If you haven’t already heard the news, the acclaimed playwright Tony Kushner is going to get his honorary degree after all. Thanks to the hard work of so many – including you – a Jewish American critic of Israeli treatment of Palestinians will not be silenced.
Last week, the Board of Trustees of the City University of New York had voted to deny Mr. Kushner an honorary degree. A trustee, Jeffrey S. Wiesenfeld, had opposed Mr. Kushner’s nomination because Wiesenfeld didn’t like Kushner’s criticisms of Israeli policies towards Palestinians.
Thank you for sending your emails criticizing the Board’s actions.
After a lot of public criticism, the Board of Trustees of the City University of New York has now reversed itself. As reported in The New York Times:
“In a hastily convened meeting of their executive committee, City University of New York trustees approved an honorary degree for Tony Kushner on Monday night to try to quell widespread criticism over the board’s decision last week to withhold it because of concerns about the playwright’s views on Israel.”
Critics of Israeli policies should not be silenced for their views. So long as US taxpayers are forced to provide billions of dollars in funding to Israel, we have a special responsibility to advocate for Palestinian freedom.
Standing up for those who dare to ask tough questions is the first step. If a prominent Jewish American like Tony Kushner can’t be critical of Israeli practices, who can?
Thanks for all your help on this important issue.