The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today denounced the interruption of a faculty council meeting at Brooklyn College on February 16 where students allegedly demanded that “Zionists” leave campus and referred to a professor at the gathering as a “Zionist pig.” ADL commended Brooklyn College President Karen L. Gould and Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs William A. Tramontano, for their strong condemnation of the incident.
Evan R. Bernstein, ADL New York Regional Director, issued the following statement:
“We are concerned about the manifestation of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic hatred at Brooklyn College. Incidents like this poison the atmosphere on campus and seek to intimidate Jewish students, and in this instance faculty. Such abhorrent comments only serve to divide CUNY, which prides itself on values of inclusivity.
“The incident is a glaring example that the ugly rhetoric does not just target students, but the campus community at large. This is not the first time we have witnessed the conflation of social causes by anti-Israel activists in a campus setting, and we are pleased that President Gould swiftly denounced the rhetoric in the wake of the episode by making clear that the institution stands against anti-Semitism.
“We urge Brooklyn College leadership and all academic institutions across New York State to make clear that anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism that denigrates Jews has no place on campus, hope that the administration will investigate and take appropriate disciplinary action against the students responsible, and articulate specific ways to combat this issue.”
ADL commended CUNY in November for making clear that bigotry, prejudice and anti-Semitism are inconsistent with its mission after the student group Students for Justice in Palestine invoked anti-Semitic stereotypes by referring to CUNY leadership as a “Zionist administration” in the lead up to the “Million Student March” rally at Hunter College.
The League’s latest report on anti-Israel activity on U.S. college campuses sheds light on the significant increase in Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns and other explicitly hostile programs against Israel during the 2015 academic year.