Sunday, February 28, 2016

Professor Jasbir K. Puar Spreads "Blood Libel" Innuendo

By now, the controversy created by Prof Puar's appearance at Vassar on February 3, 2016, is well known.  In her talk, “Inhumanist Biopolitics: How Palestine Matters,” she promoted such distortions and falsehoods such as:
  • [There have been] “more than 120 deaths by field assassinations of young Palestinian men, largely between the ages of 12 to 16, by IDF soldiers… Some speculate that the bodies were mined for organs for scientific research.”

  • [Israelis seek] “…perfection of drone technology as a rationalization for the slaughter of Gazans…”
  • [Israel employs] “…maiming as a deliberate biopolitical tactic…in the occupation of Palestine…”
  • [Israel’s actions include] “…the policy of calorie restrictions, the bombing of numerous hospitals and a disability center, the destruction of the main electric power plant in Gaza, the flattening of homes, schools and mosques, and the targeting of youth and children, the likely use of white phosphorus…”
  • “…we need BDS as part of organized resistance and armed resistance in Palestine as well.”
  • “The Jewish Israeli population … need[s] the Palestinians alive in order to keep the kind of rationalization for their victimhood and their militarized economy.”
The lecture was publicized in advance, by Vassar, as follows:

This lecture theorizes oscillating relations between disciplinary, pre-emptive, and increasingly prehensive forms of power that shape human and non-human materialities in Palestine. Calculation, computing, informational technologies, surveillance, and militarization are all facets of prehensive control. Further, the saturation of spatial and temporal stratum in Palestine demonstrates the use of technologies of measure to manufacture a "remote control" occupation, one that produces a different version of Israeli "home invasions" through the maiming and stunting of population. If Gaza, for example, is indeed the world's largest "open air prison" and an experimental lab for Israeli military apparatuses, infrastructural chaos, and metric manipulation, what kinds of fantasies (about power, about bodies, about resistance, about politics) are driving this project?

Wednesday, February 24, 2016


On February 11, SJP at Vassar posted this item on its Facebook page, in which it advertised the sale, at an upcoming SJP event, of what looks like a hoodie emblazoned with the image of Leila Khaled, a notorious Palestinian terrorist and hijacker, holding a machine gun.  (The language in the caption was later cleaned up.)

Monday, February 1, 2016

Round-up - While we were away ...

 Highlights of Fall 2015-Winter 2016 Events at Vassar Concerning Israel

September --  Angela Davis spoke on Sept. 16 at an event marking the 30th anniversary of Vassar's Women's Studies program.  Although the topic of her speech had no apparent connection of the Middle East, students who attended reported that she devoted considerable time to suggesting a link between racism in America and racism in Israel.  During the Q&A, she was asked about the connection between activism on behalf of Palestinians and anti-semitism.  In response, Davis endorsed BDS, pointed out that Jews are involved with BDS and suggested that this was because they didn't want the Holocaust "to happen again."  Video of that exchange was posted here by the community activist who posed the question.

October  --  Students for Justice in Palestine attempted to halt sales of Sabra hummus at the Retreat.  When FTI learned of it, members immediately alerted the administration, which confirmed that the Retreat would continue offering Sabra hummus for sale along with another brand.

November --
 "Conversation about Israel/Palestine" -- see article

The Anti-Defamation League and Chabad on Fulton sponsored a series of workshops for Vassar Jewish students during the 2015-2016 academic year.