Brooklyn College Reverses Decision, Will Hire Anti-Israel Professor Despite Hikind’s Protests


adjunct-professor-kristofer-j-petersen-overtonBrooklyn College on Monday reversed an earlier decision not to hire an adjunct professor to teach a seminar on Middle East politics, a decision that the professor and others called politically motivate

In a statement issued Monday evening, Karen L. Gould, the college’s president, said she had endorsed a recommendation from the political science department that the adjunct, Kristofer Petersen-Overton, teach the class this spring.

On his Web site, Mr. Petersen-Overton, who is a student at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, called the decision “a victory for academic freedom and an outcome I think we can all be proud of.”

The college’s initial decision not to accept the political science department’s recommendation to hire Mr. Petersen-Overton came under scrutiny because it came shortly after Dov Hikind, a Democratic state assemblyman from Brooklyn, expressed concern to the college president and the chancellor of CUNY about the “slanted nature” of Mr. Petersen-Overton’s works, saying that his views on the conflict in the Middle East were one-sided and anti-Israeli.

But Jeremy Thompson, a spokesman for Brooklyn College, denied that politics were part of the initial decision not to hire Mr. Petersen-Overton, nor part of the college’s change of heart.

“There was no political motivation behind this at all; it was always a question of credentials and process,” he said.

Mr. Thompson said last week that Mr. Petersen-Overton did not have the credentials to teach a graduate-level class; but on Monday said that additional academic references had convinced the college that he was indeed qualified.

The spring semester began last week, but the seminar, for which more than 20 students have registered, was not scheduled to have its first meeting until Thursday, so no sessions were missed, the spokesman said.

Brooklyn College has been involved in several incidents tied to Middle East politics in the last few months. Last fall, a wealthy donor withdrew support from the school because all incoming freshmen had been asked to read the book “How Does It Feel to Be a Problem? Being Young and Arab in America,” by Moustafa Bayoumi, a professor at the college whom the donor considered a radical pro-Palestinian.

And in November, there were tensions between campus Jewish groups and a pro-Palestinian student group that had set up a mock Israeli checkpoint on the campus.

{NY Times/ Newscenter}


  1. All Jews and concerned citizens should protest the hiring of a blatant Anti-Semitic, pro suicide bomber and anti-Israel educator.

    Students will be taught HIS read on politics, world events and how Jews/Israel is ENEMY #1. These students, many who live in the neighborhood will be boosted to act on these inaccuracy and illegitimate ideas. It will increase vandalism, thefts and attacks on Jews. Why is DOV, the sole voice on this issue? Let us all call up Brooklyn College and protest, especially those who are graduates of the last 50 years….

    Slumber, sleep and inactivity does NOT make problems disappear.

  2. Not only is his syllabus and background entirely one-sided, but his writing is juvenile, poorly-sourced and elsewhere lacking entirely in sources on essential facts. Just read what he writes “may be the basis for his PhD”

    This isn’t a victory for academic freedom, it is a victory for academic intimidation by the intolerant, anti-diversity anti-Israel crowd.