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April 22, 2013 2:06 pm

Wrongly Evicted Jewish Brooklyn College Students Demand CUNY Action

avatar by Zach Pontz

BDS protester. Photo: wiki commons.

Three of the four students who were unceremoniously removed from a controversial BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) event aimed at Israel at Brooklyn College in February, have sent a letter to the school communicating their displeasure with a recent report issued by the University, The Algemeiner has learned.

The letter was written on behalf of Melanie Goldberg, Ari Ziegler and Michael Ziegler by their legal counsel, Kirkland and Ellis. The students were removed from the event after a representative of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), which hosted the event, accused them of causing a disruption. The report concluded that the individual in question, Carlos Guzman, didn’t evict them because of religious orientation, but rather a “plausible inference can be drawn that the removal of the four students was motivated by their political viewpoint.”

The students contend that “The report ignores the obvious discriminatory motives behind the expulsion and fails to hold accountable the individuals and groups who were responsible for the letter.”

The students also believe “The University dodges the most critical issues surrounding the students’ expulsion and shirks its responsibility both to the three students and…to the University community at large.”

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The three main issues of concern noted in the letter are that “The report does not reach a conclusion as to why the students were expelled”; it does not “include recommendations for disciplinary action” against the perpetrators; and it “fails to acknowledge that a public statement made by a Brooklyn College spokesman in the immediate aftermath of the event…was wrongful and mishandled.”

The students also take issue with the fact that the report chooses to “credit the sincerity of” Carlos Guzman, who isn’t even a registered student at Brooklyn College, and that by doing so brings into question “the legitimacy” of the report.

The students are seeking damages in the form of a public apology from CUNY that mentions “Ari, Michael, and Melanie by name”  and acknowledges the “College’s violation of their rights to free speech.” They also demand that the school initiate proceedings against Students for Justice in Palestine for “allowing a third-party individual unaffiliated with the University to serve as principal organizer and apparent admissions czar”; against “College officials who failed to intercede in the the forced expuslion” of the students; and against “college officials responsible for the erroneous and defamatory public statement” issued by the school immediately after the incident.

When reached Brooklyn College declined comment. The students’ legal counsel told The Algemeiner no decision had yet been made about taking legal action against the school.

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