How should we respond to speech that challenges our core commitments, beliefs, and even identities? In this episode, Yehuda Kurtzer unpacks recent events surrounding this year’s City University of New York (CUNY) Law School Commencement, during which commencement speaker Fatima Mohammed denounced the State of Israel and Zionists and commended CUNY for protecting her fellow students’ right to “speak out against Israeli settler colonialism.” The events leading up to the speech, as well as the response to it both from the Law School and in the media, offer a gloomy prognosis for the future of discourse around Israel and Palestine. But what might it look like, he asks, to seek out real conversations with those who disagree with us—and do so vociferously—on the very issues that matter most to us?

Referred to in this episode:

CUNY School of Law Commencement Speech 2023

Statement from the Board of Trustees and Chancellor of CUNY