NEW YORK (Sep. 1)
Governor Mario Cuomo issued a denunciation yesterday of the faculty of the State University (SUNY) at Stony Brook for failing to openly oppose the teachings of a faculty member linking Zionism and racism.
Cuomo also said, in a statement, that the teaching of Prof. Ernest Dube was “intellectually dishonest and pernicious because it is designed to serve as a justification for genocide in the form of a completion of the ‘final solution’ through annihilation of the State of Israel.”
A spokesperson told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the Governor issued the statement after members of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith met with the Governor’s staff in New York City, but stressed that he had issued the statement independently of that meeting because “he feels very strongly” about the development.
Dube was exonerated on August 17 by the executive committee of the university Faculty Senate, which ruled that the South African-born professor had not breached academic ethics or the bounds of academic freedom in his teaching of a course on “The Politics of Race.”
A university official said a report will be made on September 12 to the full Faculty Senate and action against Dube was still possible. Dube is away on vacation.
Declaring he was not certain what the exoneration of Dube by the faculty committee meant, Cuomo said that if the report of that committee “is posited in such a way as to make it possible to construe its meaning as an endorsement of the doctrine” equating Zionism with racism “or the soundness of its reasoning, then I reject that report.”
GOVERNOR CITES ‘TWISTED LOGIC’
Cuomo then declared he was “disappointed” that more faculty members at Stony Brook “did not publicly disagree with the content of the statement” exonerating Dube. The Governor said academic freedom “should not release anyone from the responsibility to express appropriate moral repugnance.” He added that academic freedom “certainly does not restrict their freedom to do so, not does it demand silence in the face of twisted logic that does damage.”
The faculty investigation followed a charge by Selwyn Troen, a visiting professor from the Ben Gurion University in the Negev, who sent a letter to university officials asserting that Dube “employed his position for the propagation of personal ideology and racist biases.”
In his letter asking for a formal investigation of Dr. Dube’s teaching on race, Troen said he was acting on a complaint from a student and submitted Dube’s course materials as evidence. Troen has since returned to Israel.