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New School Criticized For Hosting Anti-Semitism Panel Featuring Linda Sarsour

NEW YORK (JTA) — The New School is being criticized for hosting a panel on anti-Semitism featuring speakers known to be vocal critics of Israel and Zionism, including Palestinian-American activist Linda Sarsour and the executive director of Jewish Voice for Peace.

Critics of the Nov. 28 event, which is titled “Anti-Semitism and the Struggle for Justice,” also say it is meant to justify anti-Zionism on the left, and not address the full range of threats facing Jews from the left and the right.

The panel is being organized by the creative publishing and critical journalism program at the Manhattan-based university and several left-wing groups, including Jewish Voice for Peace, which supports the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.

“Anti-Semitism is harmful and real,” according to the event description. “But when anti-Semitism is redefined as criticism of Israel, critics of Israeli policy become accused and targeted more than the growing far-right.”

Jonathan Greenblatt, the national director of the Anti-Defamation League, slammed the inclusion of Sarsour and JVP in the event, saying it was akin to “Oscar Meyer leading a panel on vegetarianism.”

A petition opposing the panel organized by a pro-Israel group called Zioness had amassed over 10,000 signatures as of Monday afternoon.

Sarsour, who is active in liberal causes and helped organize the Women’s March on Washington, has been criticized by right-wing and centrist Jews for her vocal criticism of Israel, including calling into question whether feminism and Zionism are compatible. Her activist work, which includes leading a campaign earlier this year that raised $100,000 for the restoration of a vandalized Jewish cemetery, has also been praised by liberal Jews.

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