Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) voiced his concern after learning of an incident at Brooklyn College where 10 students began chanting anti-Zionist remarks during a faculty college council meeting on Tuesday. An afternoon meeting of the faculty council was interrupted by a group of protesting students, with some faculty members applauding the students’ anti-Israel rants. The protest comes on the heels of an outburst of anti-Jewish sentiment and a push for Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) throughout universities nationwide.
“It’s just an absolute disgrace that something like this would happen in our own community,” Assemblyman Hikind said of the unruly situation. Hikind received several complaints from dozens of faculty members at the meeting. “Many of the administrators reached out and said they were intimidated and feared for their safety.” A faculty member told Hikind that watching some of the administrators who applauded the students’ obscene behavior was reminiscent of 1930s Nazi Germany, and to hear their fellow colleagues applauding such obscenities must have been “extraordinarily alarming.” Hikind added, “The fact that other administrators applauded the anti-Zionist chanting was even more disturbing. The people in attendance felt intimidated at that meeting, and while nobody disputes the right to protest, instilling fear in your peers goes too far.”
The meeting, in which the president, provost and top deans of Brooklyn College were in attendance, was adjourned nearly 30 minutes into the session when students directed chants toward the Chairman of the Faculty Council, calling him a ‘Zionist —-‘. Assemblyman Hikind demanded CUNY Chancellor James B. Milliken implement a plan of action to prevent this kind of intimidation and disruption from reoccurring anywhere within CUNY.