Sunday, February 3, 2013
Chill, Brooklyn College, we got this
Dear Brooklyn College Hillel and Nadya Drukker,
As per THIS, you have asked that "well-meaning pro-Israel advocates (from outside the school) refrain from coming to our campus that day [of the BDS Conference]. We have the utmost faith in our students and our capacity to appropriately respond to the event." In shorthand, you claim to have it under control. Well...um...no, you don't.
Included among your appropriate responses are: "op-eds in the student paper" or a "thoughtful handout". I wonder if the former will include a 15% off coupon for frozen yogurt and if the latter will also be released as a limited edition Hallmark card - when you care enough to do the very least. If you had it under control, the BDS conference wouldn't be happening. You are a small campus nestled deep in between a religious, Jewish community and a socio-economically downtrodden area as in the middle of nowhere as anything in Brooklyn can be. You have a campus with a large, educated Jewish population. You have smart, worldly students. So, by the very nature of the event happening there of all places is the first evidence enough that no, you do not have it under control. The second evidence that no, you do not have it under control is your described methods of response. The third and definitive proof that no, you do not have it under control is that the one "well-meaning pro-Israel advocate" who has passed your verbal ban is someone who has already done a better job of helping promote the BDS than of dismissing it. So, I repeat: no, you do not have this under control.
Don't worry, Hillel, I went to Midwood High School. I know the lay of the land. I am part of an arts group, I know what boycott really means (it means self-censorship). I know your hands are tied. Mine are not. Artists 4 Israel is contemplating our response now. You can thank us after.
This is no small nor easy decision on our part. We have worked closely with Hillel in the past and I fear that us refusing to abide by your request might hurt that relationship. But, it is because of that relationship that we are motivated to act. Hillel and the Jewish Community are being beat by the lies and hate of the BDS and our own ineffective leadership. Our way might not be right but your way has been proven wrong. So, don't worry, Brooklyn College Hillel, we got this.