This is the first time I have ever had to write a follow up article on a previously covered issue  The situation is really something that I never really thought would happen in an East Coast College. On February 7th, 2013 Brooklyn College’s Political Science Department teamed up with Brooklyn College’s Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapter to sponsor a BDS (Boycott Divestment and Sanctions against Israel) event.

When the co-sponsorship for this event was announced, supporters of Israel were in shock and took action. We, who opposed the cosponsoring of this event, felt that both sides of the issue should be present if an academic department of a college was to co-sponsor an event about the Israel-Palestine conflict (in reality this applies to any issue). This would be necessary in order to show that the department was not biased towards either side. Yet, the Political Science Department did not allow for both sides of this issue to be present at this event.

Brooklyn College’s President, Karen Gould, stated in response to the uproar:   

“In addition, as I have said on several occasions, our college community values mutual respect and civil discourse. We ask all students, faculty, staff, and guests on our campus to conduct themselves accordingly so that Brooklyn College continues to be a learning environment where all may discuss and debate issues of importance to our world.”

This past Thursday, this statement has been proven to be false.

At the BDS event four Brooklyn College students, Melanie Goldberg, Ari Ziegler, Yvonne Juris, and Michael Ziegler were forcibly removed on the charge of disrupting the event by handing out flyers. In reality, these four students had registered to be at the event prior to arriving so that they could simply ask questions to challenge the speakers of the event and show their side of the issue, as was their academic right. The truth is that these four students were only holding flyers in their laps that contradicted the views of the BDS movement and the SJP. That was the true reason why these students were forced out.

What really sickens me is that the professors and staff who were present did nothing to stop this. Also, this 100% violates the academic integrity of the department and possibly the school as well.  What really disgusts me is the excuse they used to defend their inaction: “It was an SJP event. They call the rules.” This is a blatant lie. The SJP lost the authority over who can be present at an event when they had the event co-sponsored by Brooklyn College’s Political Science Department.

Another thing that really angers me is what the founder of the BDS movement, Omar Barghouti, said prior to beginning his speech: We’re witnessing the rise of a new McCarthyism in this country led by Israel, its lobby groups and defenders of the denial of basic Palestinian rights”* This is a statement of pure hate and yet the Political Science Department had no problem sponsoring this event.

Lets deal with the above statement Really, Barghouti, a new McCarthyism? McCarthyism is defined as “the practice of making unfair allegations or using unfair investigative techniques, especially in order to restrict dissent or political criticism.” Based on this definition, YOU, the BDS movement, the SJP of Brooklyn College, and the Political Science Department of Brooklyn College are the people who started this new McCarthyism by kicking out 4 students who were innocent and not disturbing the event.

What lobbying groups of Israel are you referring to, Barghouti? AIPAC (American-Israel Public Affairs Committee), the ZOA (Zionist Organization of America), and the ADL (Anti-Deformation League? These aren’t lobbying groups that are for Israel alone. The ADL defends racism and bigotry against all peoples in many different areas and spaces, including colleges. They interceded here because of the Political Science Department’s refusal to add a Pro-Israel speaker to the event. AIPAC works on educating people about the American-Israel relationship as well as lobbying for the USA to have a strong relationship with Israel.  The ZOA focuses on education students about what Israel contributes to the world as well as its modern day history, among other things that they do. None of these groups defend the denial of the basic rights of Palestinians.

Barghouti, do you want to know who continually denies the Palestinians their basic rights?  The Palestinian terrorists, who force innocent Palestinians to store explosives, rockets and other weapons in their houses, in order to draw negative media attention to Israel when the IDF destroys the arsenal. These terrorists are the deniers of all Palestinians’ basic rights.  Israel wants to have a lasting peace with the Palestinians but seeing as these terrorists do not respect their own people’s basic rights, how can we rely on them to be a peace partner? I charge you, Barghouti as a person who continues this basic rights denial by blaming Israel for

This is the first time I have ever had to write a follow up article on a previously covered issue  The situation is really something that I never really thought would happen in an East Coast College. On February 7th, 2013 Brooklyn College’s Political Science Department teamed up with Brooklyn College’s Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapter to sponsor a BDS (Boycott Divestment and Sanctions against Israel) event.

When the co-sponsorship for this event was announced, supporters of Israel were in shock and took action. We, who opposed the cosponsoring of this event, felt that both sides of the issue should be present if an academic department of a college was to co-sponsor an event about the Israel-Palestine conflict (in reality this applies to any issue). This would be necessary in order to show that the department was not biased towards either side. Yet, the Political Science Department did not allow for both sides of this issue to be present at this event.

Brooklyn College’s President, Karen Gould, stated in response to the uproar:

“In addition, as I have said on several occasions, our college community values mutual respect and civil discourse. We ask all students, faculty, staff, and guests on our campus to conduct themselves accordingly so that Brooklyn College continues to be a learning environment where all may discuss and debate issues of importance to our world.”

This past Thursday, this statement has been proven to be false.

At the BDS event four Brooklyn College students, Melanie Goldberg, Ari Ziegler, Yvonne Juris, and Michael Ziegler were forcibly removed on the charge of disrupting the event by handing out flyers. In reality, these four students had registered to be at the event prior to arriving so that they could simply ask questions to challenge the speakers of the event and show their side of the issue, as was their academic right. The truth is that these four students were only holding flyers in their laps that contradicted the views of the BDS movement and the SJP. That was the true reason why these students were forced out.

What really sickens me is that the professors and staff who were present did nothing to stop this. Also, this 100% violates the academic integrity of the department and possibly the school as well.  What really disgusts me is the excuse they used to defend their inaction: “It was an SJP event. They call the rules.” This is a blatant lie. The SJP lost the authority over who can be present at an event when they had the event co-sponsored by Brooklyn College’s Political Science Department.

Another thing that really angers me is what the founder of the BDS movement, Omar Barghouti, said prior to beginning his speech: We’re witnessing the rise of a new McCarthyism in this country led by Israel, its lobby groups and defenders of the denial of basic Palestinian rights”* This is a statement of pure hate and yet the Political Science Department had no problem sponsoring this event.

Lets deal with the above statement Really, Barghouti, a new McCarthyism? McCarthyism is defined as “the practice of making unfair allegations or using unfair investigative techniques, especially in order to restrict dissent or political criticism.” Based on this definition, YOU, the BDS movement, the SJP of Brooklyn College, and the Political Science Department of Brooklyn College are the people who started this new McCarthyism by kicking out 4 students who were innocent and not disturbing the event.

What lobbying groups of Israel are you referring to, Barghouti? AIPAC (American-Israel Public Affairs Committee), the ZOA (Zionist Organization of America), and the ADL (Anti-Deformation League? These aren’t lobbying groups that are for Israel alone. The ADL defends racism and bigotry against all peoples in many different areas and spaces, including colleges. They interceded here because of the Political Science Department’s refusal to add a Pro-Israel speaker to the event. AIPAC works on educating people about the American-Israel relationship as well as lobbying for the USA to have a strong relationship with Israel.  The ZOA focuses on education students about what Israel contributes to the world as well as its modern day history, among other things that they do. None of these groups defend the denial of the basic rights of Palestinians.

Barghouti, do you want to know who continually denies the Palestinians their basic rights?  The Palestinian terrorists, who force innocent Palestinians to store explosives, rockets and other weapons in their houses, in order to draw negative media attention to Israel when the IDF destroys the arsenal. These terrorists are the deniers of all Palestinians’ basic rights.  Israel wants to have a lasting peace with the Palestinians but seeing as these terrorists do not respect their own people’s basic rights, how can we rely on them to be a peace partner? I charge you, Barghouti as a person who continues this basic rights denial by blaming Israel for everything.

 

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*Quote found here: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/founder-anti-israel-group-calls-critics-brooklyn-college-event-article-1.1258500