NEW YORK — New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg defended the right of the publicly funded Brooklyn College to sponsor an anti-Israel BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) conference.
Bloomberg said Feb. 6 at City Hall that though he “violently” disagrees with the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, a university should be free to sponsor a forum on any topic, The New York Times reported.
The Feb. 7 event at the college featured Omar Barghouti, the co-founder of the BDS, and Judith Butler, an academic who openly speaks sympathetically about Hamas and Hezbollah.
The college’s political science faculty was an official co-sponsor for the event. The primary host was the Brooklyn College Students for Justice in Palestine, a group that says it is aimed at “helping end Israeli apartheid and the illegal occupation of Palestine.”
Members of the City Council threatened to withhold funding it provides to the college if the program goes forward, which the mayor rejected.