A student-organized event featuring the supporters of Palestine's BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) against Israel movement, Judith Butler and Omar Barghouti, scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013 at the Brooklyn College campus is receiving wide-spread opposition from political figures and Israeli advocates.
The lecture, which is to feature the growing movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel, has received negative attention as city council members have threatened to withhold the college’s funding if the event is not canceled or the political science departments co-sponsorship is not revoked. Ten members of the City Council, led by Lewis A. Fidler of Brooklyn, submitted a letter Jan.29 to Brooklyn College president Karen Gould to make its threat. Two council members later withdrew their support of the letter
Gould issued a statement to students stating, “As an institution of higher education, it is incumbent upon us to uphold the tenets of academic freedom and allow our students and faculty to engage in dialogue and debate on topics they may choose, even those with which members of our campus and broader community may vehemently disagree.”
According to bdsmovement.net, the focus of the organization is, “The global movement for a campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law and Palestinian rights was initiated by Palestinian civil society in 2005, and is coordinated by the Palestinian BDS National Committee, established in 2007.”
Brooklyn College, located in the Midwood section of Brooklyn, New York is a school that is known for it’s academic freedom and diversity on political, social, and economic views. Many supporters of the movement, including Mayor Bloomberg and The Center for Constitutional Rights, have banned together to encourage the freedom to discuss ideas at higher universities in the United States.
“The fastest way to popularize an idea is to ban it,” Bloomberg said. “All you have to do is take a look at the history of the communist party to see that.”