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.