Press Conference to Investigate BDS & Brooklyn College (2-14-13)

A Press Conference held on February 14, 2013 has called for an investigation of Brooklyn College denouncing the BDS movement (Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment) as hate speech and anti-Semitic. They asked that Brooklyn College adopt new policy changes in light of recent events surrounding this BDS (Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment) event aimed at Israel. Four Jewish students complained of being unfairly singled out and then removed from the audience. (scroll down for 5 videos of the press conference)

Jeff Wiesenfeld, a 14 year trustee at the City University of New York (CUNY)  said of the BDS event,

“ This was not an academic pursuit, it’s propaganda, which is actually prohibited in universities. The American Association of University Professors has standards that have been in force since 1916 that say professors may not proselytize. They must give two sides of an issue and they are to spur academic discussion and research. That’s being violated….Laws were broken just by having the Political Science Department co-sponsor the event. The BDS panel marked a “black day for Brooklyn College.

Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) whose post-event press release can be found here organized the panel that was held on February 7, 2013.

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An event that had only two speakers, two leaders of the economic and political warfare movement known as BDS. BDS Founder, Omar Barghouti and “feminist philosopher”, Judith Butler . Their purpose was to promote BDS as a force for good.  BDS is ‘so good’ that the event was restricted to press as well as the public.

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This one-sided panel was co-sponsored by the Political Science Department at Brooklyn College, a sponsorship that caused many of New York City’s politicians to express concerns regarding a boycott against Israel .  (Links to the January 28th Press Conference can be found here) More facts exposing the BDS lies can be found in this flyer from Stand With Us .


This BDS event of 2013 was policed heavily, something that cannot be said for the David Horowitz event in 2011.  Horowitz had been invited by Brooklyn College students to speak out against the “Palestinian Wall of Lies” and fraudulent claims of an Israeli ‘apartheid’. But, the “Palestinian” students demanded Horowitz be barred from speaking and threatened to shut down the event (as they have done on other campuses).

Link to the obnoxious attempts by  ‘Palestinian” students to shut down Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer at Temple University in 2012 and the indifference exhibited by Campus Security (yawning while this man heckled)

At Brooklyn College in 2011. The College ignored the threats from the “Palestinians” and showed no interest in supplying security for the speaker, Horowitz,  or the Jewish students. No support from the Political Science Department for differing points-of-view. Thankfully, CUNY trustee, Jeffrey Wiesenfeld, persevered until there was a bare-bones Brooklyn College security presence.

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The 2013 treatment of the “offending” Jewish students was completely different from the anti-Israel students who WERE disruptive in 2011. Even though the anti-Israel students spoke out-of-turn, showing disdain for the guest, David Horowitz, NO ONE was removed. Those anti-Israel students from 2011 can be seen and heard HERE.

Back to 2013. In spite of a recording made by Algemeiner that supports the pro-Israel, anti-BDS students claims that they were NOT disruptive, the Brooklyn College administration backed the SJP students’ accounts claiming that four Jewish students were so disruptive and disrespectful of the speakers that they were force ably removed. Lies all Lies.

From Camera:

Senior Melanie Goldberg and three classmates were escorted out of the event, which featured the founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, by security officers shortly after it began.

“The whole point of having this debate was that it would be an open academic forum where I would be allowed to ask questions,” said Goldberg, who is studying journalism. “So I came prepared to ask questions.”

But when Goldberg took out her questions on handouts for the main speaker, BDS founder Omar Barghouti, she was asked by a member of Students for Justice in Palestine, which organized the event, to hand them over.

“Someone came to me and said, ‘Give me all your papers, or you’ll be forcibly removed from the event,’ ” she recalled. “Not only was it a violation of my freedom of speech, but they made sure to silence me.”

Camera continues,”The story includes another troubling detail: “Members of media outlets — including a Daily News reporter who was wearing a yarmulke — were also removed from the event despite reserving places to cover the forum.”

Goldberg’s personal testimony, available here (snip) she was expelled from the event in full view of an official from Brooklyn College, who did not intervene. Her Free Speech was denied.”

Attorney Neal Sher, former Special War Crimes Prosecutor for the US Dept. of Justice, said that Brooklyn College has a very serious Title VI problem, referring to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act and the practice of allowing an anti-Semitic environment to flourish on campus.

Jeremy Thompson, a spokesman for Brooklyn College, released a statement in response to the uproar over the ejection of four Jewish students from the BDS panel event on Feb. 7, 2013 and in response to the threat of filing a Title VI civil rights claim against the college.

“Due to the serious concerns raised by our students, [Brooklyn College] President Gould has asked [CUNY] Chancellor Goldstein to order a swift and thorough review in order to ascertain all the facts about the event held at the college on February 7.”

The Algemeiner said that the audio file has been given to investigators and would be used as part of an inquiry the school has launched. Algemeiner has published audio of the event that proves the students were ejected without reason. The press release said the ejected students would be present at this press conference on February 14, unfortunately they did not attend.

Part 1- Jeff Wiesenfeld , a 14 year trustee at the City University of New York (CUNY) Statement to  the Press

Part 2 – Former Special War Crimes Prosecutor for the US Dept. of Justice, Neal Sher

Part 3 – Dovid Efune, Editor-in-Chief of Algemeiner

Part 4 – Last three speakers. Rabbi Yakov Kermeier of the Fifth Avenue Synagogue and past President of the NY Board of Rabbis. Irene Alter speaking for the National Conference of Jewish Affairs (NCJA) and Feliks Frenkel, Chairman of the Board, Council of Jewish Emigre Community Organizations (COJECO). 

Part 5- a brief Q and A. pro- BDS Monoweiss reporter, Alex Kane, asked a few questions opf Wiesenfeld and Sher. Kane is an assistant editor for Mondoweiss and the World editor for AlterNet

Other than Reporter Alex Kane of Mondoweiss, did any other pro-BDS press take the time to cover this Press Conference, including the MSM? Where was the MSM?

These are links I found from the pro- BDS-ers….

In conclusion, as I looked for articles connected to the BDS event and this press conference, I happened upon a timely article by Cinnamon Stiilwell and Rima Greene. They have exposed this latest propaganda text book intended for use in our schools. The Politics of Teaching Palestine to Americans: Addressing Pedagogical Strategies  . This is indoctrination, not education. Here are some excerpted thoughts and quotes from that article.

“Activist teachers, teaching “critical thinking” means indoctrinating students to believe that Palestinians are always right — and Israelis are always wrong. Teaching that the Arab-Israeli conflict is not about religion omits crucial terms such as “jihad” or “terrorism, turning Israel into another Islamic state. This is the real motivation of its opponents, to suppress people by excluding them. History is a closed-loop in which Palestinians are presented as innocent victims and Israelis as evil-doers. Bill Ayers and his  “alternative pedagogies are in our American schools, taking sides, re-interpreting history as did Howard Zinn and Edward Said. It is extremely biased, teaching scorn and ridicule and indoctrinating our students in a culture of hatred while fomenting anti-Israel activism.”
There is a chapter on Hip-Hop. Something I noticed to be very popular with young muslim hate-groups like “Existence is Resistance” as well as the ex-head of NY-CAIR, Cyrus McGoldrick. Cyrus has an odd ‘side-career’ as a Hip-Hop “Poet”.  These “Palestinian” students have embraced an obnoxious, angry “art-form” and the reasons “why” are made a bit more obvious when reading the intentions behind this ‘text-book’.
” How to teach the Arab-Israeli conflict, in a chapter titled “Hip-Hop Education and Palestine Solidarity,” Knopf-Newman advocates using hip-hop, or rap, music because it has short, easy-to-remember segments that prove conducive to incorporating political material. Using her book as a guide, high school students can now rap, dance, or sing their way to anti-Zionism. Lesson plans include how to organize street theater with “apartheid walls” and “tunnels of oppression” that connect to other “sites of oppression.” Such agitprop can be adopted, she helpfully suggests, by teachers of literature, social studies, theater, music, and many other subjects. She particularly admires content that connects genocide, imprisonment, slavery, indigenous people, the “prison-industrial complex,” and even Hurricane Katrina with the delegitimization of Israel in the malleable minds of her students”
The academia (and media) love-affair with anti-Israel agitprop rages on. Now …. What are we going to do about it?
UPDATE February 19, 2013. More from Lori Lowenthal Marcus on what took place INSIDE the event on February 7th. Great research and quotes.
As pointed out in her article, the claim that there were Jews in attendance who were allowed to speak,  to ask questions, was a hollow claim when you see that they are referring to the very anti-Zionist Neteuri Karta. They were there to  support BDS.
In the face book picture published of the BDS event, I recognized the fellow in the intifada scarf. His name, Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss, an anti-Zionist Neteuri Karta.
Here is my  interview with Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss at the 2012 Israel Day parade , explaining why he is anti-Israel (begins at 1:52)
Have yet to see a listing of who (or how many)  of the anti- BDS Jewish voices were permitted to speak. Since security was removing opposition from the room, it is doubtful any had the courage to speak up.

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