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.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • 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

    JNS.org – 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

    JNS.org – 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

    JNS.org – 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)

    JNS.org – 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

    JNS.org - 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

    JNS.org – 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.