Vassar College in upstate New York is once again in the news as a hotbed of anti-Semitism, as a professor accused Israel of assassinating teens, harvesting organs and stunting Palestinians’ growth, Israel National News reported Tuesday.
Speaking last week, Women and Gender Studies Professor Jasbir Puar gave an address titled “Inhumanist Biopolitics: How Palestine Matters”, discussing her perspective on the current security situation in Israel. It should be noted that she is not an expert in any academic field related to the Middle East or military and security concerns, but has spoken repeatedly on the topic.
Legal Insurrection reported that when Puar was introduced, the audience was asked not to record her speech “in the spirit of congeniality and mutual respect;” however, members of a campus group called Fairness to Israel (FTI) disregarded the request in order to later properly refute Puar’s outrageous claims.
Puar began by encouraging the college to join the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, adding it was a significant part of an effort against Israel which properly includes terror. “We need BDS as part of organized resistance and armed resistance in Palestine as well,” she announced in her talk.
She held the Israel Defense Force (IDF) responsible for “more than 120 deaths by field assassinations of young Palestinian men, largely between the ages of 12 to 16” since October, implying they were killed for opposing Israeli rule rather than the attacks they perpetrated. While she acknowledged the ongoing campaign of stabbings, she neglected to mention who was stabbing whom.
Puar denounced the summary killings of terrorists in the act, but also rejected other non-fatal means of subduing attackers, stating, “The [IDF’s] policy of shooting to maim, not to kill, is often misperceived as the preservation of life… It is [really] used to achieve a tactical aims of settler colonialism.”
Using carefully vague language, with catchphrases such as “purportedly” and “some speculate”, she went on to allege that Israel has refused to return the bodies of 17 slain terrorists out of a desire to conduct experiments on their organs, a recurring libel which Israel has had to repeatedly deny.
She also accused Israel of carefully monitoring the food, water and power flowing into Gaza, permitting only enough keep the people alive while simultaneously “stunting” their growth.
Israel’s “targeting youth, not for death but for stunting… is another aspect of its biopolitical tactic that seeks to render impotent any future resistance… This is the epigenetics, the weaponized epigenetics,” she charged.
Oddly, Puar’s speech was sponsored by a number of unrelated departments, including Jewish Studies, Political Science, and International Studies, as well as Africana Studies, English, and Women’s Studies. Her field of expertise, as well – Queer Theory – is unconnected to the topic of her lecture. Nonetheless, Puar is on record as an avid anti-Zionist, promoting the accusation of “pinkwashing” against Israel, arguing that Israel is only friendly to the LGBTQ+ community in an effort to deflect criticism for its “inhumane” policies towards Palestinians.
Vassar was ranked among the top-ten anti-Semitic colleges in the US last year.