Mayoral Candidates Comment on the “BDS” Event at Brooklyn College

Several local politicians, including two New York City mayoral candidates, have voiced their opinions on the “BDS” (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) event against Israel, which took place Thursday night at Brooklyn College.

The event, organized by the student group “Students for Justice in Palestine,” was co-sponsored by the college’s Political Science Department. After Mayor Michael Bloomberg defended the college for sponsoring this event, Christine Quinn, current Speaker of the New York City Council and mayoral candidate, commented on the event before it was held.

According to The New York Times, Quinn said that she would not reprimand Brooklyn College for sponsoring the event, despite the fact that she said it is a shameful and anti-Israel event. She said that Brooklyn College has the right to host all sorts of events on their campus.

“I don’t think whatever programming they do or don’t do should have any relevance on their funding or any of their other standing as an academic institution,” Quinn told The Times.

On January 31, former city comptroller and mayoral candidate Bill Thompson joined other politicians and students in a rally outside of Brooklyn College, where they protested the Political Science Department’s sponsorship of tonight’s event.

“Those are our taxpayer dollars. We should not be using those dollars to express hate,” said Thompson, according to The Algemeiner.

In a statement released on his campaign website, Thompson said that a public university should not sanction any conflict-ridden speakers, no matter what their views. He said that New York has a history of being a place where different people come together, and he does not wish for it to become a place that rips communities apart.

The two speakers were Omar Barghouti, and Judith Butler. According to the New York Post, Barghouti has previously compared the Israelis with the Nazis, while Butler has acclaimed terrorist groups, Hamas and Hezbollah.

“I call on Brooklyn College to end its support of this anti-Israel forum,” Thomspon said in his statement.  “As mayor, I will bring together New Yorkers from all backgrounds for constructive dialogue that fosters tolerance and cooperation among all.”

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