Thursday, May 5, 2011

Tony Kushner censored: The dead hand of Israel on CUNY’s academic freedom

City University of New York has felt the dead weight of the US Israeli lobby when a trustee managed to sway the Board of Trustees to stop CUNY’s John Joy College of Criminal Justice from awarding the playwright Tony Kushner a ‘doctorate honoris cause’ at the 2011 graduation ceremony.

Kushner who is Jewish is poisonous to the Zionist state of Israel and its American cheering squads because he criticises Israel for its sins of omission and commission. So, in a word, if he’s not an anti Semite, he’s a ‘self hating Jew’ according to the boots of the army of Israel can do no wrong. Well where is the justice of that? The trustees’ decision has the sulfurous odour of criminality against freedom of dissent and of freedom of thought!

One of the U.S.’ famous dramatist, Kushner is known for his ‘Angels in America’ and in film for the script of Steven Spielberg’s harrowing ‘Munich’, which didn’t please Israel.

The larger issue here is the meddling through a rich American surrogate of the Zionist state of Israel on functioning of a New York City tax funded university. What is at stake is not only academic freedom but the freedom of the university to conduct its own affairs without the stamp of a foreign censor–the state of Israel.

CUNY’s president is hiding behind bureaucratic excuses, and not challenging the university trustee who are large donors with political connexions. It is intolerable that such interference is allowed. The arm twisting trustee should step down or be forced ot resign. And if CUNY’s president had any guts, he would allow John Jay to confer the degree on Kusher. And not only that, he should be sentenced to community service in order to learn the lessons of American democracy.

Will there be a ground swell of protest? Let’s sincerely hope so! And cast out the devils who attack America’s fundamental rights to criticise and hold other opinions!

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