This morning, Karen Gould, the president of Brooklyn College, issued an extraordinarily powerful statement in defense of academic freedom and the right of the political science department to co-sponsor the BDS event. … In my more than twenty years as a graduate student and professor, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a leader of an educational institution take a more principled and courageous stand than [Gould did]. Under, as we know, the most extraordinary coercion and pressure.
He also remarks upon a notable absence:
Throughout this controversy, there has been one voice that has been conspicuously silent: Mayor Bloomberg. To everyone who is a journalist out there, I ask you to call the Mayor’s office and ask the question: Will he stand with the City Council … threatening the withholding of funds merely because government officials do not like words that are being spoken at Brooklyn College? Or will he stand up to the forces of orthodoxy and insist: an educational institution, particularly one as precious to this city as CUNY, needs to remain a haven for the full exploration of views and opinions, even about—especially about—topics as fraught as the conflicts between the Israelis and the Palestinians.