Cardozo School of Law Advertises Event on Anti-Semitism Featuring Speakers Condemned as Anti-Semites

Program hosted by the New School featuring Women's March co-founder and passionate anti-Israel activist Linda Sarsour

Cardozo / Wikimedia Commons
November 22, 2017

A director at the country's only law school affiliated with a Jewish university emailed students last week to advertise an upcoming event on anti-Semitism that has been criticized for featuring a panel of speakers who have been condemned as anti-Semites.

Jocelyn Getgen Kestenbaum, the faculty director of the Benjamin B. Ferencz Human Rights and Atrocity Prevention Clinic at Yeshiva University's Cardozo School of Law in Manhattan, sent students in the clinic's listserv a message publicizing a program hosted by the New School featuring Women's March co-founder and passionate anti-Israel activist Linda Sarsour.

The email, dated Nov. 15 and obtained exclusively by the Washington Free Beacon, reads:

"Hi everyone, In case it's of interest to anyone, on Tuesday, Nov. 28, there is an book launch [sic] event at the New School called 'Antisemitism and the Struggle for Justice.' A brief description and link to the event are below…"

The email continued with text pulled from the official advertisement for the panel, touting the cheap $5 admission fee.

The program is organized by Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), a far-left group that has been holding similar events around the country to promote its recently published book of essays advancing definitions of modern anti-Semitism offered by Sarsour and others.

JVP's view is that anti-Semitism has been insidiously conflated with criticism of Israel, though that position has been criticized as a misrepresentation of a modern definition of anti-Semitism that includes not criticism of Israeli government policy, but promotion of Israel's destruction.

Rebecca Vilkomerson, executive director of JVP, an organization that has honored convicted Palestinian terrorists who murdered Jews, will also speak on the panel. It will be moderated by Amy Goodman, host of radio show Democracy Now!

Sarsour has repeatedly compared Zionists to white supremacists and racists; praised Nation of Islam founder Louis Farrakhan, whose long history of heated anti-Semitic rhetoric was covered in an Anti-Defamation League (ADL) report; and has tweeted "nothing is creepier than Zionism" and "the difference between me & supporters of Israel is I don't justify murders, they proudly do and it's DISGUSTING."

Sarsour maintains she is anti-Zionist only, not anti-Semitic.

The New School has been vigorously criticized by the Jewish community for giving JVP and Sarsour its respected platform. A petition protesting the New School's decision racked up over 12,000 signatures in under a week.

Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL CEO, tweeted, "Having Linda Sarsour & head of JVP leading a panel on #antisemitism is like Oscar Meyer leading a panel on vegetarianism. These panelists know the issue, but unfortunately, from perspective of fomenting it rather than fighting it."

A major donor has warned the New School that he may cut off his contributions in response to the program, Tablet reported.

Cardozo's Benjamin B. Ferencz clinic was named for the Hungarian-American lawyer who prosecuted Nazi officials at Nuremberg, and is part of the school's Institute in Holocaust and Human Rights, also overseen by Getgen Kestenbaum.

Last year, the institute sent out an email to its alumni promoting a job opportunity with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) as litigation director for its civil rights department.

CAIR and its founder were named unindicted co-conspirators in the 2007 Holy Land Foundation terror-financing case, in which five foundation executives were found guilty of funneling millions of dollars to the terror group Hamas.

The New York chapter of CAIR led a "know your rights training" program earlier this month at Cardzo, organized by the school's chapter of the Muslim Students Association.

Cardozo and Getgen Kestenbaum did not respond to requests for comment by press time.