- Jewish professors Jeffery Lax and Michael Goldstein told the Daily Caller News Foundation that Kingsborough Community College is conducting a retaliatory investigation into them and refusing to tell them what the charges are due to claims of doxxing.
- Lax said that Lili Shi complained after he expressed displeasure about her being chosen to help lead the investigation into his allegations of past antisemitic discrimination at the school.
- “No one talks to me anymore, I’m isolated, [Lax] is the last person and maybe one or two other people, that’s it,” KCC professor Michael Goldstein told DCNF.
Two Jewish professors under investigation for “race and gender discrimination” have not been given copies of an official complaint against them because the college claims that they doxxed private information, according to emails obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Professors Jeffrey Lax and Michael Goldstein have been sounding the alarm about antisemitism at Kingsborough Community College (KCC), which is part of the City University of New York (CUNY) system, for the last several years, most recently by voicing concern when the school appointed anti-Zionist CUNY official Lili Shi to hire an antisemitism diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) officer, according to the Washington Free Beacon. Lax and Goldstein told the DCNF that they were offhandedly informed by the college that they were under investigation for “bullying” and exploiting her “vulnerability as an immigrant,” but have never been given a copy of the charges against them because the college claims they doxxed Shi’s address. (RELATED: Teacher Who Allegedly Saluted Hitler, Pushed Antisemitic Conspiracy On Students Placed On Leave)
David Holley, a partner at the global advisory firm Stoneturn and KCC’s investigator into Shi’s complaint, refused to give Lax or Goldstein a copy of the complaint, accusing them of doxxing Shi’s address in an article by the Free Beacon and would only say that Shi had experienced “targeted cyber bullying,” “a case of race and gender discrimination” and that they had exploited her “vulnerability as an immigrant.”
Lax and Goldstein firmly denied any claims of doxxing and Lax noted that he had requested that Shi’s personal information be redacted from the Free Beacon’s media coverage of the investigation after he saw an email containing her address had been published, according to emails obtained by the DNCF.
While Holley admits in email correspondence that both professors have a right under CUNY policy to receive a copy of the full charges against them, he claims that “concerns” for Shi’s “safety” prevent him from doing so.
“A few points of clarification to your notes, below. Foremost, the complaint procedures under CUNY’s Policy on Equal Opportunity and Non-discrimination state that the ‘respondent…should be provided with a written summary of the complaint unless circumstances warrant,'” Holley wrote in a Jan. 24 email to Lax obtained by the DCNF. “In light of the allegations and contemporaneous concerns Professor Shi raised for her and her family’s safety, circumstances warranted withholding the full written complaint.”
Goldstein and Lax are members of the pro-Zionist group S.A.F.E. CUNY and one of the tweets from the group’s account called Shi a “Jew-hater,” which Holley also mentioned as a reason for withholding the complaint, but both professors denied writing the message.
Goldstein did admit to retweeting the post, but told the DCNF that anyone supportive of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel “hates Jews.”
“This group put it out and I retweeted it with commentary on the top that said, ‘This Jew-hater needs to resign from the search committee,'” Goldstein said. “That’s it, that’s what I did.”
The group has multiple tweets condemning the BDS movement as “racist,” according to its Twitter account.
— SAFE CUNY (@SAFECUNY) February 24, 2023
Lax, who is also the college’s business chairman, said that Shi’s complaint came as a response to his expressed displeasure about her being chosen to help lead a committee to find an antisemitism DEI officer. When the school informed Lax that Shi would be on the investigative team, Lax immediately had reservations.
In May 2021, Shi signed a letter calling Israel an apartheid state and promoted the BDS movement, which calls for the complete withdrawal of financial support from Israel.
The letter also argued that violence against Israel was not on the same level as the crimes against Palestine because Israel is “one of the most heavily militarized states in the world.”
“We mourn all loss of life,” the letter read. “But we do not subscribe to a ‘both sides’ rhetoric that erases the military, economic, media, and global power that Israel has over Palestine.”
Shi wasn’t the only one that Lax objected to being on the investigative committee and told the DCNF that he had issues with CUNY’s Chief Diversity Officer Saly Abd Alla, who worked for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which has been known to condone terrorist groups like Hamas. Lax told the DCNF that as recently as last week he had emailed the school, hoping to talk to KCC President Claudia Schrader about the discrimination and the investigations, but never heard back, and he filed a complaint in August 2022 regarding the committee.
Lax was informed on Nov. 21, 2022, that he was under investigation by the university when an email sent to Shi from two college officials confirmed that KCC was looking into Shi’s complaint from Sept. 19, according to an email obtained by the DCNF. Lax explained that the email wasn’t even addressed to him, that he was simply CC’ed and had to confirm for himself that he was being investigated, while Goldstein told the DCNF that the school reportedly used the wrong email address to attempt to inform him about the investigation.
“[The email] copied me on a letter to Shi saying they are taking up her investigation, it doesn’t say what the investigation is about, doesn’t say anything, and then they copy me on it,” Lax said. “What kind of way is that to tell someone they are under investigation by not telling them anything about the investigation [and] by just simply copying them on a letter to Shi?”
A spokesperson for CUNY told the DCNF that “CUNY does not comment on confidential personnel matters.”
For Goldstein, the investigation is an attack on his family as well as him. He said KCC was “built” by his father and that he couldn’t believe how bad the climate had gotten for Jews since then.
“No one talks to me anymore, I’m isolated, [Lax] is the last person and maybe one or two other people, that’s it,” Goldstein said. “I was the mayor of Kingsborough at one point … my dad was the one that built the college and my father was president of Kingsborough for 30 years … and they are turning it into a place of hate.”
Lax said he is unsure when the investigation will be over, but claimed that Holley has indicated that he will come to a conclusion with or without Lax’s cooperation.
“[Holley] keeps threatening to close the investigation without me testifying, which is what he wants to do,” Lax said. “I don’t see it as just about me, I see it as who is going to be next after me because if they go after me for this then it could happen to anybody who stands up to antisemitism.”
Schrader, Holley and Shi did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.