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More Controversy Mounts Over Activist Linda Sarsour's Coming Speech At CUNY Graduation

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Controversy continued to swirl Monday around the selection of Palestinian activist Linda Sarsour to speak at the graduation ceremony at the CUNY School of Public Health.

As WCBS 880's Peter Haskell reported, it's not that the selection of Sarsour is illegal, but Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) thinks it is inappropriate.

Hikind feels Sarsour is anti-Semitic.

"Bringing her in, you are putting the stamp of approval that this is kosher," he said.

Hikind pointed to a number of Sarsour's controversial tweets.

Speaking last month to CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer, Hikind pointed to a tweet Sarsour put out on Oct. 11, 2015, showing a young boy apparently throwing rocks at Israelis with the caption saying, "the definition of courage."

Hikind has said a taxpayer-funded school like CUNY should not have invited Sarsour and should disinvite her. But CUNY said last month that the program for the School of Public Health commencement "has not changed."

The school said last month that former President Barack Obama named her a "champion of change."

On Monday, many of Sarsour's supporters said she is a human rights leader who is not anti-Semitic.

"People have managed to conflate any discussion about Israel that's negative with antisemitism," said city Councilman Jumaane Williams (D-44th).

Other leaders who are Jewish also spoke out on Sarsour's behalf Monday.

Joining the 154 graduates in the commencement will be New York City First Lady Chirlane McCray, who will receive an honorary doctorate of science degree.

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