New York University (NYU) President Andrew Hamilton issued a statement Thursday criticizing a doctoral graduate who promoted the Boycott, Divestment, Sanction (BDS) movement during his graduation speech.
Steven Thrasher spoke Monday at NYU’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences graduation, where he labeled President Donald Trump a “fascist” and railed against Israel.
Following backlash, Hamilton issued a statement that read, in part, “I found it quite objectionable that the student speaker chose to make use of the Graduate School of Arts and Science doctoral graduation to express his personal viewpoints on BDS and related matters, language he excluded from the version of the speech he had submitted before the ceremony. We are sorry that the audience had to experience these inappropriate remarks.”
It went on, “Let me use this occasion to reaffirm the University’s position – NYU rejects academic boycotts of Israel, rejects calls to close its Tel Aviv campus, and denounces efforts to ostracize or exclude those in the University community based on their location in Israel, their Israeli origin, or their political feelings for Israel.”
Bigotry and hate against Israel at NYU graduation ceremony!
Commencement speaker Steven William Thrasher endorses the antisemitic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement in his speech.
Video: @StopAntimeiti3 pic.twitter.com/wrEigr8qEM
— StandWithUs (@StandWithUs) May 23, 2019
Thrasher praised the NYU community “for supporting the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement against the apartheid state government in Israel because this is what we are called to do!”
The BDS movement attempts to fight for the plight of Palestinian lives by boycotting Israel. Many, including the Anti-Defamation League, view the movement as anti-Semitic because it singles out one country for punishment.