The New School Invites Linda Sarsour to Campus to Speak About Anti-Semitism

Linda Sarsour / Getty Images
November 13, 2017

National Women's March co-organizer Linda Sarsour, a prominent anti-Israel activist, will speak at the New School in New York City later this month for a panel on anti-Semitism.

The New School was founded a century ago to promote progressive values and politics. Among its most famous alumni is the late Shimon Peres, former president and prime minister of Israel.

Sarsour will be one of the speakers on a Nov. 28 panel, flagged by Tablet magazine, on "Antisemitism and the Struggle for Justice" hosted by the school's Creative Publishing and Critical Journalism program, Haymarket Books, Jacobin magazine, Jewish Voice for Peace, and Jews for Racial & Economic Justice.

"Anti-Semitism is harmful and real," the abstract on the panel's EventBrite page reads. "But when anti-Semitism is redefined as criticism of Israel, critics of Israeli policy become accused and targeted more than the growing far-right."

Sarsour is one such critic of Israel who has made a variety of comments that detractors have accused of being anti-Semitic, including praising children who throw rocks at Israeli soldiers and defending former Palestinian terrorist Rasmea Odeh. She has also called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a "waste of a human being," said that "nothing is creepier than Zionism," and argued that Zionists cannot be feminists.

Earlier this year, the decision to have Sarsour speak at another New York City school was met with protest when Holocaust survivors demanded that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D.) shut down her commencement speech at the City University of New York Graduate School of Public Health.

"Nothing good can come of Ms. Sarsour telling young people, with CUNY's imprimatur, that violence against the innocent for any reason at all is acceptable or courageous," the letter read.

Joining Sarsour on the panel at the New School will be Rebecca Vilkomerson, executive director of the Jewish Voice for Peace, which, according to an Anti-Defamation League report, "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."