MSNBC host calls push to shut down boycott discussion at Brooklyn College ‘outrageous and outright chilling’


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Chris Hayes’s extended comments begin at 1:20 of the video. A “who’s who” list of New York politicians is trying to shut down the conversation. Hayes mentions Omar Barghouti and Judith Butler. “I understand why there’s an outcry” from those who find BDS odious — he says, covering his bases. But Hayes is clear about the academic-freedom principle and about the highly “selective” concern for balance in this instance and not others. What if the University of Alabama tried to disinvite a gay speaker? Hayes says that some of those politicians “browbeating” the college have been on his show. Good liberals. Yes: Progressive Except Palestine, PEP.

About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a mother, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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7 Responses

  1. Ramzi Jaber
    February 4, 2013, 10:57 am

    Bravo Chris Hayes!! The thing that the US Zionists, the fundamentalist evangelicans, the neocons, and the Zionist Lobby do not realize is that the war for the freedom of the State of Palestine is fought globally. They are only fighting in the US (and Canada and Australia). Let them stay distracted by that while we win the global war for our freedom. At the end of the day, the way Arabs (both Christians and Moslems), non-Arab Moslems, and all Palestine supporters around the world no longer believe the center of power and importance is in the US.

  2. Kathleen
    February 4, 2013, 11:34 am

    Chris Hayes Sunday program is a must watch. He brought up the John Hopkins/Lancet report on Iraqi deaths that came out in 2006. That report stated that at that time they had calculated that 650,000 Iraqi people had been killed as a direct consequence of the US invasion. We know the Bush administration and MSM outlets quickly swept that report under the rug. So impressed that Hayes swept it out from under that rug. Hoping he at some point does a segment on just how many Iraqi people have been killed, injured, displaced by our invasion of that country. As a kid I used to be overwhelmed by the fact that people had not responded very quickly to how many Jews (and then of course Poles, Gypsies who are never mentioned in our MSM) were being killed by the Hitler killing machine. I used to wonder why is that people just stood by. And yet Americans have just stood by and most do not even know or care about how many Iraqi people were killed during that horrific and unnecessary war. Hope Hayes at some point does a program on that fact. Move forward…I know..what a bull shit line.

    Great that Hayes focused on the censorship and so much more on his Sunday program.

    Annie over at Huffington Post they have all of the Super Bowl commercials up and you can vote on them. Might be great for folks to go over there and click the thumbs down on that commercial.

  3. American
    February 4, 2013, 12:38 pm

    Good for Chris. I hope we see more challenging of the zionist political activities re the “fundamentals’ of the US..

    I was doing some research on my belief that we must overcome or disregard the Zionist ploy of casting political opposition to their or their ‘Jewish presented agenda as anti semitic. And came across this:

    Political antisemitism

    William Brustein defines political antisemitism as hostility toward Jews based on the belief that Jews seek national and/or world power.” Yisrael Gutman characterizes political antisemitism as tending to “lay responsibility on the Jews for defeats and political economic crises” while seeking to “exploit opposition and resistance to Jewish influence as elements in political party platforms.”

    We all see the zionist use this. It puts any opposition to ‘any’ Jewish ‘related’ activities by ‘any’ Jews, into a double bind. It basically promotes that no political opposition is tolerable or allowable because some anti Semites will use it for anti semitic purposes.

    Political criticism of zionist/ Israel/ must be separated from anti semitism or what we have is a “national political party’ that can’t be opposed or questioned.
    The only way I know to do that is every time they start the anti semitism dodge for people like Hayes to just bluntly say….’Your group is operating as a political party and we’re questioning your political activities, the Israel Lobby and political agenda, we’re not discussing the Jews or the larger Jewish community”. And just keep doing it that way, make it a brick wall. Period.

  4. pabelmont
    February 4, 2013, 12:47 pm

    This was just great. And Hayes was so well informed. The Dersh — shocking ! — appearing on a panel without any balancing voice (to balance against his own views)! shocking!

    What fun. Will any of the NYC pols change after this? (And while we’re waiting, * * *).

  5. DICKERSON3870
    February 4, 2013, 4:33 pm

    RE: [Chris] Hayes is clear about the academic-freedom principle and about the highly “selective” concern for balance in this instance and not others. What if the University of Alabama tried to disinvite a gay speaker? ~ Weiss

    PERHAPS CHRIS HAYS IS THE ANSWER TO BERNARD AVISHAI’S QUESTION: “The New McCarthyism of Jewish Organizations: Where Is Our Murrow?”, by Bernard Avishai,, 12/26/12

    [EXCERPT] I am just old enough to remember grown-up disquiet when speaking of McCarthyism—the first thick book I read was Louis Nizer’s My Life in Court, which was largely about the libel case of Quentin Reynolds against Westbrook Pegler, the impresario of the scurrilous Red Channels—and I remember feeling a certain pride in the very large number of Jewish liberals who, like Nizer, helped bring America back to its senses.
    Let the galoots disgrace themselves attacking war-heroes like General Marshall. Let weird groups like the John Birchers and Daughters of the American Revolution and Republican Tafters impugn a man’s integrity, then repeat each others’ insinuations, then spread them to widening circles in captive media (where sympathetic pens were waiting). Let them point to the public doubts they themselves manufactured “out of whole cloth,” as my father used to say. Jews, and Jewish organizations, knew where they stood in the face of such smears. They stood for fairness, patience, sanity. We knew for whom an unfair, impatient, insane America would not “be good for.”
    There was Fred Friendly, who collaborated with Edward R. Murrow in challenging McCarthy on CBS. There was Arthur Miller, whose 1953 play, “The Crucible,” about the Salem witch trials, was a thinly veiled attack on the House Un-American Activities Committee. There was I.F. Stone who, forced to strike out on his own, proved the grandeur of the first amendment. There was Commentary Magazine before Norman Podhoretz lost his mind. In the America I knew, which only grew more so during the civil rights struggles of the 1960s, American Jews—with their worldly souls and experience of the social margins—were the natural opponents (because potential victims) of the fear, flocking, and fanaticism that produced political libels.
    Which brings me to Sen. Hagel. I think it is time to acknowledge, bluntly, that certain major Jewish organizations, indeed, the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations—also, the ADL, AIPAC, the American Jewish Committee, political groups like the Republican Jewish Coalition, along with their various columnists, pundits, and list-serves—are among the most consistent purveyors of McCarthyite-style outrages in America today. Are there greater serial defamers of public officials in fake campaigns against defamation? Starting with Andrew Young and the late Charles Percy, and on to Chas Freeman and (now) Chuck Hagel, the game has been to keep Congresspeople and civil servants who might be skeptical of Israel’s occupation and apologetics in a posture that can only be called exaggerated tact.
    Fault Israel and you are accused of faulting Jews in our collective state, or, the same thing, overlooking the venality of our enemies—things only an anti-Semite would do and, of all times, in the wake of the Holocaust. This is not a charge anyone in public life wants to suffer or try to deny. My Israeli friends love that old Borsch-belt joke, that anti-Semitism means disliking Jews more than necessary. For American Jewish organizations, the very idea that dislike is ever warranted is proof of bigotry, like Philip Roth’s early novels were proof of “self-hatred.” . . .


  6. DICKERSON3870
    February 4, 2013, 11:11 pm

    RE: “MSNBC host calls push to shut down boycott discussion at Brooklyn College ‘outrageous and outright chilling’” ~ Weiss

    PETITION: “Support Academic Freedom at CUNY”

    We the undersigned write in support of the decision by Brooklyn College’s political science department to co-sponsor a panel discussion with Judith Butler and Omar Barghouti. We urge CUNY President Karen Gould to resist attempts by those who have attempted to intimidate CUNY into canceling, changing, or withdrawing its sponsorship for the panel. We are especially concerned that the New York City Council has threatened to withhold further money for CUNY if it does not either cancel the event or withdraw its sponsorship. This is a grave threat to academic freedom and sets a terrible precedent for the future.


  7. Stogumber
    February 5, 2013, 7:18 am

    Speaking about fairness (like Avishai) – here I miss the fairness needed. The freedom of scientists must be weighed against the freedom of funders/supporters not to fund/support an organization they don’t trust. In this kind of conflict, there have yet rules to be found which are impartial – and if public intellectuals get so overexcited, they won’t find those rules (not in the McCarthy days and not now).

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