Charles Bernstein

Response to Horowitz's rabid anti-BDS ad in New York Times

I was  disturbed on Monday to read a vicious and unwarranted attack on my colleague, Amy Kaplan, in an ad on the Op-Ed page of the Times. This is the (unpublished) letter written in response to the ad.

To the Editor [The New York Times]:

We are professors who teach in universities across this country. We are appalled
at the advertisement by the David Horowitz Freedom Center (Op-Ed page, April
24, 2012 [see below]) which compares the international movement for Boycott, Divestment
and Sanctions against Israel (BDS) to the Holocaust and ancient blood libels. It
also asks that professors who support it be “publicly shamed and condemned.”
It grossly distorts the statements of such professors, which are publicly available
online and can be verified.

The Horowitz Center’s advertisement seeks to shut down informed debate. Free
speech and thought was a crucial right at stake in 1930s Germany and it remains
so today. The discussion that took place at the University of Pennsylvania did
not use any objectionable language, and included many Jewish participants,
including rabbis. Your readers can hear for themselves what was said
at It is Horowitz who uses the language of hatred and
bigotry. Even those of us who do not support BDS are alarmed at your carrying
an advertisement that misinforms and names individuals who do not have the
money that Horowitz has to defend themselves through his chosen medium.
We hope you will publish this letter to make this point.

Wild turning

Jill Moser, While Turning, 2011

Jill Moser's show of new painting opens on April 19 at Lennon, Weinberg in New York