The new antisemitism? Or extreme political correctness?

Linda Sarsour is an extreme leftist, “progressive” American activist with a nasty history of supporting terror and antisemitism cloaked as anti-Zionism.  The latest saga in which she has become involved is her invitation by New York’s New School to speak at a panel on …. you guessed it… antisemitism – along with that other admirer of Israel, Jewish Voice for Peace (which is hardly Jewish, nor promotes peace).

The New School, a Manhattan- based university, is sponsoring the event in cooperation with the Jewish Voice for Peace and Jacobin Magazine, both of which promote causes of the radical Left.

Sarsour is Muslim activist and unrelenting critic of Israel who supports a boycott against the Jewish state. Among numerous other controversial statements, she tweeted in 2012, “Nothing is creepier than Zionism.”

Rebecca Vilkomerson, executive director of JVP, is also scheduled to speak at the event, which will be moderated by Amy Goodman, host of the radio program Democracy Now.

The mind boggles. Jason Greenblatt, the head of the ADL, tweeted:

Israellycool explained the Tweet for non-Yanks:

It’s just a shame he used a US-specific reference and spelled ‘Oscar Mayer’ (the American meat and cold cut production company, owned by Kraft Heinz) as ‘Oscar Meyer’

Israellycool describes these anti-Israel “activists” thus:

Because the speakers include Linda Sarsour, who denies beingantisemitic, but boy does she hatethose who support a Jewish homeland.

And Rebecca Vilkomerson, executive director of Jewish Voice For Peace (JVP), who sure love their murderers of Jews.


Linda Sarsour is also not the great feminist that she promotes herself as being, as the Tower notes:

In a critique of Linda Sarsour, Julie Lenarz, a senior fellow at The Israel Project, observed this past June in The Tower, “Linda Sarsour is not a feminist. She supports a culture that is forcing millions of women into religious slavery. She is a false apostle selling her regressive views to a blinded liberal audience.”

As for Rebecca Vilkomerson, you can read some of her anti-Israel activity and comments here, and below is  a clip of her speaking at J Street, promoting BDS:

The New School did not seem to see the enormity of the problem, and assured the Jerusalem Post wide-eyed and disingenuously of their good intentions:

The New School responded in writing to The Jerusalem Post, saying the institution “is founded on principles of tolerance, social justice, and free intellectual exchange. These values remain central to our mission today, and we believe that engaging in debate on a range of issues and ideas is critical to our role as an academic institution”.

A representative who spoke on behalf of the school added: “We understand that there are different views on this issue.

For that reason, the Creative Publishing and Critical Journalism Program has invited representatives of the magazine Tablet to organize an event to present some of these different views on this important topic; the program has also invited to participate Jonathan Greenblatt, national director and CEO of the Anti-Defamation League”.

The ADL declined the invitation.

Liel Leibowitz in The Tablet magazine launched a blistering attack on the New School for twisted thinking that led to their invitations:

Founded in 1919 by progressive New York intellectuals, The New School rose to prominence two decades later, when it took in a small band of Jewish intellectuals fleeing the Nazis. Eminences like Hannah Arednt, Leo Strauss, and Erich Fromm all benefited from the institution’s commitment to taking in the victims of the world’s most ancient and persistent hatred and giving them a place to pursue their ideas in peace.

How things change: Later this month, the university will co-sponsor a panel on anti-Semitism that will feature, among others, Linda Sarsour, who opined that “nothing is creepier than Zionism,” praised Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, and believes one cannot support the right of Jews to a homeland of their own and still be a feminist. Alongside Sarsour will be Rebecca Vilkomerson, who heads the odious Jewish Voice for Peace. The group, as an ADL report aptly put it, “uses its Jewish identity to shield the anti-Israel movement from allegations of anti-Semitism and to provide the movement with a veneer of legitimacy.” Among JVP’s recent achievements are the enthusiastic support of Rasmea Odeh, a Palestinian terrorist convicted of a bombing attack on a Jerusalem supermarket that left two young students dead and who was recently deported from the United States after lying about the incident on her immigration forms. The group is also a frequent supporter, despite its allegations to the contrary, of Alison Weir, an activist robustly promoting modern-day blood libels against Jews.

It goes without saying, sadly, that the event—which is co-sponsored by prominent progressive institutions like the radical magazine Jacobin—features not a single actual scholar of anti-Semitism, nor one voice that doesn’t belong comfortably in the deep left.

The New School, scrambling to respond to the widely broadcast negative reactions it received, offered to organize a second panel “to discuss these issues”:

We understand that there are differing views on the issue of anti-Semitism. For that reason, the Creative Publishing and Critical Journalism Program has invited representatives of the magazine Tablet to organize an event to present some of these differing views on this important topic; the program has also invited to participate Jonathan Greenblatt, National Director and CEO of the Anti-Defamation League.

to which Liel Leibowitz at The Tablet angrily responded:

The aforementioned invitation arrived several moments later, to myself and other editors at Tablet, strongly suggesting that it had more to do with stanching the bleeding of a public relations problem that seriously resolving a brutal moral error. Even more insulting and infuriating is the fact that the invitation suggests that the New School sees this as a matter of balancing out two equally legitimate sides, each with its own point of view.

There ought never to be a debate between those who fan the flames of hatred and those who suffer its consequences. The New School of all institutions ought to know this, and it’s a shame that this once revered institution now peddles in the bluntest form of moral relativism rather than speak out against bigotry of all stripes.

My question remains: can the organizers at the New School really be so ignorant and obtuse as to think there is no problem with the panel of speakers at the antisemitism debate? Do they honestly think having another panel to discuss these “controversial issues” will balance out the problem?

Either they are so open-minded their brains fell out. Or they are outright antisemites. I still have not made up my mind.

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10 Responses to The new antisemitism? Or extreme political correctness?

  1. ShimonZ says:

    Can’t imagine why you’re still undecided. They are anti-semites. And from my point of view, the politically correct are anti-intelligence.

    • anneinpt says:

      Maybe it’s their oh-so-civilized tone, their wide-eyed innocence of “what? how can we be antisemitic”.

      But yes, I think you’re right. I might update my post later with my conclusions, or maybe not. will be interesting to read any other comments.

  2. Elise "Ronan" says:

    I don’t see where the two ideas-being an antisemite and being political correct- are mutually exclusive. The Left wing has turned into a caldron of antisemitism while promoting that intersectionality nonsense that racial and gender equality are part and parcel fo every “ism” in the world. They have decided that Jews are part of the “white privilege group” ignoring history and the fact that those who seek white privilege don’t see Jews as white. They are antisemitic in a very communist/socialist/oldEuropean way, just dressed up in 21st century language. James Kirkuck has a very good article in Commentary on this very subject right now.

    • anneinpt says:

      You make a very interesting and valid point. Of course antisemitism is one of THE definers of PC-ness. But the “progressives” are so keen to NOT be called antisemitic that I wondered at the motivation of this ridiculous panel. And definitely, to be PC, antisemitism has to be cloaked as “only” anti-Zionism or anti-Israel.

      Then again, as Shimon above said, I shouldn’t have bothered to wonder. It’s blindingly clear.

      • Elise "Ronan" says:

        I think there is this push for several reasons:

        1.There is a Bill being debated in Congress that defines antisemitism, which would make it clear that these people on the panel are antisemitic. I think this nonsense is in response to that Bill making its way through Congress.There was just a hearing on the topic last week, that not only included ADL, but some random professor that said its not antisemitic to compare Israel to Nazi Germany.

        There is also a Bill that is being debated adding anyone who supports the BDS movement to the anti-boycott bill that has existed since the 1970s, that prevents the US gov’t from doing business with those who join the Arab boycott of Israel. The ACLU of course said that this law is a violation of the first amendment, which it is not. Tablet Magazine has several articles on this subject including an interview with the head of the ACLU, who by the way, is a big supporter of BDS.

        Also the mainstream Jewish community has had enough of these people are are finally pushing back. It took ADL, AJC and other left-wing Jewish groups, a while to understand that they need to stand up to these haters, but they are finally doing it, and I think this is why this panel is happening now. These haters have lost their teflon and they are trying to regain it.

        • anneinpt says:

          Elise, Thank you for those very interesting points, of which I was not fully aware. I didn’t make the connection but of course you’re right.

          Also it is extremely gratifying that at long last the Jewish community is beginning to push back rather than quietly acquiesce to this bullying. It has been noted in Israel too. I was particularly impressed with Jason Greenblatt’s reaction since the ADL has been rather lukewarm in recent years.

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  4. leelonghwa says:

    Thank you Anne once again. The hate has taken a new twist, using Palestinian children as “human shields” to hide the malice in the BDS movement and anti-Israel movement. After reading your post, I looked at recent legislation proposed by some in Congress to cut off aid to Israel because of alleged human rights violations against Palestinian children. I wrote a Congresswoman regarding that preposterous bill. Thanks for nudging me.

    • anneinpt says:

      Lee, the Palestinian’s cynical use of their children as human shields, whether virtual or actual, has a long history, so what is happening today is merely another twist in the tale.

      Interestingly you point out anti-Israel legislation, but Elise above has mentioned pro-Israel anti -BDS legislation. Kol hakavod (kudos) to you for writing to your Congresswoman, but I am hopeful that the pro-Israel legislation will win out in the end.

      Thank you again for your support. If others reacted like you and wrote to Congress, and engaged with the politicians, things would improve greatly.

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