NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Assemblyman Dov Hikind and others held a rally Thursday morning, protesting Brooklyn College for welcoming a lecture at its student center next week by two people from a pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel group.
“They call for the destruction of the State of Israel,” Hikind said of the group called the BDS Movement.
“This isn’t an issue of freedom of speech. This isn’t about having a dialogue. This is about the city’s university, which uses public funds, officially sponsoring speakers who call for the annihilation of the State of Israel; speakers who praise Hamas and Hezbollah,” Hikind said in a statement.
The school said co-sponsorship of the anti-Israel event by the political science department does not imply any sympathy for the group or an endorsement.
“Tax dollars aren’t going to this event — the sponsorship of the political science department is in name only,” spokesman Jeremy Thompson said.
Hikind called the chairman of the political science department a coward for not accepting calls from his office or other elected officials.
Hikind said the event is nothing more than school-sponsored hate speech.
“They are making this event kosher, that is the outrage,” he said.
The student body appeared to be divided on the issue.
“I don’t really think it should be allowed, I’m Jewish and I kind of take offense,” one student said.
“I don’t think it belongs here,” another student said.
Those in favor said the event will open a healthy debate.
“College is a place that ideas should be expanded even if they are negatively,” one student said.
“It’s a forum where both sides of the aisle can come and have possibly a civic debate,” another student said.
Brooklyn College has no plans to cancel the lecture, reports WCBS 880′s Marla Diamond.
The event will be held Feb. 7.