NEW YORK – Urging graduates to repair “the public conversation” and rescue society from “grim careerists and ideologues,” playwright Tony Kushner on Friday accepted the honorary degree that had briefly been withheld by the city’s university system after a trustee accused him of being anti-Israel.

Alluding to the controversy, Kushner said that the honorary doctorate would remain “the most interesting one I had to work hardest to get” and praised the forces that led to his receiving the honor.

“Behind it there stands a shining community of people, of spirits of whom I’m proud to be able to call myself kindred . . . who believe in the necessity of honest exchanges of ideas and opinions, who understand that life is a struggle to synthesize, to find a balance between responsibility and freedom, strategy and truth, survival and ethical humanity,” the playwright said.

The board of trustees of the City University of New York voted last month to deny the degree at the urging of trustee Jeffrey Wiesenfeld, who denounced the playwright’s views on Israel

Wiesenfeld said Kushner had accused Israel of “ethnic cleansing.” He didn’t quote directly from Kushner’s writings but cited Kushner statements that he attributed to the website of controversial political scientist Norman Finkelstein.

Kushner said Wiesenfeld had distorted his position.

Amid an onslaught of criticism, CUNY reversed the decision.

Laryngitic Adele cancels rest of tour

British singer Adele has canceled the remaining dates on her North American tour because of her laryngitis.

In a statement Friday, Adele said she was “really frustrated” but “there is absolutely nothing I can do but take the doctor’s advice and rest some more.”

The announcement comes days after the singer postponed five dates on the tour. She is now canceling the nine remaining shows.

The 23-year-old’s sophomore album, “21,” is the best-selling album of the year. It has sold close to 2 million units in America.

Her single “Rolling In the Deep” is currently No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 charts.

Mate’s mishap meant another go for Go-Go’s�

The Go-Go’s Charlotte Caffey laughs at her band’s sudden change of heart.

Last year, the “We Got the Beat” ladies had scheduled their farewell tour, only to cancel it after guitarist Jane Wiedlin was injured in a hiking accident. This year, not only are The Go-Go’s ready to tour again but now they’ve dropped any idea of a farewell and are even working on new material.

“It was divine intervention when Jane fell down that cliff,” said Caffey, calling from her Los Angeles home. “You never know with this bunch. We’re just keeping our minds open and letting things happen.”

Q: This year marks the 30th anniversary of your debut, “Beauty and the Beat.” How does that feel?

A: I’m amazed. That whole time, it was just the coolest thing to be part of that little group of kids in Hollywood. It was like boot camp for the rest of my life. All those songs were pure, just pure self-expression, and no-holds-barred. There was no agenda, no pressure. I love that record.

Q: And your song “We Got the Beat” from that record went to No. 1.

A: That was overwhelming. I was just really proud that that song can just uplift people and it continues to happen today. . . . “We Got the Beat” just came out of me. I was watching one of those “Twilight Zone” marathons. Around midnight, I ran to my little tape recorder — I still have the tape — and I started whispering the lyrics of the song, because my dad was sleeping in the other room. It was just kind of meant to be, I guess.

Q: Do you feel like The Go-Go’s opened the door for all the female superstars today?

A: Maybe. We realized that we were among the first to do this, and we always thought that a lot more women would emerge. But Lady Gaga is in a class all her own.