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An hour ago, a letter was emailed to CUNY’s Board of Trustees. The letter, below, defends trustee Jeffrey S. Wiesenfeld and his point of view. This letter will be hand-delivered to every trustee later today. The initiators of this letter have chosen not to release the names of the signatories to the public; the likelihood of hate mail and death threats are too great to risk at this time.

As I knew, the heroic Jeffrey S. Wiesenfeld is now being defamed and attacked while the playwright Tony Kushner is being defended and supported.

Kushner is the man who believes that the state of Israel was a “mistake.” He is quoted as having said: “I have a problem with the idea of a Jewish state. It would have been better if it never happened.”  He has also accused Israel of “ethnic cleansing.”

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When I first arrived in Israel in 1991, the day before Independence Day was known as Yom HaZikaron l’Chalalei Tzahal (Memorial Day for IDF Casualties). Monday is Yom HaZikaron l’Chalalei Maarchot Yisrael v’Nifgaey Peulot Ha’Eiva (Memorial Day for Casualties of Israel’s Battles and Victims of Hostile [Terror] Attacks) in Israel. How we got from one to the other – and why we have battles every couple of years over expanding the day even more – is a lesson in well-intentioned inclusiveness gone awry. Unfortunately, it’s too late to step back.

The original Memorial Day remembered only the military casualties of Israel’s wars. That was – and largely continues to be – a traditional Memorial Day with graveside ceremonies, reading of thousands of names and tears and flowers.


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The controversial Rabbi Meir Kahane, whose political network was designated a foreign terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department, had many enemies. But he made perhaps his most consequential foe when he spoke at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in the mid-1980s.

In the audience that day was an “enraged” Khalid Shaikh Mohammed—al-Qaeda’s operational mastermind who planned, among countless others, the 9/11 attacks. The description of KSM, as he is known, comes from Richard Miniter, the investigative journalist who has just published Mastermind: The Many Faces of the 9/11 Architect, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. Miniter makes the case that KSM may in fact have been behind Kahane’s 1990 assassination in New York City. (Note: I will be conducting a broad interview with Miniter this week on the book and KSM—so, much more to come on KSM.)

Miniter suggests that when KSM bragged to his interrogators in 2003 that he was behind Kahane’s murder he was telling the truth, not just blowing hot air, as the CIA assumed:


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Andrew Sullivan has posted an attack on CUNY trustee Jeffrey Wiesenfeld for blocking a politically motivated honorary degree that was to be given to the over-rated, crypto-communist and Israel-demonizing playwright Tony Kushner. Andrew’s intelligence is on display in the opening paragraph of his piece where he reiterates his clear-headed views of Kushner’s inflated literary reputation. Kushner’s Pulitzer-winning agitprop, Angels in America, is a puerile embarrassment and in recognizing this Andrew shows that he is capable of breaking out of the bubble of liberal derangement when it suits him. All the more reason that Andrew’s attack on Wiesenfeld is an instructive illustration of the unhinged attitudes of current “critics” of Israel, who are apologists for Hamas and their Gaza supporters.

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Incredibly, miraculously, my old university, where once I labored for nearly thirty years, has just snatched back an honor from one of the Left’s most beloved sons. This is really quite a Big Deal.

I am talking about the City University of New York (CUNY) aka the Communist University of New York, which has just decided to rescind its promised honorary degree to none other than playwright Tony Kushner. The Communist University of New York—alright, I exaggerate a bit, there are many exceptions, but my description is essentially true.

Here’s the thing I hate most about “hate speech.”

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