I have been meaning to write about the storm raging in New York following CUNY's board of trustees decision not to present an honorary degree to anti-Israel propagandist/faux artiste Tony Kushner but due to travels and other time killers, haven't had the opportunity.
Before it is too late, I want to add my two bits to the controversy.
First, for the unititiated here is the short version.
Kushner is an Israel-bashing leftist. Other Israel-bashing leftists who teach at CUNY recommended that the university honor Kushner with an honorary degree.
Last week, the CUNY Board of Trustees met to consider the recommendation and due to the objections raised by trustee Jeffrey Wiesenfeld, the board decided not to accept the faculty recommendation and passed him over for the honor.
Kushner pulled out the McCarthy card. His leftist fans at the New York Times and everywhere in academia rallied to his defense and began a process of demonizing Wiesenfeld.
The university president panicked and took the unprecendented move of overturning his trustees' decision and agreed to give Kushner the honorary degree.
Now the leftist screechers are demanding that Wiesenfeld be removed from the board of trustees because by professing an opinion they don't like, he has destroyed what passes for academic freedom in their twisted little Orwellian world.
So four thoughts on this:
First Wiesenfeld is a Jewish hero and deserves the support of all good Jews and supporters of truth.
Second, the fact that the leaders of the major Jewish organizations -- almost all located in New York - have not seen fit to stand up for Wiesenfeld is a mark of shame on all of them. What their silence shows is that there is no reason to believe that they are up to the challenges of defending the Jewish community in the US on any issue of major or minor significance. Wiesenfeld is after all being demonized for the act of standing up to a maligner of Israel. That's all he did. And they cannot even muster the courage to defend him for that.
Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C., and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post, where this article first appeared.
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