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tony kushner

The upshot of the Kushner muzzling

Alex Kane on

The decision by the City University of New York’s (CUNY) Board of Trustees to block famous playwright Tony Kushner’s honorary degree at John Jay College is rightly being met with outrage. But there’s also an important upshot to the controversy: the racism that right-wing supporters of Israel deploy against Palestinians is getting an airing, as […]

Naomi Klein on Kushner: ‘The invisible blacklisting has been made momentarily visible… it has to stop’

Philip Weiss on

The Tony Kushner moment is huge because it is transitional; Kushner the change-agent will allow many middle-of-the-road disquieted secular liberal American Jews who never really signed up for Zionism per se and probably have never been to Israel to discover that their community has been captured by a messianic ideology. Because two large values inside […]

On the strict American requirement of being ‘sufficiently pro-Israel’

Philip Weiss on

Alan Levine is a NY lawyer who brought Debbie Almontaser’s lawsuit against the NY Dept of Education because of her dismissal from the Kahlil Gibran International Academy [KGIA]. Here he is in Haaretz, writing about the recent Tony Kushner honorary degree flap at the City University of New York, and saying that Jews are “dishonored” […]

Bloom for the misbegotten

Philip Weiss on

Harold Bloom stands up for Kushner at this crisis blog. Gosh this is easy. We gotta make hay while the sun shines. Can we fold this all into Nakba awareness, a debate about “ethnic cleansing.” Note to Tony Kushner: Beloved Tony, this has been great for your reputation. Spread the love a little. Make this […]

Awakening: Kushner mugging leads UCLA prof to reject Zionism

Philip Weiss on

The Tony Kushner mugging is huge. It is sending more Jews to the exits, wondering what the messianic Zionist movement has done to Jewish political engagement, let alone to the Palestinian experience. Mark Kleiman, a public policy prof at UCLA, says he’s done with Zionism (thanks to Sullivan and Voskamp):

Kushner restoration?

Philip Weiss on

JVP has a petition up to urge CUNY to grant Tony Kushner an honorary degree after all. Meantime, “Arthur” left this comment on Jerry Haber’s post “Contact the CUNY Board of Trustees About Their Decision“: I did contact two board members I know, and got the following from one of them: “In truth – and […]

Shoe is now on Wiesenfeld’s foot

Alex Kane on

Jeffrey Wiesenfeld has made it a career habit to try and marginalize anyone he perceived to be insufficiently pro-Israel and to smear Muslims and Arabs. But in the wake of the Tony Kushner degree controversy, it is Wiesenfeld’s politics, racism and abuse of power that are coming under scrutiny. Wiesenfeld, a trustee at the AIPAC-created […]

Tony Kushner denied CUNY honorary degree over views on Israel

Adam Horowitz on

The City University of New York has rejected a honorary degree for playwright Tony Kushner after a member of its board of trustees, Jeffrey S. Wiesenfeld, objected to Kushner’s criticism of Israel. The Jewish Week reports on the board of trustees meeting this week where the decision was made: But Wiesenfeld, a board member of several […]

Wiesenfeld says his mother would call Kushner a Nazi collaborator

Philip Weiss on

From Jeffrey Goldberg’s interview with Jeffrey Wiesenfeld, who is the child of Holocaust survivors. More evidence of the deep damage to the American Jewish community of the Holocaust, and the crazy projection of Nazis on to Arabs. Maybe this will get the Nakba ball rolling in the mainstream media? “My mother would call Tony Kushner […]

Wiesenfeld speaks truth for power

Philip Weiss on

Jeffrey Wiesenfeld, the heavy in the Tony Kushner saga, is interviewed by the Jewish Press: “We also have to force administrations and use our alumni. Jews are the predominant [financial] givers in so many places. You hold back your money and say, ‘If you’re not going to provide security for events that also project another […]

Exhibit C(UNY): How the lobby works

Alex Kane on

The New York Times reports today that “pressure continued to mount on Tuesday for the resignation or removal” of Jeffrey Wiesenfeld, the City University of New York (CUNY) trustee who attempted to nix Tony Kushner’s honorary degree.  But there’s a big roadblock in the way:  right-wing Israel advocates who pour money into CUNY are warning […]

Kushner fears damage to his reputation

Philip Weiss on

One of the most important aspects of the Tony Kushner story is the great fear that CUNY’s decision has created in the playwright about potential damage to his reputation. As he wrote to CUNY administrators, “I believe I am owed an apology for the careless way in which my name and reputation were handled at […]

Churchill would end the ‘cowed silence’ around Gaza slaughter

Philip Weiss on

Tony Kushner and Alisa Solomon begin their piece on “Seven Jewish Children” in the Nation the way all such pieces should begin, reciting the terrible numbers from the Gaza slaughter. Then: There are passages, particularly in an ugly monologue near…

The Israel Lobby, C’ted

Philip Weiss on

Alexander Cockburn, in the latest Nation, tells the story of the first time he wrote about Israeli violence against the Palestinians—yes, in retaliation for (lesser) Palestinian violence—and it was removed from the Village Voice, in 1973, in an “unwonted act…

‘The Forward’ embraces neoconservatives

Philip Weiss on

This is shocking. A transformation is taking place inside Jewish life, all the sociologists say that young Jews are increasingly dissociated from Israel, and the Forward 50, its list of the most impactful (their word, I think) American Jews of the year includes no anti-Zionist– though certainly the great Tony Kushner has been a regular […]

The rebloviation of Jeffrey Wiesenfeld

Philip Weiss on

Sagacious Jeffrey Wiesenfeld says that if Ahmadinejad gets a bomb, Jews will be as vulnerable in Times Square as Tel Aviv

Palestinians are not ‘human,’ says CUNY trustee who rejected Kushner

Philip Weiss on

The shoe is finally on the other foot. The pro-Israel folks have overplayed their hand. Or one of them anyway– so how long before Jeffrey Wiesenfeld, the CUNY trustee who helped to kibosh the Tony Kushner honorary degree out of concern that he had hurt Israel, has to resign? The Times has a couple of […]

How the mainstream media marginalize reasonable ideas

Philip Weiss on

I’m agnostic on the one-state solution. I think those people over there hate each other so much it might be good to keep them apart. The Balkans. India/Pakistan. But I sure do want to hear people talk about one state, and therefore I appreciate the LA Times piece explaining why Israel should begin to treat […]