CUNY trustee asked to resign over anti-Palestinian comments

The trustee who opposed Jewish-American Tony Kushner’s honorary degree on the basis of the playwright’s views on Israel is being called on to resign.

By JORDANA HORN
May 13, 2011 03:11
2 minute read.
Jewish American playwright Tony Kushner

Tony Kushner 311. (photo credit: Reuters)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

NEW YORK – The trustee who opposed Jewish-American Tony Kushner’s honorary degree on the basis of the playwright’s views on Israel is being called on to resign.

Kushner had originally been removed from a list of candidates for honorary degrees from the City University of New York after trustee Jeff Wiesenfeld denounced his past statements about Israel and Palestinians, including a reference to “ethnic cleansing” during the formation of the state.

RELATED:
Kushner to receive disputed honorary degree from CUNY
CUNY to reconsider nixing Kushner’s honorary degree
NY school snubs Kushner over anti-Israel comments

A special meeting of the trustees was held on Monday night, and Kushner was put back on the list to receive a degree.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


Now, former New York City mayor Ed Koch and the union representing CUNY faculty, among others, are calling for Wiesenfeld’s resignation.

“[Wiesenfeld]’s obsessed. He’s obsessed with the issue of Israel,” Koch said in The Forward.

“I’m a very big supporter of the State of Israel, but I understand that there is dissent on a whole host of issues. It isn’t evil to be supportive of the Palestinian cause... He’s a nice guy, but he’s obsessed.”

Wiesenfeld responded to his fellow board members in an e- mail this week.

“I am proud to represent this great university on its board of trustees,” he wrote.

JPOST VIDEOS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU:


“My service, by law, expires following 14 years of service on June 30, 2013.”

Bill Herman, a CUNY professor, wrote on his blog that he had sent a specific message to the board of trustees, demanding that Wiesenfeld lose his position as trustee.

“Mr. Weisenfeld’s (sic) attack on Mr. Kushner was bad enough, but his followup answers to a New York Times interview illustrate a profound bigotry that cannot be tolerated from one of the public faces of CUNY,” Herman said.

Herman cited Wiesenfeld telling The New York Times that there could be no moral equivalence between Palestinians and Israelis, because “People who worship death for their children are not human.”

Herman’s letter also stated that he is “ashamed to work for a university whose trustee thinks it appropriate to describe Palestinians as ‘not human.’”

Ronn Torossian, a friend and business colleague of Wiesenfeld’s, wrote in Algemeiner that Wiesenfeld, rather than being condemned, “should be commended for speaking truth to power, and holding the university to standards of decency, and respect.”

Torossian recommended that readers send letters of support to CUNY on Wiesenfeld’s behalf.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Yitzhak Rabin
September 22, 2018
The Olso Agreement was assassinated with Rabin

By JPOST.COM STAFF