Whipped into a McCarthy-like frenzy by fanatical Zionist Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz, leading so-called “liberal” New York politicians have threatened to cut off funding to Brooklyn College for holding a public event scheduled for Feb. 7 that features two advocates of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement — Palestinian Omar Barghouti and Jewish-American philosopher Judith Butler.
The BDS event was organized by the Brooklyn College Students for Justice in Palestine, and is co-sponsored by the college LGBT group, pro-Palestinian Jewish organizations, as well as an Occupy Wall Street group.
Imperialism’s political establishment has lined up to throw out the window any semblance of academic freedom for the sake of backing Israel. Dershowitz often plays a central role in this assault on freedom.
A letter to Brooklyn College President Karen Gould by New York Council Assistant Majority Leader Lew Fidler, and signed by nine other members of the City Council, made a vicious attack on the college and demanded that it suppress the meeting and that the funding for the college stop. (“Officials threaten funding of Brooklyn College over Israel event,” guardian.co.uk, Feb. 4)
The U.S. depends on the Israeli garrison state to be its land-based aircraft carrier in the Middle East, to target Arab countries and people throughout the Middle East, to keep the flow of oil going and to keep its profits skyrocketing. Israel’s expanding Zionist settlements, bulldozing Palestinian homes, shelling Palestinian neighborhoods — in imperialism’s eyes all that enables Israel to enforce the bankers’ rule in the region.
Manhattan Congressman Jerrold Nadler and former City Comptroller William Thompson joined the frenzy. In a letter addressed to President Gould and also signed by two dozen city officials, they attack the college for “endorsing an event that advocates strongly for one side of a highly charged issue.”
The New York Daily News has joined this lynch mob, falsely equating criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism. The paper demands that the Brooklyn College Political Science Department rescind its sponsorship of the event.
Dershowitz has a long history of attacking anyone critical of the Israeli government or, of course, the monumental U.S. military support of the Israeli regime. He has lauded “torture warrants,” justified all Israeli aggression and calls critics of Israel “bigots.” He has called the event a “hate orgy.” Dershowitz himself has spoken on the Brooklyn College campus several times, yet feels entitled to suppress anyone opposing Israeli policies or U.S. government support.
So far the Brooklyn College administration has not buckled to this pressure. On Feb. 4, President Gould issued a statement that the college’s “commitment to the principles of academic freedom remains steadfast,” that “students and faculty, including academic departments, programs and centers, have the right to invite speakers, engage in discussion and present ideas to further educational discussion and debate.” (mondoweiss, Jan. 4)
For more information and to get involved, see www.brooklynsjp.com