‘Daily News’ jumps on ‘Jews tossed from Brooklyn College’ claim (updated)

Israel/Palestine
on 9 Comments

The Daily News is trying to stir the anti-Semitism pot in a story about Thursday’s Brooklyn College forum on boycott: “FORUM FUROR: 4 Jews tossed from BDS meet at Brooklyn College.” Corinne Lestch reports:

Brooklyn College faced a new uproar Friday after booting four Jewish students from a controversial anti-Israel forum.

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.

Alex Kane upended this story yesterday– the students were told to leave because they were disrupting the event, as Jeremy Thompson, the Brooklyn College spokesperson, has stated; and many Jews attended the event. Mark Twain said, A lie goes round the world while the truth is still tying its shoes.

Update: One other interesting tidbit about this story–which Tablet reported on but the Daily News didn’t–is that Goldberg is an intern with the Israel on Campus Coalition (ICC). The ICC says it “strategically focuses its efforts on building strong leaders in the campus community to effectively advocate for Israel and change the campus Israel climate.” Here’s its internship roster, which Goldberg is on.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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9 Responses

  1. Avi_G.
    February 9, 2013, 2:00 pm

    So she showed up to the talk with the aim of discrediting the speaker and asking non- sequiturs instead of, you know, actually debating.

    Yeah. I have a sneaking suspicion that its sleazy behavior like this on the part of Israel’s defenders — not criticism of Israel — that will end up creating anti-Semitism.

    But Zionist Jews just don’t get it. They’re busy playing the victim card.

  2. Annie Robbins
    February 9, 2013, 3:37 pm

    oh look, from the update link:

    senior Journalism and TV/Radio major with a minor in Marketing at Brooklyn College. She is in the Brooklyn College Presidential Scholars Program, serves as a Hasbara Fellow

    link to en.wikipedia.org
    Hasbara Fellowships is an organization that brings students to Israel and trains them to be effective pro-Israel activists on college campuses.

    someone needs to get this woman a brownie pt, since distorting reality is as effective as pro-Israel advocacy can be, given the options available defending apartheid are so dismal. and she’s got her name in the press! melanie is a lil star today, and look at that access.

  3. DICKERSON3870
    February 9, 2013, 5:35 pm

    RE: “One other interesting tidbit about this story–which Tablet reported on but the Daily News didn’t–is that Goldberg is an intern with the Israel on Campus Coalition (ICC).” ~ Weiss

    SEE: “The Trial of Israel’s Campus Critics”, by David Theo Goldberg & Saree Makdisi, Tikkun Magazine, September/October 2009

    [EXCERPT] . . . It is an extraordinary fact that no fewer than thirty-three distinct organizations – including AIPAC, the Zionist Organization of America, the American Jewish Congress, and the Jewish National Fund – are gathered together today as members or affiliates of the Israel on Campus Coalition. The coalition is an overwhelmingly powerful presence on American college campuses for which there is simply no equivalent on the Palestinian or Arab side. Its self-proclaimed mission is not merely to monitor our colleges and universities. That, after all, is the commitment of Campus Watch, which was started by pro-Israel activists in 2002. It is, rather (and in its own words), to generate “a pro-active, pro-Israel agenda on campus.”
    There is, accordingly, disproportionate and unbalanced intervention on campuses across the country by a coalition of well-funded organizations, who have no time for — and even less interest in — the niceties of intellectual exchange and academic process. Insinuation, accusation, and defamation have become the weapons of first resort to respond to argument and criticism directed at Israeli policies. As far as these outside pressure groups (and their campus representatives) are concerned, the intellectual and academic price that the scholarly community pays as a result of this kind of intervention amounts to little more than collateral damage. . .

    ENTIRE ARTICLE – link to tikkun.org

  4. The Hasbara Buster
    February 9, 2013, 7:36 pm

    Let’s see, Judith Butler is a Jew, and not only was she allowed into the event, she was one of the speakers. So that while the Post’s report is technically correct — four Jews were escorted out of the event –, it would have been just as accurate to report that four whites were booted from the hall. The suggestion that they were removed because they’re Jewish is grotesque, ridiculous and preposterous.

    That leaves the Zios with the charge that they were expelled because they opposed the event, turning the issue into one of freedom of expression. But they heckled the speakers. An argument can be made that heckling is acceptable when the speaker says too offensive things and has a history of denying the audience the right of reply (and even then the heckler must accept to be peacefully removed by the security personnel, although not by other members of the public). But in this case, both Butler and Barghouti are open to dialog and always politely answer questions, so that the disruption of these “four Jews” was totally uncalled-for.

    Turning these four young people into some sort of pogrom victims or freedom martyrs will no doubt backfire. The public is not mentally-retarded.

  5. Denis
    February 9, 2013, 8:52 pm

    “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.”

    I could not decipher this critical passage in the article. “took out her questions on handouts for the main speaker” makes no sense.

    It could mean that her questions were from the text of a bunch of handouts on Barghouti that the group demanded she give them up so she couldn’t distribute them or ask her questions. It could mean that she wrote her questions down on the back of some sort of handout, which the group demanded she give up. No one should have asked or demanded that she give up anything, IMO.

    There’s always a fine line in dissecting these 1st Amendment situations unless someone has an unedited vid of the whole thing. The acid test is: how many people here would be screaming bloody murder if it was a pro-BDS person being kicked out of a pro-Israel/anti-BDS meeting under the same circumstances. About everybody is my guess.

    But the good news was deep in Alex’s report: “The SJP student e-mail account was overwhelmed with messages from people wanting to get in, and it was tough to keep up”

  6. Kathleen
    February 10, 2013, 11:12 am

    Chris Hayes did a short concise blip on the BDS talk at Brooklyn College on Sunday’s program

  7. Mondowise
    February 10, 2013, 11:17 am

    wow. occupied much, US??? just the first two words alone, followed by the qualifying rest, of the Daily News title “FORUM FUROR: 4 Jews tossed from BDS meet at Brooklyn College.” is nothing short of intentionally inciting a massive feeding frenzy of pro-izraeli trolls whose gluttony for power/domination-thru-strife/corruption is utterly insatiable.

  8. hophmi
    February 10, 2013, 3:48 pm

    Maybe the Daily News jumped on the story because it’s true.

    link to facebook.com

    You’re going to have to face facts that there may have been a serious injustice here.

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