February 03, 2013

Brooklyn beef over BDS

I was just looking for some kind of Brooklyn College presence on Twitter when I found this tweet:
Follow the link and you can see the TV report. Here's the transcript of the report:

People are divided over whether a pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel group should be welcomed on the campus of Brooklyn College.

"I am embarrassed, I am ashamed of what Brooklyn College is doing," said Assem. Dov Hikind.
New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind says he'll organize a protest at his alma mater if the school goes through with its plans to sponsor a controversial lecture next week.

It involves a member of a group called the BDS Movement which supports sanctions, against Israel over the Palestinian conflict.
Hikind and many others are likening the college sponsorship of the event to an endorsement of the group's views.

"Just withdraw the support of the political science department because that is the university and we have no issue and let them go on and have their hateful forum," Assem. Hikind said.
Brooklyn College meanwhile doesn't see it that way at all.

"We as an institution are not going to tell members of our faculty what they can and cannot choose to support," said Jeremy Thompson, Brooklyn College Spokesman.

In fact, they point out nearly two years ago, the school also hosted a lecture by conservative David Horowitz who's certainly controversial.

He called Palestinians "morally sick, as a people".

"They've had pro-Israeli people on campus before," said Ian Marsh, a Brooklyn College senior, "It's academic freedom. There's no reason it shouldn't be both sides of the argument."

Meanwhile, on the campus, where students usually pride themselves on their diversity, the upcoming lecture is making it harder for some to bury their differences.

"It is what it is, it is justice for Palestine, and we won't have justice for Palestine, until you end the occupation and ending the occupation, the BDS Movement is vital to that," said Rabia Ahsin Tarar, a Brooklyn College senior.

It is quite painful to many others.

"How can you say, that every single student here has an opportunity to portray what they want, when the political science department takes sides, we can't have this happen," said Joey Saban, a Brooklyn College senior.
It so happens that State Assemblyman, Dov Hikind was a supporter of the late Meir Kahane. In fairness I suppose that does make him something of an expert in what is "hateful" but BDS isn't a call for ethnic cleansing which Mr Hiking supports. Also, if the college and the faculty hosted David Horowitz and are now hosting a talk on BDS, how can they be said to be endorsing either or both?

 And who the flip is this Joey Saban character?

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