US: School blocks Kushner honour over Israel

For the second time in just six months, the City University of New York has become embroiled in scandal over the politics of the Israel-Palestine conflict. This week, the CUNY board of trustees blocked an attempt by one of its member colleges to award an honorary degree to the celebrated playwright Tony Kushner, who is also a prominent Jewish critic of Israel's treatment of Palestinians, writes Justin Elliot for Salon.com.

A request by John Jay College to award Kushner an honorary degree was tabled on Monday night after CUNY board member Jeffrey Wisenfild criticised - and, Kushner argues, distorted - the playwright's past statements on Israel. That effectively killed the honour, at least for this year, because the board is not scheduled to meet again until after graduation in June.

In an interview, Kushner said he is asking for an apology after the "unprecedented and pretty ugly experience". He also blasted the board for indulging in "McCarthyite nonsense". Kushner sent a strongly worded letter to the CUNY board, outlining his views on Israel and asking why he was not given a chance to respond at the meeting.
Full report on the Salon site