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November 14, 2013 11:54 am

ADL ‘Deeply Troubled’ by Brooklyn College Departments’ Sponsorship of Events Featuring ‘Unabashed Haters of Israel’

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Picture of the East quad of Brooklyn College.

Picture of the East quad of Brooklyn College.

The Anti-Defamation League says it is “deeply troubled” by the fact that two events at Brooklyn College this week featuring “unabashed haters of Israel” are co-sponsored by the institution’s political science and sociology departments.

“While we are strongly committed to the principles of academic freedom and free speech, we believe that official college sponsorship of a program featuring speakers who use vitriolic rhetoric to condemn Israel and who do not recognize the Jewish state’s right to exist is beyond the pale,” said Evan R. Bernstein, the ADL’s New York Regional Director.

“We are troubled by the political science and sociology departments’ willingness to co-sponsor these talks, which provides some measure of support to the views of the speakers,” Bernstein said.

The speaker on Wednesday night was Josh Ruebner and the speaker on Thursday will be Ben White.

Ruebner represents a group called the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, which recently made the ADL’s 2013 Top Ten Anti-Israel Groups in America” list.  Ruebner claims that the “Israel lobby” controls the U.S. government and he has legitimized Palestinian terrorism as a result of Israeli policy.

Ben White is a self proclaimed journalist who has defended former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s denials of the Holocaust and calls for Israel’s decimation, charged that Zionism is anti-democratic and has described Israel as an “apartheid state,” including within its pre-1967 borders – “an extreme position far outside legitimate criticism of Israel,” the Anti-Defamation League said in a statement.

Both White and Ruebner have also used Holocaust analogies to demonize Israel. In a November 2007 article, White alleged that Zionism is a “social-democratic experiment” and that Palestinians endured “death marches” at the hands of the Israeli government. He has claimed that Israel exploits the memory of the Holocaust in order to justify “oppression” of the Palestinian people, believing that it is justifiable “as long as it falls short of what was experienced by the Jews in Nazi Europe.”

ADL’s Bersntein said, “We also find it deeply offensive that the political science department saw fit to post on its website that it was ‘pleased’ to co-sponsor these events, thereby further legitimizing and giving a stamp of approval to extreme anti-Israel messages. These speakers have the right to hold – and express – their views, however academic departments at a respected institution such as Brooklyn College do not need to give them a platform and legitimacy.”

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  • Professor at Brooklyn College

    Many of us believe that President Gould is allowing this in order to hide what is really going on at Brooklyn College. Morale is very low. The college has become an autocracy controlled by Karen Gould. She is no friend of academic freedom and gets rid of chairs that speak out.

    Karen Gould is grabbing an extra $100,000 in salary from the Brooklyn College Foundation by double dipping. See story in NY Post.

    One publication reported that Whitehead Hall is filled with mold and asbestos. It seems that Karen Gould could not care less. So what if thousands of students suffer from lung cancer in the future!

  • E Pluribus Wombat

    If they are actually committed to unlimited free speech then I will demand they host speakers who openly advocate a return of black slavery in America, groups who support child rape and of course groups who endorse domestic violence as a ‘private matter’. I am dead serious. We need to call them at their game.

  • Johannes Pfaeffle

    The Moslem Population for the USA will be 50 million in 25 years. So the demographics will change in Brooklyn. This is what the Jewish population has to look forward to.

  • Kosher Cooterman

    ADL is so deeply troubled they took two Pepto-Bismol and asked people to donate $180 each. When ADL says they are merely ‘troubled’, they only ask for $36 donation. When “Seriously disturbed”, they ask for $1000 and mention they may get out the feather duster to stir things up.

    I, too, am bothered by this, so send me money to help me help you get over it. Thank you ADL for protecting us.

  • Al Talena

    While the leftys & airabs yell ‘academic freedom, they engage in sabotage to prevent pro-Israel speakers on campus. While airabs & leftys are willing to raise the level of confrontation, our nice college students are too busy to get involved.

  • Fred

    What happened to USA much touted “Correctness “. It seems as fake as a 3 Dollar bill. I wonder similar propaganda promoting hate against Islamic students what would this elicit. The education institutes that allow hate mongering show how little education has leached into the brain of the students and out of the administration & teachers.

  • Efram

    It seems to me that Brooklyn College is becoming a hotbed for Jew haters. In the heart of Brooklyn, with one of the world’s largest Jewish populations, an institution which was happy to allow the BDS movement to disenfranchise Jewish students. I think it is time to boycott this school.

    • Pat Negri

      Brooklyn College Alumni need to cease college contributions, and all students of conscience should threaten to go to other CUNY/SUNY institutions.

      • Frimette Kass

        Indeed, there is definitely and anti-Jewish/anti-Israel atmosphere on campus. These hateful, lying speakers being given a soap-box for their hate mongering rhetoric. All the while Jewish faculty and students are being marginalized. Jewish faculty can no longer expect promotion and tenure based on qualification but have to resort to political and legal machinations. My Jewish students report that they no longer feel comfortable or safe on campus. I would seriously think twice or trice about sending my child to BC.

        Besides all these troubles the quality of education on campus is not what it used to be. The president continues to spend her energies and funds on silliness such as the $107K logo and bolstering and selling senior administrative jobs.

        Respectfully submitted,

        Frimette Kass, CPA PhD
        Professor, Dept. of Accountancy

      • Professor at Brooklyn College

        Two of the biggest donors to Brooklyn College are Barry Feirstein and Carol Zicklin. Carol Zicklin’s husband, Larry Zicklin, is a big supporter of Baruch College.

  • Harvey

    Ben White plays to packed audience – or then again maybe not .

    White in serious danger of believing his own hype . Lets not make the same mistake

  • Carol

    This is a disgrace to the Jewish students of CUNY and to the Jewish community of New York in general.

  • GZLives

    If they are truely committed to free speech and open dialogue then lets see how they react to booking Pam Geller – I’m going to guess that would create an enormous uproar and expose the rank hypocrisy

  • R

    Josh Reubner and Ben White are mere pimples on the modern history of the Jews. They are not to be taken seriously except as examples of fools masquerading as prophets They make a living standing behind masks. Both are pure phonies. No one takes them seriously. Beware of them and their purposes. They are mere, old fashioned “fools without purpose. ”

    They attempt to degrade Judaism. All they accomplish it to degrade themselves.