I serve as the chairperson of the Mid-New Jersey Chapter of the Brooklyn College Alumni Association. Not long ago, Brooklyn College was in the news for allowing members of the political science department to sponsor a forum given by a group advocating the boycott of Israeli businesses and academic institutions whosupport Israel’s occupation of the West Bank (Editor’s column: “Putting the ‘pro’ into pro-Israel,” Feb. 14). As a result of this act, Brooklyn College was threatened with financial sanctions by members of the New York City Council.
In a brave, and all-too-often rare act on behalf of academic freedom, President Karen Gould defended the need to hold the forum. She quoted Justice Louis Brandeis, who said that the remedy for speech you do not like is to have more speech. The forum was allowed to continue but the storm is not over.
No doubt there will be future attempts to sanction Brooklyn College as an institution. While I cannot write with the full endorsement of our organization, I am able to write to you as a proud Brooklyn College alum, a former kibbutz volunteer, and a member of the archaeological dig at Tel Be’ersheva.
There is much too little discussion amongst American Jewry about the need to seriously examine what the continued occupation will do to Israeli democracy and the future security of Israel. As the award-winning movie The Gatekeepers makes the rounds in New Jersey, it is now very important to engage in more speech no matter how painful or emotionally charged that speech may be. It is for this reason that I and many other Brooklyn alums wish to salute President Karen Gould.
Abbott Gorin, Esq.
Brooklyn College ‘73