by David Rosen, THE BROOKLYN RAIL
Priests of Our Democracy: The Supreme Court, Academic Freedom and the Anti-Communist Purge
(New York University Press, 2013)
Today, we take the concept of “academic freedom” for granted. In February 2013, city officials and Zionist groups sought to prevent a talk at Brooklyn College about the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (B.D.S.) movement against Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories.
Mayor Bloomberg denounced efforts to prevent the talk in no uncertain terms: “If you want to go to a university where the government decides what kind of subjects are fit for discussion, I suggest you apply to a school in North Korea,” Bloomberg said at a press conference. In the face of the mayor’s rant, the college’s president, Karen L. Gould, held firm and the talk took place.