We will briefly recap the recent events at NYU Law School. NYU Students for Justice in Palestine emailed an email insinuating that Palestinian terrorists were responsible for the murder of Israeli civilians. The email’s author used antisemitic phrases to justify the Israeli terrorists killing civilians in Israel. He also referred to the Zionist-funded US media and Islamophobic Zionist-funded US media. The email was also supported by several other NYU student organizations.
As one might expect, the email’s defenders argue that the email isn’t antisemitic for vehemently criticizing Israel or Zionism and even suggesting that Palestinians can murder Israeli civilians in order to resist “occupation” (as you would assume). As I mentioned in my initial post, however, neither Israel nor Zionism are criticized in this paragraph. Instead, they assert that Zionists control and fund the media. The most obvious antisemitism, which tries to disguise itself behind antizionism, is when you can replace the word “Jew” with “Zionist.” This leaves you with an obvious antisemitic trope such as the NYU SJP email.
It is easy to imagine students signing the statement without recognizing the obvious, at least for those who have some knowledge about the history and practice antisemitism. The statements that Zionists control and fund an Islamaphobic media can be interpreted as a signatory student group or student organisation. It is easy to imagine that they regret this statement, even if it is not publicly retracted or apologized for. It is true that I think even antisemitic students will regret this language, as it links a cause to antisemitism. This, at the least, isn’t a very good strategy in America.
I am more inclined to notice when people use antisemitic words, but not say that they are antisemitic. Sometimes people are unaware of the dangers and may not realize they have been exposed to them. Others use provocative language and don’t realize the consequences.
It would be nice if such individuals would retract or at least apologize for what they have said. However, even if they retract or apologize for their language I am still reluctant to criticize them harsher than I did in the paragraph before. In general, I tend to give people the benefit of doubt to those who tweet (or speak) from the heart.
People who refuse to stop using antisemitic language after it has been exposed to them are not allowed to do so. Yosmin Badie from NYU, a NYU law student, is a prime example of this. She was previously well-known for tweeting repeatedly “fuck Israel” and occasionally “fuck Amerikkka”.
Yosmin Bdie (a NYU Law Student for Justice in Palestine) stated in a statement that NYU Law had received from the Jewish Week. [Student of Justice in Palestine’s]It was shameful to receive emails.
Badie declared that the “effort to silence those who want to speak against apartheid, violent occupation and war is shameful and equally shameful was the deliberate conflation antisemitism with anti-Zionism.”
“I will not allow those to deny my right to it to intimidate me and will remain unaffected by their struggles for Palestine,” she stated.
Ms. Badie claims that the email was not antisemitic, but also “antizionist”. (Please tell us Ms. Badie who these “Zionists”, who fund and control the media).However, pointing out the antisemitism at its root is an attempt to silence Ms. Badie.
Ms. Badie is not to be silenced or “cancelled” by me. However, I don’t think Jews should sit by and allow antisemites such as Ms. Badie to hide behind antizionism while claiming to be pro-racism. In case you feel that Ms. Badie was traumatized from her experience as a Palestinian victim in Israel, or any other excuse people give for Palestinian extremism in general, she has identified herself as an Iranian American on Twitter and is affiliated with the National Iranian American Council. This group is known to interfere in the US in support of Iran’s theocracy. It’s always fascinating to discover self-proclaimed “human rights advocates” whose origins are under terrible dictatorships and who instead focus their attention on Israel.
You have the right, Ms. Badie to use any antisemitic and genocidal rhetoric that you like. I will also point out that you’re an antisemite. For what it is worth, this applies to all of your fellow classmates who defend SJP’s email.
While we’re on the topic, NYU student Tal Fortgang, a NYU lawyer, wrote an essay about Bari Weiss’ substack entitled To the Antisemites who Sit Next to me in School.