If the debate within the mainstream media over Tony Kushner’s honorary degree at CUNY was informed by facts, and even the most rudimentary journalistic research, his ongoing obfuscation regarding his well-documented history of animosity towards the very existence of Israel would have been exposed and the Guardian’s current cause celebre would be shamed accordingly.
While CUNY recently decided to go ahead and award the degree to Kushner, The Guardian has published no less than eight separate pieces on the row, the latest of which, by Amy Goodman, writing in CiF, (Tony Kushner: an angel in America), quotes the playwright as telling her that,
“the full extent of the things that I’ve said about the state of Israel that would in fact make it clear to the board that I am in no way an enemy of the state of Israel, that I am, in fact, a vocal and ardent supporter of the state of Israel.” [emphasis mine]
As I noted in a previous post, Kushner’s current claims are undeniably contradicted by his past statements, none of which, as far as I can tell, he ever retracted – and all of which Amy Goodman, if she any interest in attempting to corroborate his assertions, could have easily obtained.
They include several comments, in writings and in interviews, where Kushner clearly, and without qualification, expressed his view that Israel should never have come into existence and has made it clear that he is “not a Zionist” – suggesting that he doesn’t support the existence of a sovereign Jewish state within any borders.
He also has leveled quite vicious invectives against the Jewish state and her supporters: accusing Israel of committing acts of “ethnic cleansing”, “savagery” and “barbarism”, and characterizing Jewish Zionists as being among “the most repulsive members of the Jewish community.”
While I’m under no illusions regarding the Guardian’s capacity to report on any story in which Israel or her supporters can be defamed with anything approaching fairness or decency, I would hope that there are still those in the mainstream media who value objectivity and journalistic integrity and will consider holding Kushner accountable for his continuing misrepresentation regarding his quite prolific anti-Zionist record.