NYU Graduation Speaker Smears Trump, Israel

May 22, 2019

A graduation speaker at New York University called President Donald Trump a "fascist," described Israel as an "apartheid" state, endorsed the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, and praised Occupy Wall Street in a two-minute excerpt from his Monday speech.

Speaking at the convocation ceremony for NYU's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Steven William Thrasher praised his fellow doctoral graduates for their fight against the various perceived evils.

"Many of us have been together at Occupy Wall Street, and at Black Lives Matter protests, and against that fascist in the White House," Thrasher said to cheers.

When the applause quieted, Thrasher took aim at Israel, which hosts the largest pro-gay "Pride Parade" in the Middle East.

"I am so proud, so proud, of NYU's chapters of Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voices for Peace," he said, "for supporting the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement against the apartheid state government in Israel."

The BDS movement targets Israeli organizations and companies doing business in Israel in an effort to weaken Israel economically and politically, forcing the Israeli government to change its policies. Israel is not an apartheid state.

In 2018, Northwestern University named Thrasher its inaugural Daniel H. Renberg Chair.

According to an announcement from Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications, Thrasher will "will focus on social justice in reporting, with an emphasis on issues relevant to the LGBTQ community."

A campus newspaper story following the announcement stated Thrasher hopes to "establish programs and classes that examine media coverage of sexual and gender minorities."

The Washington Free Beacon contacted Northwestern's Medill School for its views on Thrasher's comments and the BDS movement. It declined to comment.

During the Monday convocation ceremony, Thrasher placed his political causes at the center of the university's mission.

"This is what we are called to do," he said. "This is our NYU legacy, that we are connected in radical love."

NYU awarded the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) a Presidential Service Award earlier this year. SJP members around the country have engaged in physical violence, apologized for anti-semitic activity, and praised terrorists. Its funding comes heavily from organizations like American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), which has ties to Palestinian terror.

Thrasher previously received his bachelor's degree in dramatic writing and film/TV production from NYU. In the interim, he worked as a journalist and at NBC's Saturday Night Live.

Watch Thrasher's full remarks here.