update deskAntisemitism

Letter from Wellesley president, a naughty Santa and not playing fair on ‘Jeopardy!’

A letter from the Wellesley College president, why Penn didn't support its leader, a naughty Santa and "Jeopardy!" Antisemitism roundup, Dec. 16-18

"Jeopardy!" podiums on Dec. 28, 2015 in Culver City. Credit: Ryan J. Thompson/Shutterstock.
"Jeopardy!" podiums on Dec. 28, 2015 in Culver City. Credit: Ryan J. Thompson/Shutterstock.

“I want to be clear that Wellesley will not make such a statement,” wrote Paula Johnson, president of the Massachusetts college, in response to a letter from some faculty members asking the school to say that criticism of Israel and Zionism isn’t antisemitism.

An Associated Press article noting that black Americans are siding with Palestinians and against Israel quotes sources comparing Israel to the “Jim Crow-era” and Palestinians in Israeli jails “for minor offenses like stone-throwing” to what they called racism in U.S. prisons. The article does not include voices refuting those comparisons, nor does it mention that Hamas kidnapped and killed Tanzanian students.

Since Oct. 7, antisemitic property crimes in New York are up 85%, per NYPD data.

Harvard University deleted a webpage with “affinity celebrations” for graduation. The page included celebrations for a variety of groups, including Arabs, but not for Jews.

The Washington Post published an op-ed about why there isn’t more global outrage about journalists who have been killed during the war in Gaza. “It’s not just that the journalists are being killed: Some believe they have been explicitly targeted, even outside Gaza,” according to the op-ed (which some would believe to be antisemitic). “These killings are part of a pattern of impunity when it comes to ‘the only democracy in the Middle East.'” The author adds: “The tacit blank check given to Israel to eliminate civilian targets, including journalists it doesn’t like, puts anyone covering the region in danger.”

Some fans are accusing Jeopardy! of antisemitism after it replaced co-host Mayim Bialik, who is Jewish and has supported Israel very publicly.

Police arrested an Ottawa “young person” for “terrorism-related offenses,” including “knowingly instructing, directly or indirectly, a person to carry out a terrorist activity against Jewish persons.”

Also in Ottawa, police charged a 39-year-old after he allegedly made an “antisemitic, misogynistic and intimidating phone call targeting a person working in the healthcare field.” The family doctor the man is suspected of harassing posted: “I have been living in fear because of threats and antisemitic harassment.”

“You can’t be pro-Israel and bring the most anti-Israel Republican into this state, who voted against fighting antisemitism on college campuses,” said former ambassador Nikki Haley of fellow presidential candidate, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. (She referred to Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky.)

Elisha Wiesel, son of the late Elie Wiesel, posted video footage of himself at an anti-Israel protest in New York’s Penn Station. “I put on an Israeli flag I carry with me. The cowards hid behind their masks,” he wrote. “NYPD insisted I remove the flag as the situation was getting dangerous.”

“In her testimony, Kornbluth noted that she is Jewish. Gay is Harvard’s first Black president. Magill is Penn’s first Catholic president,” noted The Philadelphia Inquirer, in an article about why Liz Magill wasn’t supported at Penn, while Claudine Gay was at Harvard University and  Sally Kornbluth was at MIT.

A man in Long Island, N.Y., lost a gig as Santa following complaints that he had made people uncomfortable at a synagogue event, where he said (among other things) that American Jewish Committee speakers could be propagandists for the Israeli government.

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