Last week, the Board of Trustees of the City University of New York (CUNY) said no to giving an honorary degree to Tony Kushner, a prominent Jewish American playwright.
Why? Because Kushner has been critical of Israeli treatment of Palestinians, and a pro-Israel member of the Board didn’t like that. Kushner has served on the advisory board for Jewish Voice for Peace.
Kushner was nominated for the honorary degree by members of CUNY’s faculty. But after pro-Israel trustee Jeffrey S. Wiesenfeld criticized the nominee, the entire CUNY Board of Trustees dropped Kushner’s name from the list of honorary degree recipients. Kushner wasn’t even invited to speak.
So long as US taxpayers are forced to subsidize Israel, we have a moral responsibility to ask tough questions about Israeli mistreatment of Palestinians.
Following a public outcry, the CUNY Board of Trustees is likely to soon reverse its decision. While the Board deserves acknowledgment for recognizing its error, they should never have targeted Kushner to begin with.
Please send an email to the CUNY Board of Trustees and CUNY President Matthew Goldstein. Let them know that you are deeply disappointed by their initial actions.
Critics of Israeli policy should not be blacklisted for their views.