sponsorship of his lecture. Funny how now that it’s someone whose views differ from his he wants to raise a stink while pretending to care about academic freedom.

    • When Dershowitz was invited to speak as the Konefsky lecturer it was as a respected visiting academic. He provided no program and no topic for his lecture, and the department didn’t require them. That is hardly comparable from intentionally sponsoring an event with only known biased speakers on a very fraught and controversial topic.

  • 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 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)

  • I note that President Gould supports the conference under the guise of “academic freedom.” I assume she is unaware the BDS movement advocates the boycotting of Israeli academics. I am unable to find a plausible defense for this inconsistency.

    I invite any interested parties to attend Assemblyman Dov Hikind’s news conference at Brooklyn College’s Bedford Avenue entrance today (Jan 31) at 11 AM.

  • The political science society of a university in Halifax sponsored a talk delivered by a pro-Zionist Muslim speaker. He was great – when the Muslim students allowed him to speak – their shouting and political posturing went far beyond civil discourse or debate. Not a single pol-sci prof was in attendance, and one might surmise that there is not support in academia here for pro-Israel views, and that there is support for anti-Israel views. And sadly, I believe that one would be correct.

Leave a Reply

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


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Theater US & Canada Seth Rogen Unveils New Christmas Movie — ‘Will Open on Thanksgiving, Made by Jews’ (VIDEO)

    Seth Rogen Unveils New Christmas Movie — ‘Will Open on Thanksgiving, Made by Jews’ (VIDEO)

    Famed actor Seth Rogen on Tuesday unveiled with typical comic fanfare the trailer for his new Christmas film. The movie “was made by Jews… and opens on Thanksgiving,” Rogen pointed out on Twitter. The Night Before tells the tale of three “ride or die homies” celebrating one last debauchery-filled Christmas Eve reunion before they become too busy to keep up their annual tradition. In an effort to make the night as memorable as possible, they set out to find the “Nutcracka Ball – the […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish History Art Can Inspire Faith; It Can Also Empower Destructive Ideologies

    Art Can Inspire Faith; It Can Also Empower Destructive Ideologies

    A June 2015 art exhibit, “The Transformative Power of Art,” at the United Nations headquarters in New York City, harnessed the universal language of art to convey an important message: “Our fragile Mother Earth faces the devastating consequences of climate change, a defining challenge of our time.” The exhibit also included sixteen portraits of people from all over the world who have “contributed to the common good of humanity in one way or another and have transformed the way we […]

    Read more →
  • Israel Sports Israeli Muslim Cage Fighter Says He’s Proud to Fight Under Jewish State’s Flag

    Israeli Muslim Cage Fighter Says He’s Proud to Fight Under Jewish State’s Flag

    A 32-year-old Circassian Israeli Muslim Mixed Martial Arts fighter from Abu Ghosh says he takes pride in fighting under the Israeli flag, Israel’s Walla reported on Sunday. Like most Circassian Israelis, Jackie “the Punishment” Gosh was born Sunni Muslim. He became observant about eight years ago, and is now scrupulous in following his religion’s tenets, praying five times a day and fasting during the holy month of Ramadan. Gosh is also very proud of his Israeli nationality, and sees no contradiction between […]

    Read more →
  • Israel Music New Mark Skinner Documentary Explores Jewish, Arab Rap Scene in Israel (VIDEO)

    New Mark Skinner Documentary Explores Jewish, Arab Rap Scene in Israel (VIDEO)

    A new documentary explores the lives and work of Jewish and Arab rappers in Israel and how the ongoing conflict in the region has impacted their lyrics, the U.K.’s Jewish Chronicle reported on Thursday. Hip Hop in the Holy Land is a six-part series co-directed by Mike Skinner, the British frontman of hip-hop group The Streets, and produced by Noisey, a music channel published by Vice news. The first episode, published last week, shows Skinner meeting with Tamer Nafar, the founder of one of […]

    Read more →
  • Sports US & Canada 49ers Running Back Jarryd Hayne Apologizes for ‘Hurtful’ Jesus Tweets

    49ers Running Back Jarryd Hayne Apologizes for ‘Hurtful’ Jesus Tweets

    New 49ers running back and Australian rugby star Jarryd Hayne apologized on Wednesday for a tweet in which he raised the age-old myth that Jews were historically responsible for Jesus Christ’s death. Reaching out to his Jewish fans, and the chairman of the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission, Hayne tweeted: “To the Jewish community @DvirAbramovich #WeAreAllOne.” Underneath, he keenly included a screenshot of a text message to elaborate on his apology: “I sincerely apologize for my tweets on July 1. I […]

    Read more →
  • Theater Israeli Actress Gal Gadot Recalls Being ‘Extremely Surprised’ at Winning Miss Israel Contest

    Israeli Actress Gal Gadot Recalls Being ‘Extremely Surprised’ at Winning Miss Israel Contest

    Israeli actress Gal Gadot reminisced about her childhood in Israel during an interview published in this month’s edition of Vanity Fair. “I don’t remember this, but my mom told me that when I was three they threw a party on the rooftop of the house. They put me to bed, and I heard people coming into the house and no one came to me. I went to the rooftop and took a hose and I started to spray water on everyone, just […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Features Wounded Israeli Soldiers Unite With American Veterans to Help Their ‘Brothers for Life’ Heal (INTERVIEW)

    Wounded Israeli Soldiers Unite With American Veterans to Help Their ‘Brothers for Life’ Heal (INTERVIEW)

    An Israeli organization is helping wounded U.S. veterans move past their physical and psychological challenges by connecting them with injured Israeli soldiers who understand what they’ve been through. “What we discovered very early is that there’s no ‘professional, psychiatrist, social worker’ or anything like that [or] pills that can come even close to helping a soldier who fought in combat, who was wounded, who lost his friends. No one can help him like another person who’s been through exactly what he has,” Rabbi Chaim Levine, […]

    Read more →
  • Relationships World Researchers Say Women Less Likely Than Men to Kill Hitler, if They Could Travel Back in Time

    Researchers Say Women Less Likely Than Men to Kill Hitler, if They Could Travel Back in Time

    Women are less likely than men to want to kill Nazi leader Adolph Hitler if given the ability to travel back in time, a recently published research paper revealed. The paper analyzed 40 studies involving 6,100 respondents in a time-travel thought experiment, the New York Post reported on Friday. While 60 percent of men said they would theoretically be willing to kill Hitler, only 55 percent of women said they would be comfortable doing the same. The paper was published in the Personality and […]

    Read more →