20 November 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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US: Kushner's honour restored by board vote

The trustees board of City University of New York brought to an end an embarrassing row over freedom of expression by voting unanimously to award an honorary degree to the award-winning playwright Tony Kushner, write Ed Pilkington and Ewen MacAskill for the Guardian.

A firestorm was ignited last week when a single trustee, Jeffrey Wiesenfeld, launched an attack on the Jewish playwright on the grounds that he was not sufficiently pro-Israel. The intervention blocked the award of the degree, which would normally have been routine.

The Chancellor, Matthew Goldstein, addressing the board on Monday night, said he had supported the original recommendation of the award and praised Kushner's "extraordinary body of work". He urged the board to overturn last week's decision and to support the award. Some members of the board spoke, all of them voicing support for Kushner. One of them described the row as a "blemish" on the university's reputation as an upholder of freedom of expression.
Full report on The Guardian site
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