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Tony Kushner denied CUNY honorary degree for accusing Israel of “ethnic cleansing”

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Talk about the old bait-and-switch. Tony Kushner, very big deal Pulitzer-Prize winning playwright was all set to be granted an honorary degree from CUNY. But at the last minute, the board of trustees voted against it, on account of Kushner's alleged Anti-Israel comments. Mr. Jeffrey S. Wiesenfeld spearheaded the campaign to cancel the prize after coming across some comments Kushner had made on the website of political scientist and "critic of Israel" Norman Finkelstein. Says Wiseman:

“I think it’s up to all of us to look at fairness and consider these things,” Mr. Wiesenfeld said. “Especially when the State of Israel, which is our sole democratic ally in the area, sits in the neighborhood which is almost universally dominated by administrations which are almost universally misogynist, antigay, anti-Christian.”

Kushner said he was taken completely by surprise by the reversal, and has since protested the abruptness of the move and defended his comments. Kushner sits on the board of an organization called Jewish Voices for Peace. In that role, he has called into question Israel's right to existence and accused the country of "ethnic cleansing."  

I'm not particularly well-versed in the etiquette of honorary degree-giving, but shouldn't the honorary degree be based more on Kushner's work than his politics? Maybe not, but in either case, the public reversal of the decision seems harsh — more about dispraising Kushner than anything else — especially since his anti-Zionist opinions didn't develop overnight.