No One Heard Student Yell 'Zionist Pig,' Brooklyn College Finds

In March, the New York State Senate approved a resolution to cut $485 million in funds for the City University of New York, saying it was to “send a message” that the colleges were not taking enough action in response to campus anti-Semitism.

JTA
JTA
Brooklyn College seen in a 2005 photo.
Brooklyn College seen in a 2005 photo.Credit: Wikimedia Commons
JTA
JTA

Brooklyn College said no witnesses could corroborate media reports that one of its students called a Jewish faculty member a “Zionist pig” during a protest at a faculty meeting.

Other students, however, did use the word “Zionist” in addressing a member of the faculty and chanted “Zionists out of CUNY” or a “similar” statement during the protest.

The college, part of the City University of New York, released a statement Friday summarizing the findings of its investigation into the protest, conducted by the college’s Office of Judicial Affairs and Office of Legal Affairs.

On Feb. 16, students disrupted a meeting of the college’s Faculty Council, a policy-making body, and made various demands.

The day after the protest, a faculty member who wished to remain anonymous told JTA students had called the Faculty Council chairman, professor Yedidyah Langsam, a “Zionist pig.”

The investigators could not substantiate that account. “Contrary to allegations reported to the media, no witness heard the phrase ‘Zionist pig,'” according to their statement.

The investigation found that a student called Langsam, who was wearing a yarmulke, either a “Zionist ” or a “Zionist Jew,” or, according to one witness, a “Zionist” followed “by another word that the witness did not hear,” the statement said.

“As the meeting adjourned, one of the students departed from their written script and chanted “Zionists out of CUNY” (or a similar statement),” according to the investigators. “It is unclear whether or to what extent other students repeated that chant.”

The college was able to identify four of the students who participated in the disruption and brought disciplinary charges against them for violation of the university’s rules regarding public order, according to the statement.

Two of the students admitted to the charges and received an admonition, whereas the person who shouted the word “Zionist” agreed to “disciplinary probation,” the statement said.

In March, the New York State Senate approved a resolution to cut $485 million in funds for the City University of New York system, saying it was to “send a message” that the colleges were not taking enough action in response to campus anti-Semitism, though some suggested this was an excuse.

The alleged anti-Semitism came to the Senate’s attention in late February, when the Zionist Organization of America sent CUNY Chancellor James Milliken a lengthy letter detailing Jewish students’ complaints of anti-Semitism, including the faculty meeting disruption.

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

FILE PHOTO: A Star of David hangs from a fence outside the dormant landmark Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill neighborhood in 2021.

American Judaism Is in Decline. That's Great News for American Jews

Crowds at Israel's Ben-Gurion International Airport, in April.

U.S. Official: West Bank Entry for Palestinian Americans Unrelated to Israeli Visa Waivers

Haaretz spoke with several people who said they had fled Ukraine, arrived in Israel,  and were asked to undergo DNA tests in order to establish paternity.

'My Jewish Grandmother Has a Number on Her Arm, Why Does Israel Greet Me This Way?'

People taking part in the annual "March of the Living" to commemorate the Holocaust, between the former death camps of Auschwitz and Birkenau in Oswiecim, Poland, four years ago.

It’s Not Just the Holocaust. Israel Is Failing to Teach the History of the Jews

 A Jewish cemetery in Warsaw, Poland.

Israel and Poland Fight Over History, Truth - and Israeli Students

A collage of the Bentwich family throughout the generations.

Unique Burial Plot in Jerusalem Tells Story of Extraordinary Jewish Dynasty