By Jericho Tran
Published: November 9th, 2016
On Tuesday November 1, Brooklyn College President Michelle Anderson sent an email to students in response to the David Horowitz Freedom Center in Sherman Oaks California publishing a catalogue for the ‘Top Ten Schools Who Support Terrorists’.
“This list is an example of misinformation. Brooklyn College never has and never will support terrorism,” said Anderson in the email. “Brooklyn College is one of the most richly diverse academic communities in the world, where students of many races, nationalities, and religious faiths study and learn in peace.”
According to Anderson’s email, the Southern Poverty Law Center found that the Horowitz Center has “become the premier financier of anti-Muslim voices and radical ideologies, as well as acting as an exporter of misinformation.”
The Horowitz Freedom Center found supporters to hang posters around the Brooklyn College campus claiming that certain Students for Justice in Palestine Leaders were ‘Hamas Terrorists’.
Anderson did not issue a public statement condemning the posters directly after they showed up on campus; instead the college issued a short statement to students troubled by the posters stating “The posters have been removed. We support free speech, and we seek to maintain a safe and tolerant campus for our students, faculty, and staff. We also do not permit public defacement or illegal postings on our property,”
However, Anderson publicly condemned the posters through the email once the name of the college she currently presides over came under attack.
“I unequivocally condemn the hateful content of these posters. The images and words were frightening and hostile to both supporters of SJP and advocates of free speech on campus, including many Jews,” wrote Anderson. “In particular, they targeted individual SJP leaders with the aim of bullying them and making them vulnerable to additional harassment or worse.”
In the email, she also condemned the four swastika symbols carved into the female bathroom on October 25, emphasizing that neither antisemitism nor Islamophobia are permissible on campus.
David Horowitz the founder and CEO of the Horowitz Freedom Center had sent Anderson a letter asking her to “withdraw all university privileges granted to SJP and other campus groups who promote the genocidal Hamas agenda” and “put an end to the terrorist influences which have infiltrated your campus and which threaten the security not only of Jewish students on your campus, but of all Americans.”
While Horowitz’s email claimed SJP was a part of HAMAS efforts to, “annihilate Israel through the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign,” Anderson did not directly mention the letter or the BDS movement in her email.
She ended her email with a call for action, looking to recruit members of the Brooklyn College community to open doors for conversation: “In the coming months, I would like to work with a group of students, staff, and faculty to develop a series of lectures and events for next spring that elevates our discourse around these issues.”