The New York State Communication Association should be ashamed of themselves for allowing Jasbir Puar to speak at their annual convention. Puar is a virulent anti-Semite who has come under fire for her baseless claims, including the disgusting lie that Israelis are using Palestinian organs for research. Puar calls for violence against Jews and advocates for armed “defense” against Israelis. She spins falsehoods in an attempt to demonize Israel in the eyes of the world and promote her own anti-Semitic views.
The NYSCA is well aware of Puar’s offensive and hurtful statements. The American Jewish Committee sent a letter in August informing the NYSCA of her vile track record, yet it still decided to turn a blind eye and allow her to speak. According to the letter, Puar’s comments, “cross the line between legitimate criticism to incendiary demonization of the Jewish state. Simply put, there are no values advanced by giving her a forum to express her hateful and false views.” The NYSCA should be ashamed of its cowardice in its decision. Providing Puar with a platform to spread her hostile views against Israel and Jews will only worsen the current anti-Semitic climate.
Puar’s history of anti-Semitic statements isn’t subtle, she’s very outspoken about her hatred of Israel and the Jews that inhabit it. Her events have been canceled before by institutions that have chosen to make the right choice and prioritize the safety of Jewish individuals. Puar’s addresses serve as a dog whistle to those who harbor their own anti-Jewish sentiments, spreading hostility and putting Jews in harm’s way.
NYSCA’s event is not meant to be a platform for politically motivated Israel bashing. The topic is the future of communication. If nothing else, Puar’s history of canceled events and reputation for inflammatory comments prove that she is ill-qualified for this type of event and that the merit of her participation is questionable at best. Why is NYSCA fighting to protect a controversial speaker that will only put a stain on what could be an otherwise fruitful event?
Puar is so blatantly problematic that a petition is circulating calling for the NYSCA to publicly condemn Puar. The organization’s failure to respond is an unsurprising disappointment as anti-Semitism is once again welcomed with a red carpet. At this point, the NYSCA knows that rescinding Puar’s offer to speak is the right thing to do, but it refuses to act. By not taking this vital step to condemn anti-Semitism, the NYSCA is proudly aligning with an anti-Jewish bigot.
Organizations promoting blatantly racist speakers such as Puar only perpetuate hateful views that ruin their credibility and eliminate needed supporters. The NYSCA will not emerge with its reputation unscathed in the wake of this conference.
At a time where anti-Semitism is only growing in the United States and around the world, the NYSCA will become complicit in undermining the safety of Jewish college students if it follows through on giving a platform to a known anti-Semite.