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February 18, 2016 3:30 pm

Brooklyn College President Calls for Investigation Into Antisemitic Disturbance at Faculty Meeting

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Brooklyn College President Karen Gould: Brooklyn College website

Brooklyn College President Karen Gould:. Photo: Brooklyn College website.

The president of Brooklyn College strongly condemned the disruption of a faculty meeting this week by students shouting antisemitic and anti-Zionist epithets, in a statement released Thursday.

Referring to the interruption of the Faculty Council meeting by students chanting “Zionists off campus” while demanding the university divest from Israel, President Karen Gould said, “We find this disruptive behavior unacceptable and the hateful comments especially abhorrent.” She also called for an investigation into the students’ conduct and for appropriate actions to be taken based on the findings.

The Anti-Defamation League also denounced the students in a press release, and praised Gould for her strong response.

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The event occurred on Tuesday, when 10 students entered the premises of the Faculty Council meeting, yelling anti-Israel slogans. When Faculty Council Chair Prof. Yedidya Langsam attempted to restore order, they reportedly called him a “Zionist pig.” According to a statement issued by New York Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn), some of the faculty members present applauded the students’ anti-Israel rants.

Langsam told The Algemeiner on Thursday that one faculty member in attendance later commented to him that their colleagues’ assent to the students’ outbursts “felt as it must have felt to Jews in early 1930s Germany, watching one’s associates turn against one.”

Langsam also noted that in recent years there has been growing anti-Israel hostility on the Brooklyn College campus, including the rise of the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions movement (BDS). But, he added, “I have been at Brooklyn College since 1973, when I was a student. In all these years I have never before been personally targeted in this way.”

“Students are welcome to their views about Israel and Zionism, however misinformed they might be,” Langsam said. “But to my mind there is no difference today between anti-Zionism and antisemitism. Anti-Zionism is merely a more polite way to express antisemitism.”

Brooklyn College sent The Algemeiner this statement:

A small student protest on February 16, 2016 disrupted a campus meeting of the Brooklyn College Faculty Council, which is the body charged with making decisions on academic policy. The Faculty Council Chair leads the meeting and recognizes who can and cannot speak, including guests, according to Robert’s Rules of Order.  The students, who had not been recognized by the chair, and refused to follow his direction, made a number of demands on a wide range of academic and economic topics.  They also directed hateful anti-Zionist and anti-Jewish comments to members of our community.  We find this disruptive behavior unacceptable and the hateful comments especially abhorrent.  Brooklyn College is committed to fostering a campus environment in which challenging issues and viewpoints can be expressed.  However, such conversations must not impede the Faculty’s right and responsibility to conduct the academic business of the College; nor should these conversations create a climate of exclusion and hostility.   We will be vigilant in our efforts to promote a safe and respectful learning environment.

The President of Brooklyn College [Karen Gould] has instructed the Office of Judicial Affairs and the college’s legal counsel to initiate an investigation of student conduct at the Faculty Council meeting, and to take appropriate actions based on their findings.

A faculty member who asked to remain anonymous told The Algemeiner that the Brooklyn College faculty union, PSC CUNY, has written to Gould reproaching her for failing to distinguish anti-Zionism from antisemitism. A request for clarification from the union was not answered as of press time.

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  • Helen

    Anti-Zionism is anti-semitism. For those who claim it is not, please consider this example: if someone said “I hate Italy and want it wiped off the map although I like some Italians so I am not anti-Italian.” How would this be any different?

  • I sugguest you all tweet @BklynCollege411 and tell them these students need to be expelled to send a message that hate and antisemitism will not be tolerated at Brooklyn College

  • a yid

    The people at that meeting needed to open up a can of “whup-arse” on those mamzerim–even if it was just verbal– something with some power; some “we’re not taking this crap”. The more that Jews stand up to this mess, the stronger we will be.

  • rob

    if they yelled “niggers go home” or “fags pigs” this would be the lead story on every channel and the students would be dismissed for hate speech

  • ADAM Caius

    Terrorists are acting in several directions , not only blowing up buildings, trains and schoolbusses, etc… they spread their acts of terror in many ways ! Whatever they do, their purpose is the same : to bring fear and insecurity among the people everywhere! Today their target are the so-called ” zionists ” but tomorrow they will choose another target and so on …. If they are able to ” organize” such acts of terror they are an increasing danger for the whole civilized world !

    • Salomon

      I completely agree with you, but what scares me is the lack of immediate reactions by the authorities… I see some kind of complacency…
      What the US Jews need are courageous persons that speak oppenly and denounce the thugs not only in words but in acts too. If police and state prosecutors are reluctant to act, the Jewish Defense League (JDL) of the Rav Meir Kahane ZL must be revived.

    • robert davis

      This is why we need TRUMP and his intent to close America’s doors to moslems.

  • I would like to know what actually happens to the investigation President Gould says she wants. Will the students and the faculty members who applauded them have any action taken against them?

  • Ann Streiffer

    Why weren’t the dissenting students required to be on the agenda to be heard? Teach them the right way to be heard, whether or not you agree with their message.

  • Tamela Walker

    Hasbara working overtime aren’t they?

  • What is going on?

    Once again the double standard rears its ugly head. If Jewish students had conducted themselves in the same manner, the Police would have been called.

  • Yadja

    Prince Alaweed has been putting billions into our colleges for ME studies. Obama bringing in millions of Arab students and we have been having problems with them for years.

    We are overwhelmed with Muslims in every infrastructure of America.

  • audrey renee pearman

    Faculty who applauded ought to be reprimanded and warned about any further discrimination towards any student. Grounds for dismissal.

    • Yadja

      No they should be fired. Period.

  • Fred

    The shame that The US Institution of Learning have become factories of hatred & lies. Germany of the 1930 in the making, noting is done about this. Why????

  • Stephen Archer

    I believe that the ones who disrupted this meeting have no clue as to what Zionism is which is the longing of Jews for their homeland. So in effect, ‘antizionism’ is a polite way to render the word ‘antisemitism’

    • Yale

      I think you’re wrong. These students know exactly what Zionism is: the belief that Jews have the same rights as other peoples. Anyone who rejects the notion that people have rights has to start by denying them to someone, and who better than the always unpopular Jews?

  • Sherlock Holmes

    Faculty appaud rants ??? Faculty should be neutral and not support incitement and intimidation. During WW2 the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and Arabs generally were openly pro-Hitler. This undercurrent of violent anti-Judaism is still around.


    Those students should be expelled as an example for any other hate comments.

    If those “hate” students are going be the future leaders of USA, then America has a serious problem

  • Paul

    When arabs want to kill Israelis, they chant “Itbach Al Yahud” – slaughter the Jews. they do not talk about zionists, they talk about jews. They make no distinction.
    Anti-zionism is a thin veil to try hidethe age-old antisemitism. This hatred was here before Israel was established, and anti-zionism is a convenient excuse for the old, old antisemitism.
    Although there ARE some legitimate issues that can be raised, regarding Israel’s settlement policy, the way in which the anti-semite/anti-zionists behave gives the game away: they are not motivated by justice or equality of other lofty and admirable values – they are driven by an old hatred.
    The real reasons for the hatred of the jews by these people are simple: Firstly, the koran calls for the destruction and hatred of the jews, who are therein labelled the offspring of pigs and monkeys. Add to this the value system of the muslims, based on their pride as their supreme virtue (the one that drives fathers to slit the throats of their daughters if the daughters have been sexually molested) and they have their noses rubbed in the success of the Jews compared to their own miserable failure. So horrible religious beliefs and a hideous moral value system are the real reasons for Jew-hatred. And if you are in doubt – look at their behaviour. It is self-evident.

    • robert davis

      Every time you approuve the word “settlements” or Israel’s Policy you HELP antisémites. When will you stupid moderates understand antisemitism is a synonim of COWARDICE? thise arabs and far left people do not take on you because of what you do BUT BECAUSE OF WHAT YOU are IE COWARDS. The do not respect ie fear you when you blame Israel, they would respet you if you SUPPORT ISRAEL 100% with no restriction.Then they will fear for their buttocks and stop taking on you. Is it so difficult to understand politics for you?

      • robert davis

        sorry I mean…or blame Israel’s Policy you show your cowardice.

  • Jack Koplowitz

    Anti-Zionism is not more polite than old fashion antisemitism,
    it’s just more socially acceptable.

  • JUDITH Podwil

    This behavior is so disturbing.
    The students can be punished but how do you make them understand that what they are doing is hateful?

    • robert davis

      Judith : by voting for a President that will oppose them by FORCE. This is the only language they understand. If you try to explain you gety the opposite of what you want; They think “ggod they are afraid of us”. This is what terrorism is for.

  • Anschel

    Those disrupting anti-Semites who are enrolled as students should be dismissed from the university and, if foreign students, deported. The few anti-Semitic teachers should be severely disciplined — they probably should be fired for attempting to thwart democratic processes and to autocratically impose their anti-intellectual biases in the campus environment. It is the latter who are attempting to thwart free speech and academic freedom, not the university!

  • Max Genghis Cohen

    The core of this protest is the disruption of civic and academic process just as it was in the 1960’s when leftist agitators were organized by Bernie Sanders. Today’s rationale is to attack Jews ostensibly to avenge Palestinians regardless of all consequences (such as harm to working class Palestinians and Jews). In the 60’s Bernie organized the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, violently invaded and trashed private apartment buildings and college offices in the cause of integration. The long term unforeseen result was the degradation of properties and the eventual ruin of the mortgage system as conducted by the nation’s banks. The tactics of disruption are classic communist ploys.

  • Jack Holan

    In this instance if PS CUNY needs clarification from Ms Gould on the difference between Anti-Zionism and Anti- Semitism they need to evaluate their ignorance on the subject and the lack of Judeo Christian values inherent to this nation their may be a screw lose somewhere. You also need to ask who is truly behind both this protest and the movement they claim to represent. If we send each of your members this information they are going to be very unhappy

  • The Anti-Semitic disruption of Brooklyn College’s Faculty Council meeting warrants the automatic expulsion of all students involved. And the Brooklyn College faculty union (PSC CUNY) must receive an unequivocal declaration from Ms. Gould that there is no distinction between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism. Both terms delegitimize Israel and incite Jew-hatred.

  • John Train

    Karen Gould is personally responsible for this outbreak. Once the students failed to heed the chairman’s directions they were trespassing and should have been arrested.

    Previously, when Pam Giller appeared on campus ,Geller’s presentation was systematically disrupted.

    The political science faculty cosponsored with BDS anti-Israel events.

    Words sound terrific but actions were needed and were not forthcoming from president Karen Gould.

  • Otto Schiff

    There are lots of countries that could be criticized for
    their actions and politics.
    Picking on Israel clearly has anti-Semitic roots.

  • elizabeth

    “Both Shiite and Sunni Muslims invoke the infamous hadith attributed to Muhammad: ‘The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: ‘Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him.’ Each Friday this genocidal hadith is quoted in sermons across the Islamic world, including among U.S. Muslim communities.”
    Quote from Andrew Bostom, NY Daily 05-27-2009

  • Ephraim

    Nor should it be.

  • enufizenuf

    If the administration had any balls they’d expel the little Nazi/muslim swine. Any one with names and photos of these creeps ought to make them public.

  • Such disgraceful behavior must not be tolerated. Administrators must be held responsible for ensuring a civil and safe environment for all staff and students.