No Honorary Degree for Israel-Hater Tony Kushner

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In 2005, Kushner brought his radical ideology to the big screen, co-writing the movie “Munich,” which told the story of the Israeli government’s retaliation for the assassination of Israel athletes by terrorist group Black Friday at the 1972 Olympics. The film attempted to make moral equivalence between the terrorists and the Israeli agents tasked with dispatching them. The central premise of the story, which posited that Israeli agents had regrets about taking out the terrorists, was harshly criticized for its historical revisionism. Avi Dichter, a retired head of Israel’s Shin Bet who likened the movie to a children’s adventure story, said there was “no comparison between what you see in the movie and how it works in reality.” Ephrain Halevy, former Director of Mossad, said Munich “had no relation to the truth or the facts.”

Kushner took to the streets of New York in 2009 to protest Israel entering Gaza to stop Hamas from indiscriminately firing rockets into the country. Joining a group called Jews Against the Occupation, Kushner characterized the move as “policy on the part of the Israeli government of reoccupation,” adding that he “can’t imagine that this is not going to continue to be bloody and a violation of human rights.” He warned that it’s “an imperative not to stand by silently while the Palestinian people are brutalized and repressed.”

The John Jay’s board of trustees was made aware of Kushner’s odious ideology during the meeting. They subsequently voted 11-1 in favor of shelving Mr. Kushner’s honorary degree. Kushner characterized it as “a decision based on slanderous mischaracterizations without giving the person in question a chance to be heard…I’m sickened that this is happening in New York City. Shocked, really.” Jay Hershenson, CUNY’s senior vice chancellor for university relations and secretary of the trustees, offered the same statement with respect to both the vote and Mr. Kushner’s accusation of slander. “The CUNY board of trustees acted independently and exercised its authority,” he responded.

Trustee Jeffrey Wiesenfeld, whose objection led to Kushner’s reassessment, went further. “I think it’s up to all of us to look at fairness and consider these things,” he said. “Especially when the State of Israel, which is our sole democratic ally in the area, sits in the neighborhood which is almost universally dominated by administrations which are almost universally misogynist, antigay, anti-Christian.”

Mr. Wiesenfeld has been targeted for opposing Kushner. “Scores of emails laced with obscenities” were being sent to him, he said. The CUNY Advocate, a student newspaper, called him a “Zionist witch-hunter.” Sandi Cooper, University Faculty Senate chair, accused him of inappropriately criticizing the playwright for his “presumed anti-Israel sentiments.” Professional Staff Congress president and anti-Israel extremist Barbara Bowen called Kushner’s rejection “an insult to the academic judgment of the faculty,” and “an attempt to close off and narrow public debate.”

Weisenfeld was unruffled. “Even if you put aside Kushner’s politics, an honorary degree adds prestige [to the university]. It’s a form of marketing. How is it helpful to have an Israeli-basher get a degree?” he asked.

It isn’t. Yet Tony Kushner remains indignant, apparently believing that his ideology should be inconsequential with regard to an honorary degree. No doubt that impression was fostered when he was awarded one by Brandeis University in 2006, and former Brandeis President Jehuda Reinharz’s responded to critics then by saying that “the University does not select honorary degree recipients on the basis of their political beliefs or opinions[.]” The website Maggie’s Farm reveals the absurdity of that premise, asking if philosophical giant–and Nazi party member–Martin Heidegger would be granted an honorary degree by CUNY.

Not as far as this particular CUNY Board of Trustees in concerned. Score one for common sense — and common decency.

Arnold Ahlert is a contributing writer to the conservative website


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  • chaim moskovitz

    No hyperbole at THIS rag!

  • Chezwick_mac

    Wow! Busted!

    Kudos to Jeffery Weisenfeld for exposing this snake.

    For the record, in my adversarial discourse with Lefties at the 'Guardian', I found over and over their wild enthusiasm for quoting from anti-Zionist Jews…as if doing so lent greater credibility to their anti-semitic rants. Conversely, whenever I quoted from Muslim apostates, these were dismissed as the bigoted musings of disaffected malcontents (e.g., "[Well, what do you expect from someone who has rejected their own religion? They CAN'T be objective"]….as if the self-hating Jew CAN???)

    And let's understand, the self-hating Jew – living in a realm in which Israel has become the external repository for all of his internal loathing – is in fact the world's most dangerous moral adversary of the Jewish state, for he is uniquely suited to pursue a particularly malevolent agenda, which is to lend moral legitimacy to the genocidal aspirations of Jihadists.

    Tony Kushner is just such a man.

  • Bernadette de Wit

    Meet some of Tony Kushners many friends. Gretta Duisenberg from The Netherlands was thrown out of a restaurant for making pro-Palestinian, anti-Israeli propaganda to the other guests. It happened May 4th, the national WW2 memorial day during the two minutes of silence everyone observes.
    Tony will also like Asma Assad, the fashionista & first lady of Syria who blames Israel for all violence her husband is responsible for.
    A Jew, an atheist and a Muslim: united in hatred. Will they still be happy together if Israel will be wiped of the map and islam will rule the world?

    • kafir4life

      The Jew and the athiest will be THRILLED! Smiling and laughing! But now the muslim can behave as a muslim, and in the tradition of the prophet, strike them at the neck, as they will no longer be useful……still idiots, tho'.

    • Fred Dawes

      Thank you I hope I am not beheaded for thanking you.
      So people are now blaming Jews for the holocaust, Good God what a world it is senseless.
      "No islam nd its people can never be happy until the evil one comes to pick up all Muslim." to all muslims walk-away from evil or go to hell with the evil one, get down on your knees and ask GOD To help you to become a Jews.

  • Amused

    Just based on the ridiculous notion that "the U.N. can strictly enforce " anything , is enough to disqualify Kushner . Especially since all the evidence one needs ,of the utter foolishness and stupidity of that remark , lies right across Israel's norther border in Lebanon . Not to mention past U.N. "witnessing and doing nothing " regarding kidnapping of Israeli Citizens .
    You just don't give someone that ignorant an "honorary degree " .
    Kudos to CUNY .

    • sky

      1+1=3 to the FED thepost&email

  • Underzog

    Isn't Tony Kushner a butt burgaler? It is almost to laugh. Maybe he hates Israel as he hates a some gloves because they are the wrong shade of pink.

    Israel is not as bad as his ilthy lifestyle which spreads diseases: AIDs, shigolosis; etc.

    • kafir4life

      Underzog…..I'm guessing you didn't get your -128p here at FPM.

      Nice work!

    • ajnn

      While Kushner is gay, it is loathsome to use that in an effort to debase him.

      Please refer only to his lack of honesty, the quality of his writing, and his immoral opinions to discredit him

      • Underzog

        I couldn't disagree with you more. Self hating creeps or narcissistic creeps such as Kushner, Finkelstein — the excomunicated Naom Chomsky; etc., give perfect ammunition to the anti-Semites about how Jews need to be destroyed. Even the Jews — the honest Jews –say so themselves according to the eliminationist anti-Semites.

        Whether their names be Benjamin Freedman, Alfred Lillenthal, Tony Kushner, Norman Finkelstein,or Peter Bienert, they are a mortal threat to the Jewish people and it is time for the gloves to come off.

        Saul Alinsky, a hero to many of them, said that ridicule is man's most effective weapon. Well I can use the sleazy. ridiculing techniques of Saul Alinsky and the other Communists, too. If any of them are reading this, I wonder how they like it?

  • Steve Chavez

    Now we can't say "Geronimo?" We can't question anything about Obama without being called a "racist?" We can't ask an illegal for documentation our else we'll be called "racists?" BUT HEY, LET'S HAVE A FIELD DAY WITH "THOSE JEWS!"

    There is institutional wide hatred for Jews and Israel at every university I have ever been to or read about, as David Horowitz can certainly provide proof of, and yet the P.C. Police who are handcuffing what we say, what we think, what we write, can get away with any slander against a Jew and Israel!

    Protests supporting Hamas, a terrorist organization as currently labeled by the United States, are regularly held in cities and universities, and Jew/Israel-bashing is a requirement! Two years ago, after the Hamas/Israel war, the Muslim Student Association here at the University of New Mexico held a rally to support Hamas. There were four members of a pro-israel group in the same crowd. University police protected Hamas supporters. One pro-Israel sign said, "Hamas uses Human Shields" and the Hamas supporters surrounded him so as the passersby couldn't see it. MSA also had a sign "Honk if you support Hamas." As an observer, I counted an average of one car honk for every 75 cars that didn't! There were also several members from the local Peace and Justice Center and ANSWER supporting Hamas who also had "WE DESERVED IT" signs at their protest right after 9-11!!!

    • ajnn

      Supporting Hamas ? Yucchhhh.

  • Andres de Alamaya

    There have been Kushners throughout Jewish history and they have substantially contributed to antisemitism and the historic suffering of Jews, including the Holocaust. Jew-hating Jews, of course, are not unique to Judaism. Traitorous individuals existed in most cultures and these "enemies within" are just as damaging as the outsiders who seek the annihilation of groups. We had Tokyo Rose in WW II, Britain had Lord Haw-Haw. These individuals need to be dealt with as Mossad dealt with Eichman, the Navy Seals just dealt with bin Laden, etc.

    • ajnn

      Oreo is black on the outside white on the inside

      coconut is brown on the outside white on the inside

      banana is yellow on the outside white on the inside

      each of these is a euphemism for 'race-traitor'.

  • BS77

    People like Kushner and FInkelstein are simply psychotic morons.
    They cannot think logically or rationally …..they live on propaganda, indoctrination and self hatred. These are very sick people.

    • Kettle

      Kettle calling the pot black.

  • Vermont Yid

    Anyone up for a little Navy SEAL mission?

    • ajnn

      maybe this weekend ?

      like most conservatives, i have to work during the week.

    • "gunner"

      ready right, ready left, lock and load, stand and fire.
      (a goy from vermont, mazeltov neighbor.)

  • Michael Canzano

    He is in the right element . The film industry is as liberal as it is possible to be. America Haters run rampant in Hollywood. The fact that Jews are the dominate factor in Hollywood and tolerate a Jew Hater is the epitome of double standard insanity. If Kushner was a Conservative , he would have been black balled. His career would have had to resume in Gaza (the perfect place for a wake up call). They (America / Jew Haters) will go to their graves insisting they were right. They are the real Hitlers of this century. Their perceived truths are carved in warm and fuzzy denial and insanity.
    American Christian Infidel
    Michael Canzano

    • Jim_C

      Actually, though, Jews in the entertainment industry are by and large some of this country's most powerful advocates for Israel; Kushner is far more "Broadway" than "Hollywood."

      But yes it's true that those same Jews are also some of this country's most powerful liberals. So…what's the problem, again? Oh right: Jews generally believe in public education, social justice, universal health care–aka "hating America." LOL

    • Questions

      Here we go again — the same nonsense about "America-hating" Hollywood. Here it's made worse by your bald-faced anti-Semitism. I see a new movie a week. I don't see the treason. Go see "Thor" or "Hanna," and leave us alone.

    • Sam B.

      The word "liberal", as applied by many well-meaning people these days has long become a misnomer for far left, anti-semitic hatred.That word once had an honorable distinction. Indeed, liberals were the most intrepid supporters of Israel and opponents of that other totalian sickness, communism. No accident that all of the classic and historic leftists,the "fathers," so to speak–Marx, Proudhomme, Bakunin, Kropotkin Rousseau, were all anti-Semites. Roussea felt that Jews should be given citizenship–as long as they stopped being Jews.

  • Zorba

    They're wrong. Tushner should be given a degree. The turd degree.

  • Amused

    Yea , "liberal trash " those Hollywood people are …like Heston ,Jimmy Stewart , Spencer Tracy , Henry Fonda , Jane Russel , John Wayne , Lee Marvin , Audrey Hepburn ,William Bendix …filthy commie trash they are ….and "DEM JEWS " , making those movies !! all they did throughout their careers was to spread hatred of America !!

  • bob maram

    regardingself-hating jews like tony kushner — it appearsthat pogo was right, WE HAVE MET THE ENEMY AND IT IS US. bob maram

  • jOE

    I have not read this rag for sometime. Regarding Tony Kushner you have treated him unfairly and with your own brand of Judaphobia. Shame! Shame!

  • James Jeffrey Paul

    Tony Kushner is a great playwright, but as a thinker, he gives new meaning to the phrase "fuzzy-headed" and "stuck in the muck."

    • steven l

      let's add also: a stinker.

  • crackerjack

    Whatever happend to Free Speech in the USA?

    Apparently, the USA needs a law aginst insulting the glorious, enlighted nation of Israel and its glorious and enlighted leaders. A supplementary law could handle the diction acceptable in comments dealing with the glorious and enlighted nation of Israel and its glorious and enlighted leaders.

    Laws of this nature can be copy-pasted from North Korea, syria, Iran or the likes. at least then everyone knows waht is acceptable and what not.


    • MixMChess

      I always love how Israel-bashers are quick to defend their freedom of speech, while at the same time condemning Israel's defenders who call them out on their bigotry and lies. LOL.

    • ziontruth

      "Apparently, the USA needs a law aginst insulting the glorious, enlighted nation of Israel and its glorious and enlighted leaders."

      The U.S.A. isn't responsible for this, so it doesn't need such laws. But Israel, the Jewish State, needs to take responsibility for anti-Zionist Jewish quislings everywhere. The Jewish State must bring them to court in Israel to stand trial.

  • Brian S.

    Don't forget his contribution to civil discourse in this article(Matthew's Passion, The Nation 11/9/98) "Trent Lott worried about how to keep his promise to the religious right, to speak out against the homosexual agenda, without seeming to endorse murder. Trent Lott endorses murder, of course; his party endorses murder, his party endorses discrimination against homosexuals and in doing so it endorses the ritual slaughter of homosexuals."
    "Trent Lott endorses murder. He knows that discrimination kills. Pope John Paul II endorses murder. "

    • AliceL

      Poor widdle Tony's feelings were hurt. So sad, too bad!

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  • Marc

    I wonder how welcome Kusher and his husband would be in palestine ?