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May 9, 2016 4:03 pm

Rutgers Professor Again Accused of Antisemitism for Remarks Made About Israel During Panel Discussion at Dartmouth

avatar by Lea Speyer

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Rutgers University professor Jasbir Puar. Photo: jasbirPuar.com

Rutgers University professor Jasbir Puar. Photo: jasbirPuar.com

A Rutgers University professor who infamously accused Israel of harvesting the organs of Palestinians is the focus of controversy yet again, The Algemeiner has learned.

Professor Jasbir Puar was accused of making antisemitic remarks at a Dartmouth College event on April 30, the school’s paper, The Dartmouth, reported. Puar made her comments during a panel discussion — sponsored by the Gender Research Institute at Dartmouth (GRID) — related to feminism and the environment. According to the report, Puar devoted parts of her speech to criticizing Israel.  

In March, Puar — an associate professor of women and gender studies, with an emphasis on queer theory, feminism, globalization and diaspora studies — made headlines when, at a Vassar College lecture, she accused Israel of a host of crimes against Palestinians, including field executions and medical experiments involving the deliberate “stunting” of bodies.

Sergei Kan, an anthropology professor at Dartmouth, told the student newspaper that Puar’s statements were “academic antisemitism.” He reported witnessing a Jewish student present at the panel visibly distraught, as well as others troubled by Puar’s remarks, because their religion “was being covered in dirt,” he said. 

“This is hatred,” Kan said. “This is the kind of scholarship that wants to provoke, wants to offend and does it without any concern for accuracy.” He added that Puar’s accusations against Israel are a “deliberate maligning of Israel that has no factual or almost no factual foundation.”

Student Matthew Goldstein, co-president of Chabad at Dartmouth, was allegedly threatened by GRID’s director, Annabel Martin, and asked to leave the room in which the panel was taking place, when he attempted to videotape Puar, who had asked that her remarks not be recorded, the report said. Following police involvement and threats of arrest, Goldstein willingly left the premises.

Goldstein told The Dartmouth, “It was made to seem like the speech was not going to be explicitly about Israel and if there was anything that was mentioned, it would be sort of an ancillary component, not really the full thing. The entire speech was about Israel.”

According to Goldstein, GRID is “sponsoring antisemitic rhetoric, because it kept fully in line with what [Puar] has said before. Not only was it antisemitic, it’s also not academically honest — garbage scholarship, really.”

In a joint statement issued on Friday, Dartmouth President Phil Hanlon and Provost Carolyn Dever said Puar’s “remarks do not represent the views of the college.”

GRID’s director issued her own statement on Monday, challenging The Dartmouth’s reporting as “yellow journalism at its best.” Martin said her interaction with Goldstein is part of “a series of misrepresentations.”

I repeatedly insisted that he [Goldstein] turn off his camera and engage as a student. Unfortunately, he refused. I did so to abide by the wishes of our guests, but also to prevent Goldstein from committing an illegal act,” she said.

Martin further defended Puar, saying sometimes humanity must “face uncomfortable truths.”

“Conscientious academic work involves respectfully debating conflicting visions. It does not mean full agreement or even consensus. It should leave us scratching our heads,” Martin said. “It should be duly noted that had a single antisemitic statement or accusation been made at our symposium, GRID and its director would be the first in line to condemn such language and hostility.”

The Algemeiner reached out to Martin to obtain an official Dartmouth-sanctioned copy of the panel discussion to verify the claims made against Puar. Martin informed The Algemeiner GRID did not receive permission to post the discussions publicly and the recordings are “only for in-house use.”

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