July 21, 2019

N.Y. Prof Alleges Discrimination for Being Conservative Zionist

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

A professor at a New York community college wrote a Feb. 13 op-ed in the New York Daily News alleging that he’s being targeted on campus for being a Zionist and politically conservative.

Michael Goldstein, an adjunct professor of communications and government relations at Kingsborough Community College (KCC), wrote that in February 2018, a photo of his late father, former KCC President Leon Goldstein, was defaced “with anti-Semitic graffiti, including the words ‘F–k Trump Goldstein, Kill the Zionist Entity.’”

“I later learned the incident came one day after Kingsborough Professor Katia Perea apparently told an administrator who refused her request to fire me, “I guess I will have to handle this myself,” Goldstein wrote. “Perea, whom I have never met or spoken to, is a member of the Progressive Faculty Caucus, a radical faculty group at Kingsborough.”

Goldstein added that the school refused to label the graffiti on the photo of his father as a hate crime. The school also initially denied to provide him with extra security, although they eventually relented after “many months” of Goldstein requesting it.

The professor also noted that flyers were distributed around campus that called for his firing based on “false allegations of racism, sexism and anti-Muslim sentiments to me.”

“I’ve never promoted any of my private or religious opinions in the classroom — or anywhere else on campus. Nor have I held any of the hateful views the flyers attached to me,” Goldstein wrote. “In her earlier attempt to get me fired, Perea went from office to office showing staff my private Facebook photos as her ‘evidence’ that I’m racist and sexist. The PFC’s efforts then escalated into what the flyers described as an imperative to ‘build a movement’ against me.”

Goldstein wrote that he filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the New York Human Rights Division, with The Lawfare Project’s help, over the matter and there at least five other Jews on the school’s staff who have filed complaints to the school about the PFC.

“None of this has anything to do with academic freedom or free speech. This is about anti-Semitism and religious discrimination, pure and simple,” Goldstein wrote. “There is no longer a safe space in academia for individuals with opposing views — especially if you are Jewish or pro-Israel.”

Lawfare Project executive director Brooke Goldstein told Campus Reform in September, “The pervasively hostile environment for Jews at CUNY is only getting worse and is part of a larger, very disturbing trend. Throughout the US we are seeing campuses taken hostage by radical professors, students and faculty, whose goals are to silence, marginalize and harass Jews. This is not only illegal but a serious threat to our liberal democracy.”

Perea and the KCC didn’t respond to the Journal’s requests for comment as of publication time.