Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

Algemeiner Audio Prompts Threat of Justice Dept. Investigation Against Brooklyn College

February 14, 2013 1:35 pm 9 comments

Picture of the east quad of Brooklyn College.

Former Special War Crimes Prosecutor for the US Dept. of Justice Neal Sher and CUNY trustee Jeffrey Wiesenfeld are holding a press conference today calling on Brooklyn College to adopt new policy changes in light of recent events surrounding a BDS (Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment) event aimed at Israel in which four Jewish students complained of being unfairly singled out and then removed from the audience.

Recent audio released by The Algemeiner appears to contradict original claims by Brooklyn College officials that the students were being disruptive throughout the first speaker’s address. The incident is especially egregious taking into account that the school’s Political Science Department co-sponsored the event.

Sher said he plans on calling on the Justice Department to open an investigation into the school’s conduct if it is unwilling to take responsibility and address the issues that led to the students’ eviction.

“It seems rather clear that school officials simply didn’t tell the truth about what happened,” says Sher.”It seems to me the students were unfairly removed from the event and when a stink was raised they just made up a story,” he added.

“Federal civil rights law, under Title VI, gives Jewish students the right to be free of a hostile environment and here you have a case where a university’s actions created a hostile environment. If there’s student harassment of Jews you have to take action.”

A Brooklyn College spokesman told The Algemeiner Wednesday that the audio file had been given to investigators and would be used as part of an inquiry the school has launched. The spokesperson declined to comment further.

Wiesenfeld insists that institutional change needs to be made, and went beyond the incident of the students being evicted, making the assertion that laws were broken just by having the Political Science Department co-sponsor the event.

“This was not an academic pursuit–it’s propaganda–which is actually prohibited in universities. The American Association of University Professors has standards that have been in force since 1916 that say professors may not proselytize, they must give two sides of an issue, and they are to spur academic discussion and research–that’s being violated,” he said.

Wiesenfeld believes there are two major changes that need to be addressed. “Look at groups who are not poised to engage in debate, conversation, reason, and true discussion, but are looking to proselytize by force, and have a record of doing so and have exclusionary tactics should not be invited on campus. And secondly amend the bylaws of the state university by the legislature and signed by the governor where the department chairs will be chosen by the president of the college” instead of by the professors.

Wiesenfeld says that part of the problem is pro-Israel academics feel threatened in liberal arts environments and top-down governance would provide a more balanced faculty. “What you have now is the inmates running the prison,” he says.

Alan Dershowitz was at the center of the battle against the BDS event and says that the school has its work cut out for it. “There will be a lot of tests coming up. One test will be whether the Political Science Department will be willing to sponsor the right wing of opinion relating to Israel. For example: would they sponsor Naftali Bennett or the Zionist Organization of America? There’s going to be tests to prove whether they’re really neutral, to see if they pass the “shoe on the other foot” test. And I think there’s going to be blisters,” he said.

9 Comments

  • I graduated from Brooklyn College and have no faith that BC President Gould will conduct a fair and impartial investigation of events surrounding the February 7th hate-fest, on campus. Under her “leadership,” Brooklyn College has had an increasing hostile milieu for Jewish students and faculty. President Gould should be given her walking papers and told not to slam the door on her way out.

  • Do you think this is why these groups try to stop others from videotaping them. Just this past week, Florida Atlantic University campus police twice prevented a counter jihadist group from filming anti-Israel speakers. It was illegal.

    It is time to bring lawsuits against these offending universities.

  • As I said previously, this is an international BDS tactic. It works for them in the UK and they succeed in getting anti PSC/BDS attendees removed and even banned. They have what they call debates, but never invite anyone onto their panels who might hold an opposing view. The university chancellors are not interested to correct this dissemination of propaganda to ignorant naive students. Lets hope that in the US you wll be more successful in stopping this appalling indoctrination on university campuses.

  • Michael Garfinkel

    Three cheers for Alan Derhowitz, Neal Sher and CUNY trustee Jeffrey Wiesenfeld.

    It’s about time someone brought these bastards to account.

  • Talk of a University investigation is cheap. What is needed for change is to hit the University in the pocket book, i.e., sue the college, the individual college administrator who refused to act and was complicit in the violations, as well as the individual student and professor organizers of the event. Such a lawsuit is the only way to get results. In addition, seek a criminal investigation by the justice department or D.A. The lawsuit is needed a.s.a.p. so that people’s testimony can be recorded in depositions, least they later claim they can’t recall what happened so long ago. I hope someone in NYC acts fast on this.

  • David Horowitz had been reminding everyone for years that teachers and universities are REQUIRED to follow the 1916 standards rather than preach antisemetic anti American venom.

    • That’s why only a lawsuit will get results. It’s only when people suffer monetary damages that their behavior changes. Such a suit would also send a message across American college campuses that failure to protect the rights and freedoms of all students will result in damages. A suit against the anti-Israel activists is necessary to bankrupt their morally bankrupt agenda.

      • You are so right. When the pitch is skewed and the referree primed to remove opposing players a few minutes into the game, one must call “foul play!” (Shades of Lance Armstrong.) Regretfully, the results of such an uneven playing field are far more serious than just the Tour de France! A fine and severe reprimand, providing recognition of this ACADEMIC FARCE is an excellent idea!

  • BRAVO dear Sirs, all my deep appreciation for countering bigoted and also racist hate-propaganda and those responsible for spreading fecal-antisemitism by “President Gould” and her playmates [the profoundly discredited socalled pol. sci “department”] on the trashheap aka Brooklyn “College”.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Features World Graves of Jewish Pirates in Jamaica Give Caribbean Tourists Taste of Little-Known History

    Graves of Jewish Pirates in Jamaica Give Caribbean Tourists Taste of Little-Known History

    Tour operators are calling attention to Jamaica’s little-known Jewish heritage by arranging visits to historic Jewish sites on the Caribbean island, including a cemetery where Jewish pirates are buried. A report in Travel and Leisure magazine describes the Hunts Bay Cemetery in Kingston, where there are seven tombstones engraved with Hebrew benedictions and skull and crossbones insignia. According to the report, centuries ago, Jewish pirates sailed the waters of Jamaica and settled in Port Royal. The town, once known as “the wickedest city in the […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Filmmaker Eyal Resh Embraces the Challenge of Telling Israel’s Story (VIDEO)

    Filmmaker Eyal Resh Embraces the Challenge of Telling Israel’s Story (VIDEO)

    JNS.org – Telling Israel’s story. It’s the specific title of a short film that Eyal Resh created last year. It’s also the theme behind the 27-year-old Israeli filmmaker’s broader body of work. The widely viewed “Telling Israel’s Story” film—directed by Resh for a gala event hosted by the Times of Israel online news outlet—seemingly begins as a promotional tourism video, but quickly evolves to offer a multilayered perspective. “I want to tell you a story about a special place for me,” a young woman whispers […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Features Israel Geeks Out: Science, Art and Tech Event Embodies Jewish State’s ‘DNA’

    Israel Geeks Out: Science, Art and Tech Event Embodies Jewish State’s ‘DNA’

    JNS.org – The entrance to Jerusalem’s Sacher Park was transformed from April 25-27 by a fire-breathing robotic dragon, which flailed its arms and attempted to take flight. The robot, a signature feature at Jerusalem’s first-ever “Geek Picnic,” was one of more than 150 scientific amusements available for the public to experience. This particular dragon was designed by students from Moscow’s Art Industrial Institute in conjunction with the Flacon design factory, said Anatasia Shaminer, a student who helped facilitate the display. Children […]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Opinion The Syrian Virgin (REVIEW)

    The Syrian Virgin (REVIEW)

    The Syrian Virgin, by Zack Love. CreateSpace, 2015. The Syrian Virgin, by Zack Love, is a very interesting novel. Equally a political and romantic thriller, at times a real page-turner, it gets you intimately involved in the dire situation in today’s Syria, as well as in the romantic entanglements of its mostly New York-based characters — whose entanglements just might determine the fate of that dire situation in Syria. Along the way it introduces a really important idea that somehow […]

    Read more →
  • Features Unpacking the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict and Its Ripple Effect on Israel’s Region

    Unpacking the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict and Its Ripple Effect on Israel’s Region

    JNS.org – Aside from Israel itself, those with a vested interest in the Jewish state are accustomed to tracking developments related to Middle East players such as Iran, Syria, Jordan and Egypt. But much global attention has recently focused on the Caucasus region at the Europe-Asia border, specifically on the suddenly intensified violence between Azerbaijan and Armenia in the mountainous Nagorno-Karabakh area of western Azerbaijan. The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, while not taking place in Israel’s immediate neighborhood, does have what one scholar called […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Features Earth Day 2016: Israel Shines in Water Technology, Recycling, Renewable Energy

    Earth Day 2016: Israel Shines in Water Technology, Recycling, Renewable Energy

    JNS.org – On Friday, April 22, 196 nations across the world mark Earth Day, the annual day dedicated to environmental protection that was enacted in 1970. Not to be forgotten on this day is Israel, which is known as the “start-up nation” for its disproportionate amount of technological innovation, including in the area of protecting the environment. For Earth Day 2016, JNS.org presents a sampling of the Jewish state’s internal achievements and global contributions in the environmental realm. Water conservation Israeli […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture World New Documentary Explores Holocaust Humor, Role That Laughter Played in Death Camps

    New Documentary Explores Holocaust Humor, Role That Laughter Played in Death Camps

    Holocaust humor and the role that laughter played in the lives of Jews during World War II are the focus of a documentary that made its world premiere on Monday at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City. In The Last Laugh, first- and second-generation survivors, as well as famous Jewish and non-Jewish comedians, discuss their thoughts on when joking about the death camps is appropriate or taboo. “Nazi humor, that’s OK. Holocaust humor, no,” Jewish comedic giant, actor and filmmaker Mel Brooks says in the film. “Anything I […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Tragedy Culminates in ‘Celebration,’ Says Israeli Author Who Lost Son to Terror

    Tragedy Culminates in ‘Celebration,’ Says Israeli Author Who Lost Son to Terror

    JNS.org – Sherri Mandell’s life was devastated on May 8, 2001, when her 13-year-old son Koby was murdered by terrorists on the outskirts of the Israeli Jewish community of Tekoa. Yet Mandell not only shares the story of her loss, but also celebrates the lessons she has learned from tragedy. Indeed, “celebrate” is this Israeli-American author’s word choice. Her second book, The Road to Resilience: From Chaos to Celebration (Toby Press), came out earlier this year. The lesson: in every celebration, there is […]

    Read more →