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...

  • Education Why We Should Invest in Jewish Children

    Why We Should Invest in Jewish Children

    JNS.org – My wife Suzy and I will never forget our wedding day. It was not just the uplifting ceremony and beautiful party that left an indelible mark. Some life-altering advice that we received from one of our guests informed and shaped our lives from that day forward. My high school teacher, Rabbi Moshe Yagid, pulled us aside just before the chuppah and challenged us to choose one mitzvah that would be the foundation of our marriage and our lives. He explained [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Sports LeBron James’ New Coach Shaped by Summer on Kibbutz and Jewish ‘Life Lessons’

    LeBron James’ New Coach Shaped by Summer on Kibbutz and Jewish ‘Life Lessons’

    JNS.org – Influenced by his Jewish upbringing and a summer on a kibbutz, basketball coach David Blatt is embarking on his highest-profile challenge yet: coaching LeBron James, the four-time National Basketball Association (NBA) Most Valuable Player who has made waves for returning to his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers. After guiding Israel’s storied Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball franchise to its 51st Israeli league championship and 6th Euroleague title this past season, Blatt landed the Cavaliers head-coaching job in June. Just weeks later, [...]

    Read more →
  • Food Jewish Identity Young Syrian Jewish Restauranteur Continues a Family Legacy

    Young Syrian Jewish Restauranteur Continues a Family Legacy

    JNS.org – At the turn of the century, a young Jewish immigrant arrived in New York. So begins the history of many American Jewish families. It is 27-year-old Albert Allaham’s story, too, with a few unusual twists. Albert’s “century” is the 21st—he arrived almost 100 years after the massive waves of European Jewish immigration. Rather than coming from a small town along the Danube river, his shtetl was Damascus. His first American business was not a pushcart on the Lower East [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Jewish Identity A Holistic Look at the Rebbe’s Life and Career (REVIEW)

    A Holistic Look at the Rebbe’s Life and Career (REVIEW)

    Did you know that in the entire Bible, only one birthday is mentioned and it is that of Pharaoh? And did you know that according to some scientists, by accepting Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity, it is impossible to prove or disprove that the sun is the gravitational center of our solar system? In his new book, REBBE, best-selling author Joseph Telushkin reveals many surprising and sometimes shocking details as he chronicles the life and teachings of the charismatic Rabbi [...]

    Read more →
  • Food Mitzvos New Jerusalem Eatery’s Uniform Pricing Seeks to ‘Help People Make It’

    New Jerusalem Eatery’s Uniform Pricing Seeks to ‘Help People Make It’

    JNS.org – Omelet sandwich: 5 shekels. Iced coffee: 5 shekels. Tuna sandwich: 5 shekels. Fresh-squeezed orange juice: 5 shekels. Cheese bureka: 5 shekels. There’s plenty more on the Cofizz menu, but you get the idea. Dani Mizrahi and Amir Amshalm, two Israeli men in their early 30s, asked themselves: Why not launch a take-out food joint in busy neighborhoods around Jerusalem where everything—and that means everything—goes for five shekels, or about $1.50. They’d seen the concept take off in Tel Aviv, where [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Israel New Primetime Drama ‘Tyrant’ Filmed Entirely in Israel (VIDEO)

    New Primetime Drama ‘Tyrant’ Filmed Entirely in Israel (VIDEO)

    The new FX Network drama Tyrant was shot entirely in Israel, just 10 miles north of Tel Aviv, Bloomberg News reported last Tuesday. Tyrant follows the life of an Arab dictator’s second son Barry, played by Adam Rayner, who reluctantly returns home to the Middle Eastern nation of his birth to join the family business away from his suburban life in America. The elaborate set production for the primetime drama included a crew of 300 and a reported cost of over $3 million [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada Supermodel: Jewish Mothers Are Constantly Trying to Set Me Up With Their Sons

    Supermodel: Jewish Mothers Are Constantly Trying to Set Me Up With Their Sons

    Skokie, Il-born 25-year-old Erin Heatherton (Erin Heather Bubley) is rocking the modeling world. And in a new interview accompanying a cover spread for Miami’s Ocean Drive magazine, she says Jewish moms are “constantly trying to set her up with their sons.” Imagine that – who would have thought? “The moms, they’re doing what they do. It doesn’t matter what country they live in, what city – grandmothers, too,” she admitted. “But I’m probably going to do that too one day.” Heatherton was [...]

    Read more →
  • Education Israel First Ever: Turkish Academics to Visit Israel Holocaust Museum for Seminar

    First Ever: Turkish Academics to Visit Israel Holocaust Museum for Seminar

    Some 15 Turkish university professors and lecturers will take part in a first of its kind seminar at Holocaust museum Yad Vashem’s International School for Holocaust Studies starting next week. The trip is especially significant as Holocaust denial is rampant in the Arab world. A Palestinian professor was recently forced to resign after he led a trip to the Nazi extermination camp Auschwitz. Participants in the week-long program at Yad Vashem will experience in-depth tours of the museum’s archives and [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.