Letter sent to The New York Times regarding BDS event at Brooklyn College

February 6, 2013:

As the President of the American Philosophical Association, Eastern Division, I write to express my concern that two members of the philosophical community, Judith Butler and Omar Barghouti, are being pilloried for their views before they have had a chance to speak in public. Brooklyn College is an excellent place to host such an event on the Boycott, Divest and Sanction movement precisely to foster more open debate among the most interested individuals and communities, and I want to commend Brooklyn College President Karen Gould for her courage in continuing to support this event in the face of threats. The efforts to circumscribe the debate over Israeli policies toward the Palestinians by false claims that equate all criticism of Israel with anti-semitism and BDS with a plan to abolish Israel are counterproductive. A free society requires its members to develop well-formed views based on facts and open debate. Without this, the claim of freedom is meaningless.

Professor Linda Martín Alcoff

President, American Philosophical Association, Eastern Division
Professor of Philosophy at Hunter College and the CUNY Graduate Center