Jeffrey Wiesenfeld's 'mistake' on Tony KushnerI can't find him in my college yearbook, but Wikipedia reports that Jew-hating Tony Kushner was a classmate of mine at Bir Zeit on the Hudson in 1978. The picture at top of left was taken at graduation, and while Kushner looks familiar (and I just figured out why), I don't believe he was the guy who was 2-3 seats over from me who went storming out with the protesters in the middle of graduation. (The guy sitting next to me - a good Republican - tried to trip that guy on the way out).
The Wall Street Journal weighs in on what it calls Jeffrey Wiesenfeld's mistake (full column for those without online access here). They're spot-on.
Mr. Wiesenfeld’s “mistake” was not appreciating that hostility to Israel has become such a deeply embedded principle of the modern academy that objecting to it earns you denunciation as a censor and philistine. The only greater uproar might have come if CUNY’s trustees had voted to award an honorary degree to, say, the CIA interrogators of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.Sad, but true.
By the way, when I reported the story of the meeting on Monday night to 'reconsider' Kushner's rejection, I mistakenly thought that the Board of Trustees was being reconvened. The Journal reports that is not the case.
So now Mr. Schmidt wants a subset of the board to overrule a decision taken by the ostensible overseers of CUNY. If there was ever definitive proof that university officials see their trustees as mere check-writing rubber stamps, this is it. Even on the symbolic matter of conferring university prestige, the trustees get put in their place when they don’t meet the politically correct standards of the faculty.People get put on the Board of Trustees of a university by donating money. It's time for those people to start fighting back. I hope that if Kushner's degree is upheld later this evening, Mr. Wiesenfeld will close the book on his service as a CUNY trustee - and his wallet on supporting them.