The New York Civil Liberties Union today urged Lewis A. Fidler, assistant majority leader of the New York City Council, to withdraw his threat to withhold funding from Brooklyn College if the political science department continues to sponsor an event tonight with speakers who advocate for Israel’s withdrawal from disputed territories where Palestinians live.

On Monday, Fidler sent a letter to College President Karen L. Gould alerting her that he would withhold future support for extra money for the college if it were to allow the event to move forward.

“Your letter offers a stunningly impoverished vision of academic freedom principles,” stated NYCLU Legal Director Arthur Eisenberg and Executive Director Donna Lieberman in their letter. “It is a vision in which academic expression must yield whenever the speaker seeks to convey views that might offend a significant number of persons. It is a vision which turns the First Amendment on its head.”