ADL Rips City College of New York President for ‘Dismissive, Inappropriate, Misleading’ Response to Shout-Down of Israeli Diplomat
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) released an open letter on Wednesday expressing concern over the “dismissive and inappropriate manner” in which the president of City College of New York (CCNY) responded to a student disruption of a talk by an Israeli diplomat last week.
The heads of the ADL’s New York chapter wrote that they were “troubled” by CCNY Interim President Vincent Boudreau’s statement on the protests that erupted during Israeli Consul General to New York Dani Dayan’s on-campus Q&A session last Thursday. In his comments, Boudreau referred to Dayan as “a well-known advocate of expanding Israeli settlements in the contested territories, a position that generates great opposition and anger among some in our community.”
“While it is true that in his previous capacity Ambassador Dayan represented the Israeli settlement movement, he currently serves as the official diplomat in New York for Israel, and not as a settler advocate,” wrote ADL leaders Evan Bernstein and Andrew Frackman. “Your statement’s failure to mention this important detail, and portrayal of Ambassador Dayan as a nameless, provocative ideologue, is not only misleading and dismissive of the ambassador, but may be seen as justifying the lack of civility demonstrated by some students to the Consul General during the question and answer portion of his presentation.”
Dayan, who has a residence in the West Bank town of Ma’ale Shomron, previously served on the executive committee and as chairman of the Yesha Council, an umbrella organization of municipal councils representing Israeli settlements. He has dismissed the notion that settlements are the main obstacle to achieving peace with the Palestinians as “nonsense.”
“Since accuracy, important in all contexts, is especially essential in an institution of higher learning, we strongly urge you to correct this omission from the statement posted on your website,” Bernstein and Frackman wrote, adding that they “would be happy to meet with you and your staff to discuss this in further detail.”
Dayan previously told The Algemeiner that the heckles and chants hurled by CCNY students during his lecture on Israel’s international relations, “were just one example of Jewish students on campus being exposed to harassment and intimidation by BDS [boycott, divestment and sanctions] thugs.”
“College administrations are not doing enough to ensure a student can safely exercise his or her right to assert their Jewish identity, including their love for the Jewish national homeland,” he added.