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Press Release

ADL Troubled at Reports that Students Were Forcibly Removed from Anti-Israel Program at Brooklyn College

New York, NY, February 13, 2013 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) praised Brooklyn College for launching an investigation into reports that several students were forcibly removed from the auditorium during an anti-Israel program last week co-sponsored by the political science department.

According to public accounts, a member of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement’s organizing committee approached four pro-Israel students during the February 7 event and demanded they hand over papers in their possession.  When the students, who were silently observing the program, refused to hand over the printed material, they allegedly were forcibly removed by security.

City University Chancellor Matthew Goldstein announced an investigation earlier this week.

“If these accounts are true, it suggests that the organizers deliberately targeted pro-Israel students who opposed the one-sided program,” said John B. Harris, ADL New York Regional Chair, and Ron Meier, ADL New York Regional Director.  “We look forward to the conclusion of the investigation to establish whether the rights of the pro-Israel students were violated and whether City University of New York policies were appropriately followed.”

In a letter to Chancellor Goldstein, ADL said it hoped the investigation would establish conclusively whether the students were deliberately targeted and removed from the room “simply because they did not endorse the views of the speakers.”

In announcing the investigation, Chancellor Goldstein wrote in a statement: “At last week’s event at Brooklyn College, sponsored by Students for Justice in Palestine and the College’s Department of Political Science, allegations were made by members of the college community who attended that they were impeded from expressing views either orally or in writing.  There were reports that some said they were asked without cause to leave the event.  If this were true, it was wrong and we need to understand exactly what the circumstances were.”

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.