May 9, 2011
CUNY Reverses Kushner Decision
Immediately after CUNY voted not to give an honorary degree to playwright Tony Kushner early last week, Bloggish predicted the university would reverse that decision.
The board began the process of reversing itself on Friday. As The New York Times reported:
Trustees made the original decision based on the objections of one board member, not on a careful consideration of Kushner’s full statements on Israel. There can and should be a political litmus test for honorary degree recipients. Who would want to grant one to someone who called for Israel’s, or any state’s, destruction? But that is far, far from what Kushner has stated.
“I can’t feel neutral about the state of Israel because I’m a Jew,” Kushner said in a public dialogue with me at the American Jewish University in 2007, “and I would like to see Israel survive and prosper. I absolutely don’t believe in single-state solution. I believe in a two-state solution. I’ve never anywhere on earth said I believe Israel should be forced to give up its identity as a Jewish state ... that obviously wouldn’t work. It would be the end of Israel.” (You can hear the actual audio here.)
So CUNY is right to now give Kushner an honorary degree, which Kushner said he will accept. So here’s a final prediction: he is going to whip up one whopper of an acceptance speech.