(StraightNews.org) – Officials at the City University of New York (CUNY) canceled a discussion event entitled “Globalizing the Intifada!” following a clash with organizers. The university’s Lehman College was to host the February 16 panel debate, which it described as an “Engagement, Equity, and Antiracism conference,” but the event was scuppered when critics said it would amount to a “how-to guide for terrorism.”
Jane Kehoe Higgins, director of Lehman’s Institute for Literacy Studies, said the event was intended to support professors “teaching students who are struggling,” and organizers included students and teachers.
Jeffrey Wiesenfeld, a former CUNY trustee, hit back, saying the event would be blatantly antisemitic and “anti-civilization.” New York Democrat Rep. Ritchie Torres agreed, and took issue with the word “intifada,” which is usually understood to describe violent attacks against Israel. “The glorification of antisemitic violence has no place in a public university, where all students have a right to be and feel safe,” Mr. Torres said.
CUNY has a history of political controversy, and reports in February confirmed that its law school was struggling to find a venue for its graduation ceremony. Plans to host this year’s event at Hunter College were rejected due to unspecified “concerns.” Dean of Law Sudha Setty refused to elaborate on the “concerns” but admitted she might need to hire a private space for the ceremony in May, which could triple the cost.
At last year’s law school graduation, student Fatima Mousa Mohammed delivered a speech considered so extreme that it was denounced as “hate speech” by New York Mayor Eric Adams. Ms. Mohammed, from Queens, thanked CUNY for supporting student activism and described the law school as one of few to recognize that American law is a manifestation of “white supremacy.”
Later in the speech, however, she condemned CUNY for continuing to work alongside the “fascist” New York Police Department (NYPD) and the US military. She furthermore called on fellow graduates to “dismantle capitalism, racism, imperialism, and Zionism” around the world.
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