Brooklyn College Poli Sci Dept: ‘On college campuses around the country and across the world, [BDS] is being discussed. Brooklyn College should be no different’

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The Brooklyn College Political Science department has released a statement defending an upcoming panel discussion on the BDS movement that has come under attack from Israel supporters including Alan Dershowitz. The February 7th event is being hosted by the Political Science department and will feature Judith Butler and Omar Barghouti.

Efforts to cancel the event continue and today New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikund issued a press release calling for Brooklyn College President Karen Gould to resign:

“Allowing her Poli-Sci Department Chair to bully her into letting them co-sponsor and support a racist, anti-Semitic lecture series is not the right thing. Or perhaps President Gould wasn’t bullied; maybe she secretly approves. Or perhaps she’s apathetic. I can only speculate to what her motivation or lack of motivation is in allowing this irresponsible endorsement of this loathsome event by her College.

“Either way, President Gould should not be steering this ship. It is heading for a barge. She should give someone else the helm, someone who understands how to manage a situation like this and protect Brooklyn College’s entire student body. The chilling effect upon Brooklyn College students will have long-term ramifications. Tacit approval is approval. Karen Gould should resign.”

In addition, according to the press release Hikind will be joined tomorrow “by numerous elected officials and community groups who will condemn Brooklyn College’s official endorsement and sponsorship of the event.”

Here is the Political Science Department statement:

Statement, January 30, 2013

A student group at Brooklyn College has organized a panel discussion regarding the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, a non-violent response to the State of Israel’s handling of the Palestinian conflict. On college campuses around the country and across the world, this issue is being discussed. Brooklyn College should be no different. The department of political science has thus decided to co-sponsor this event. We encourage students and members of the community to attend, pose their questions, and air their views.

Political Science at Brooklyn College–Our mission and goals

Our overarching goal is to provide our students with the knowledge and skills to live and serve in a globally-interdependent and rapidly-changing world. In this context, we strive to teach our students about the structure and operation of politics and power and to provide them with knowledge and skills that will help them succeed at their chosen careers. We seek to develop in them a sense of social responsibility by encouraging involvement in community and public service, both through our course work and through our internship program. Fostering a campus environment hospitable to multicultural interests and activities is a core value for our Political Science Department.

We build on the many resources of our urban environment to help Brooklyn College carry out the strategic goals of maintaining and enhancing academic excellence, creating a student-oriented campus, and becoming a model citizen of Brooklyn. The goals of the Political Science Department involve teaching, research and service to the college and in the broader community.

As educators, our priorities are:

To provide our students with knowledge, skills, and advice that will help them succeed at their chosen careers (law, education, international affairs, business, non-profit, government, public service, etc.).

To develop in our students a sense of social responsibility and good citizenship by encouraging involvement in community and public service, and thus to enable Brooklyn College to become a better citizen of the borough and the world.

To foster a department and campus environment hospitable to multicultural interests and activities.

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8 Responses

  1. Joe Catron
    January 30, 2013, 4:03 pm

    Also see this statement by BC President Karen Gould:

  2. Cliff
    January 30, 2013, 6:05 pm

    Dov Hikund is a creep. He was featured in this video by Max Blumenthal:

    Feeling the Hate in NY

    He’s the one screaming about how Zionism has ‘God’ on ‘their’ side.

  3. DICKERSON3870
    January 30, 2013, 9:41 pm

    RE: “Efforts to cancel the event continue and today New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikund issued a press release calling for Brooklyn College President Karen Gould to resign . . .” ~ Adam Horowitz

    SEE: “New McCarthyism: Brooklyn College fires teacher who dared to speak out for Palestinian self-determination”, by Philip Weiss, Mondoweiss, 1/31/11

    [EXCERPT] Kristofer Petersen-Overton, a political science doctoral student at the CUNY Graduate Center, has been fired from his position as an adjunct professor at Brooklyn College one week before his course on Middle East politics was slated to begin.
    >>> LATER REINSTATED – The case was taken up by the Brooklyn College administration after a student enrolled in his course raised concerns that Mr. Petersen-Overton’s alleged pro-Palestinian bias would prevent him from conducting a balanced seminar. The student expressed these concerns with the political science department but agreed not to pursue further action until after the course actually began. However, this student contacted state Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who then characterized Mr. Petersen-Overton as “pro-suicide bomber” in a letter to the college President.
    In a response sent to Hamodia newspaper on Wednesday, Mr. Petersen-Overton expressed concerns “that a state official would denounce my work so strongly without, apparently, having offered it more than a cursory reading. [Hikind’s] press release … is slander pure and simple.” Mr. Petersen-Overton emphasized that his work has little to do with suicide bombers and that Mr. Hikind deliberately twisted his conclusions to make it appear otherwise. . .
    . . . The allegations against Mr. Petersen-Overton center on time he spent in the Gaza Strip working for the Palestinian Center for Human Rights and on an unpublished scholarly paper [“Inventing the Martyr”] that analyzes the symbolic place of martyrdom in Palestinian nationalism. Petersen-Overton’s detractors also took issue with the fact that, according to his personal website, he still maintains “close contact” with the Palestinian activist community. . .

    SOURCE –

    • DICKERSON3870
      January 30, 2013, 9:42 pm

      P.S. FROM Anonymous @ Mondoweiss on May 11, 2011:

      [EXCERPTS] . . . In 1994, Brooklyn assemblyman Dov Hikind picked George Pataki for governor and Carl McCall for comptroller. That was huge politically. And so the buzz around Hikind mushroomed. 1994 also brought an end to Democratic control of Congress.
      By the spring of ’95, Hikind was throwing a fundraiser on the Inteprid, and word got out that Newt Gingrich would be making a special appearance. But in the end he didn’t. And the reason was Jerusalem and Hikind’s settler ties. Hikind’s wife, Shani Hikind, was an executive with the Jerusalem Reclamation Project.
      The JRP was involved in the Good Friday takeover of St. John’s Hospice back in ’90 in Jerusalem (covered by Jeffrey Goldberg here ).
      At the time, that was even too much for Christian Zionists. Mindful of the fact that he was was holding a constitutional office in the line of succession, Newt never appeared at the Hikind bash. . .SOURCE –

    • DICKERSON3870
      January 30, 2013, 10:03 pm

      P.P.S. ALSO SEE: “Perry embraces violent Jewish extremists, Politico’s Ben Smith calls him ‘moderate’”, by Max Blumenthal , Mondoweiss, 1/21/11

      [EXCERPT] Yesterday, I attended Rick Perry’s press conference at the W Hotel in New York City, where the Texas Governor and Republican presidential frontrunner denounced President Barack Obama for supposedly “appeasing” America’s enemies in the Middle East and failing to sufficiently support Israel. The Perry appearance was timed to pre-empt Obama’s speech at the UN in which the President would reject Palestinian demands for statehood.
      The most remarkable aspect of Perry’s press conference was the cast of characters that assembled behind the Governor while he spoke. To Perry’s immediate right was Assemblyman Dov Hikind, the former leader of the Jewish Defense League, a terrorist group responsible for bombing attacks on numerous Arab-American targets and a conspiracy to murder Republican Rep. Darrell Issa. While Hikind’s collaborator Victor Vancier spent ten years in jail for firebomb attacks, Hikind was suspected by the FBI of numerous terror attacks of his own. After issuing numerous stentorian condemnations of terror, Perry handed the mic over to Hikind, who exclaimed, “I heard the Governor’s speeches and I said to myself, ‘He sounds like me!'” The two engaged in a sustained hug before a giant media gaggle.
      To Perry’s left was Dr. Solomon “Joe” Frager, who was listed on official Perry press material as the organizer of the press conference. Frager is the Chairman of the Jerusalem Reclamation Project, a front group for the Ateret Cohanim organization that steals Palestinian property in East Jerusalem and hands it over to fanatically religious Jewish families. They are the spearhead of Israel’s slow motion ethnic cleansing of Silwan and the Old City. For a glimpse at the zealotry, racism and sheer sleaziness behind Ateret Cohanim’s operation, watch Louis Theroux’s excellent BBC documentary, “The Ultra-Zionists,” which follows Ateret Cohanim’s man-on-the-ground Daniel Luria as he personally orchestrates the theft of Palestinian homes. . .

      SOURCE –

  4. Mike_Konrad
    January 31, 2013, 5:05 am

    “… protect Brooklyn College’s entire student body.

    Protect from what?

    My view is debate is the best vehicle, not suppression of speech.

    The chilling effect upon Brooklyn College students will have long-term ramifications.


    Mr Hikund would be better served to just arrange a Jewish group to debate the matter.

    Tacit approval is approval. Karen Gould should resign.”

    I support Israel; but I also support the first amendment. This is over the top.

    If Mr. Hikund spent half the time he spent on stopping this debate and used it to arrange a counter BDS meeting on the Brooklyn Campus.


    He would be better served.

  5. hophmi
    January 31, 2013, 3:32 pm

    “Efforts to cancel the event continue and today New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikund issued a press release calling for Brooklyn College President Karen Gould to resign:”

    You’re lying. No one has tried to cancel the event. The campaign has been directed at the Polisci department’s sponsorship, not at the holding of the event itself.

  6. LanceThruster
    February 1, 2013, 2:12 am

    The extent that gatekeeping on every level is one of the most insidious aspects of attempting to deal intelligently with the issues. I tried to comment on a college journalism page that hosted Amb. Michael Oren. Their site covered their own institution’s school paper each linking to the other. I mentioned that any discussion with Oren that did not include the mention of either “occupation” or Israel’s “nuclear weapons” was a fluff piece and reflective of the sad state of journalism. There were no other comments. Still mine never went up. My comment on the college paper site that did not go up mentioned “The Samson Option” in response to a comment declaring Israel does not threaton others with nukes.

    A department of journalism would rather have no interaction than any that might challenge to image put forth of both the subject and those covering it.


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