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What I find additionally interesting about this termination of  student Kristofer Petersen-Overton is no one seems to be addressing the potential biased and/or racist beliefs and actions being implemented by Assemblyman Hikind and BC President Karen Gould.   Why aren't Mr. Isoptin free sample Hikind and Ms. Isoptin free sample Gould being questioned about their own religious prejudices and apparent intolerance to other beliefs other than their own? Israel partisan gets Brooklyn College to fire Patersen-Overton; "now they're going after graduate students" - asks for support http://assets.nydailynews.com/img/2010/08/31/alg_brooklyn_college1.jpg CounterPunch, isoptin free sample Joshua Sperber - Brooklyn College fired PhD student Kristofer Petersen-Overton yesterday, isoptin free sample one day after New York tate assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) sent a letter to BC president Karen Gould accusing Petersen-Overton of being an "overt supporter of terrorism." Hikind has complained in interviews that Petersen-Overton's academic work is anti-Israel, isoptin free sample and that his attempt to "understand" suicide bombing is unfathomable. Isoptin free sample Petersen-Overton and I are colleagues at the CUNY Graduate Center JS: You were preparing to instruct a course on the Middle East and were fired. Isoptin free sample What happened? KPO: I was hired by Mark Ungar at Brooklyn College's political science department on the recommendation of Dov Waxman at the Graduate Center. Isoptin free sample I went in for an interview, isoptin free sample and he was impressed with my credentials. Isoptin free sample I have an MA and I've published on the situation [in the Middle East], isoptin free sample and he said "I would be honored to have you." And this was for a grad level seminar, isoptin free sample which is not lecture-based, isoptin free sample meaning that our classes would be discussion-oriented and not some sort of alleged platform. JS: What was the official explanation for your firing, isoptin free sample and why doesn't it make sense? KPO: I have not once been contacted by the department itself, isoptin free sample but I was told that the official reason I have been fired is that I don't have a PhD, isoptin free sample which is untrue, isoptin free sample because no student teaching this course has a PhD, isoptin free sample and there are of course many student teachers at BC who do not have their PhD's. Isoptin free sample And I'll point out that I am somewhat more qualified than many student teachers because I came into the program with a Master's degree, isoptin free sample which many students who are teaching for CUNY don't have. I was fired immediately after Dov Hikind contacted the school. Isoptin free sample He is an especially radical assemblyman who goes after people who he perceives as being anti-Israel. Isoptin free sample He's actually made a career out of targeting people for alleged anti-Israel bias. JS: And the charge of bias is doubly problematic. Isoptin free sample Because, isoptin free sample one, isoptin free sample it's inaccurate. Isoptin free sample But, isoptin free sample two, isoptin free sample even if it were accurate, isoptin free sample what does it imply? KPO: We all come to the table with our personal political views; there's not a single professor who doesn't have their own views. Isoptin free sample So it all comes down to how one approaches those views, isoptin free sample and I devoted an entire class in the syllabus to the subject of objectivity and humanism, isoptin free sample meaning I wanted to put this issue of bias on the table to facilitate open and productive discussions. JS: What does your firing suggest about contemporary politics and higher education? KPO: They've targeted professors up for tenure for so long and have been relatively unsuccessful except for several cases, isoptin free sample like with Norman Finkelstein (JS: and, isoptin free sample among others, isoptin free sample Nicholas De Genova and Thaddeus Russell, isoptin free sample at Columbia University and Barnard College, isoptin free sample respectively), isoptin free sample now I think they're going after graduate students before their careers even begin. Isoptin free sample One of the most direct implications of this which is deeply troubling is not the fact that people take issue with one particular class, isoptin free sample which is inevitable, isoptin free sample but the way in which the college administration caved so quickly – for it to occur within 24 hours is incredible to me, isoptin free sample and the school never even consulted me. Isoptin free sample For this to be decided by a state official poking his nose in a college syllabus is Orwellian. Isoptin free sample I've received tremendous support, isoptin free sample which I'm very grateful for. Isoptin free sample Norman Finkelstein wrote me, isoptin free sample and after I contacted Neve Gordon he (Gordon) contacted BC's provost, isoptin free sample writing that he reviewed my syllabus and that it was excellent and reflected a number of different perspectives, isoptin free sample noting that the textbook was mainstream and "emphasizes the Zionist narrative." He also read a scholarly paper I had written, isoptin free sample and wrote that he was "struck by (my) academic rigor." JS: What can people do to lend support? I would be greatly appreciative if people can send an email to the provost, isoptin free sample even better a letter, isoptin free sample and tomorrow it would be great if people could call, isoptin free sample and more importantly if people could disseminate this story. Isoptin free sample It's especially disgusting that they would go after a grad student, isoptin free sample because they have not only impacted my career but also my income and health insurance. Office of the Provost (William A. Isoptin free sample Tramontano) Brooklyn College 2900 Bedford Avenue Brooklyn, isoptin free sample New York 11210 718.951.5000 tramontano@brooklyn.cuny.edu