The “Palestine Writes Literary Competition” is being held on the College of Pennsylvania later this week. This has attracted extreme criticism from Jewish teams and people inside and with out Penn as a result of a number of the audio system have a historical past of participating in antisemitic rhetoric.
The Penn administration acknowledges that individuals have raised considerations about a number of audio system who “have a documented and troubling historical past of participating in antisemitism by talking and appearing in ways in which denigrate Jewish individuals.” Penn nonetheless defends internet hosting the convention on tutorial freedom grounds, however provides that the convention was not organized by the college.
OK, however one might surprise why a number of tutorial departments are “sponsors” of the pageant, which means that they’re offering funding. It is not a tutorial convention, as such; a number of the audio system are neither Palestinians, lecturers, nor poets; and it is arduous to think about these departments funding a convention that includes audio system with an analogous historical past of denigrating different minority teams.
Be that as it could, the organizers of Palestine Writes need you to know that the fees of antisemitism leveled in opposition to their convention are false. Hmm.
Nicely, if you wish to understand how NOT to start out a letter defending your self from accusations of antisemitism, you need to use this letter as a mannequin. After noting that the pageant has been harshly criticized by “the Jewish Federation and the ADL,” the organizers have this to say:
in contrast to our detractors, we don’t function within the shadows nor amongst elite resolution makers and funders. Quite, we worth transparency and public entry, accountability, and scrutiny. We’re additionally conscious about the energy disparity between these extremely funded, related and arranged Zionist organizations versus our small cultural establishment run by volunteers and scholar organizations, most of them Penn college students.
Discuss self-owns… The organizers are so clueless about antisemitism that they interact in basic anti-Jewish tropes whereas defending themselves from costs of antisemitism. Which kinda undermines anything they’ve stated or will say of their protection.
UPDATE: I ought to word that even when PW’s detractors actually did function “within the shadows” and so forth, it will be at finest impolitic to phrase issues they method its leaders did. However in actual fact, ADL and the native Jewish Federation criticized PW brazenly, and say what you’ll in regards to the ADL–and it isn’t precisely my favourite group, personally–it is primary modus operandi is getting as a lot publicity and a focus for its views as it may well. Nor are native Jewish federations (the primary communal fundraising arm) precisely identified for hiding both their existence or their coverage positions.