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May 2, 2013 8:13 pm

The Brooklyn College Jewish Student Evictions Case Should Now go to Court

avatar by Dovid Efune

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Picture of the east quad of Brooklyn College.

The sorry saga of the wrongful eviction of four Jewish students from a Brooklyn College Political-Science-Department-sponsored anti-Israel event, is not yet over and it is my profound hope that the case concludes with a full blown lawsuit.

On Friday April 12th CUNY released its 36 page report on the BDS forum which reads more like a convoluted dog-ate-my-homework excuse paper, than a serious and reasonable legal study. The paper’s authors liberally grant credence to the lone testimony of a discredited character, and present unlikely assertions and assumptions.

A week following the release of the report, a lawyer representing three of the evicted students, Ari Ziegler, Michael Ziegler and Melanie Goldberg, responded with a letter which accuses the CUNY investigation of dodging the most critical issues surrounding the students’ expulsion. The students called for a public apology from CUNY, and the initiation of disciplinary proceedings against the Brooklyn College chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine, College administration officials and those responsible for the inaccurate statements to the press that followed the expulsion. No CUNY response to this letter has been made public.

On Tuesday, City Council member Lew Fidler, along with three of his colleagues sent a blistering letter to CUNY Vice Chancellor Jay Hershenson in which they write that the CUNY report “falls short,” and they describe some of its important reasoning as “sophomoric.” The politicians call on the school to establish clearer criteria for­ a number of procedural matters and a plan to “level the playing field” to counter the “clear (anti-Israel) slant” of the Political Science Department. One suggestion is for the endowment of a chair in the Department for a visiting professor from Israel.

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Both of the letters are cordial and constructive. Both are unlikely to elicit more than a nod of acknowledgement from CUNY, and surely not the desired response.

I hope that Brooklyn College and CUNY will now be pursued to the full extent of the law for the wrongful evictions, for the following reason.

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement which hosted the anti-Israel event from which the students were evicted, is a racist, hateful and bigoted group. The organization snugly fits the bill as anti-Semitic according to the European Union working definition of Anti-Semitismas its aims include the effective destruction of Jewish Israel, and clearly seeks to foster an environment of hatred towards the Jewish state and its supporters through libel and demonization.

This particular watershed injustice perpetrated by BDS activists at a BDS event, is important because it provides an unfortunate illustration of how quickly hate speech devolves into hate action. How verbal discrimination translates into acts of political or religious discrimination and even violence.

It is well documented that on college campuses throughout the US , using sustained propaganda, and at times intimidation, and classic Trojan horse methods to infiltrate mainstream Jewish organizations, the BDS movement and their supporters are moving swiftly and effectively to turn Jewish students against their own people.

Here is an opportunity where it is all out in the open. There is concrete evidence in the form of testimony, and audio/video recordings that the students were wrongfully evicted and there is a strong case to be made that it was on hateful and discriminatory grounds. Herein lies the opportunity to very publicly expose BDS bigotry and send a warning signal to campuses throughout the USA that any discrimination against Jewish or Zionist students is intolerable.

The upcoming decisions and following steps of the four brave students who have already been through one hell of an ordeal, bear relevance and ramifications for Jewish students on campuses across the country and will have implications for years to come.

To Ari, Michael and Melanie, I wish you courage and strength.

The author is the editor of The Algemeiner and director of the GJCF and can be e-mailed at defune@gjcf.com.

The opinions presented by Algemeiner bloggers are solely theirs and do not represent those of The Algemeiner, its publishers or editors. If you would like to share your views with a blog post on The Algemeiner, please be in touch through our Contact page.

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  • Yoni

    @ Louis,
    In order to make a real impact the events you’ve mentioned must be organized in all of the aforementioned places at the same exact time. That will grab the world attention.

  • hophmi

    Why? So we can be laughed out of court like Ronnie Fraser was in Brooklyn?

    Let’s be adults, recognize that Brooklyn College is not, in fact, a place of virulent antisemitism, and recognize that a court case has zero merit, and stop embarrassing ourselves.

    • hophmi

      Should read Great Britain, not Brooklyn.

  • these stupid guys should be drawn and quartered, especially the few jewish supporters of this insane cause.

  • these stupid guys should be drawn and quartered, especially th odd jewish supporters of this lunacy.

  • To counterattack BDS and the “Israel apartheid week”, we should sponsor an “Islamic terror hate week”

    This would be held at different times during the year; September in the US , July in England etc.

    Louis Garb

    Jerusalem

  • Reuven

    This is an excellent editorial.

  • Fredric M. London

    I hope they follow through. Maybe the courts still care about ethics.

  • BDS is a stalking horse for HAMAS & HEZBOLLAH….
    spewing a varient of the same antisemetic garbage that is spewed in the middle east…and sadly the college administration filled with antisemetic jews who are today’s dhimmis support this sickness.

  • Jurema Santos

    I also wish the students courage and strength. Their struggle to win the case against the school will be worthy. They will be glad they did it for the rest of their lives.

  • Peter

    Suing is, unfortunately, the ONLY way the college will sit up and take notice. Hitting them in the pocket book is the ONLY way that real, meaningful change will occur at the school. Without the suit, no one will be held responsible or accountable, and the school will return to “business as usual” against Israel and pro-Israel Jews on campus.

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