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update deskBoycott, Divestment & Sanctions (BDS)

Psychology conference in New York features couple who advocate BDS

Mobile billboards protest the appearances of Stephen and Lara Sheehi, who support boycotting the State of Israel.

Stephen and Lara Sheehi. Source: YouTube screenshot.
Stephen and Lara Sheehi. Source: YouTube screenshot.

Mobile billboards outside the Society for Psychoanalysis and Psychoanalytic Psychology’s 42nd annual spring conference, which took place last weekend in New York City, asked: “Why is the American Psychological Association hosting antisemites?”

The latter reference is to Lara Sheehi, president of the society—part of the APA—and her husband Stephen.

A George Washington University psychology professor who supports boycotting Israel, Lara Sheehi has been accused of “singling out and targeting Jewish and Israeli students for adverse treatment because of their identity,” which StandWithUs has called “textbook antisemitic discriminatory conduct.”

She has also reportedly written on social media that Israelis are “(expletive) racist,” and that it is “so (expletive) ridiculous how Zionism works.” Stephen Sheehi is also a supporter of the BDS movement.

Chair of Middle East studies and professor of Arabic studies at the College of William & Mary, he was one of two speakers at a keynote question-and-answer session with graduate students on April 28. His wife hosted an April 29 informal lunch “presidential meet-and-greet for life members.”

Alums for Campus Fairness arranged for the billboards outside the event.

“The APA should be ashamed to provide a platform for these virulent antisemites,” Avi Gordon, the group’s executive director, stated. “New Yorkers have no tolerance for racism and incitement. This campaign sends a clear message that these bigots and the hate they represent are not welcome here.”

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